Monthly Archives: May 2013

Lady in Red

My favorite color is and has been, for the most part usually, green, but every once in a while orange has good form and gives green a go for the top spot. Blue is kind of meh; I’m fond of brown, naturally, but I’m too close to it; yellow is nice and happy and all but it’s  no green; purple is too purple-y, and Wendy has grey spoken for. Which leaves red. Ah yes, what of red? I don’t recall being on any teams where red was featured. Neither my high school nor college had any red in their colors. I’ve never been to Cincinnati. I’m not one for blood. With that as background you can imagine my surprise when a couple of days ago red made a bid to unseat green.

A writer-landscaper friend of mine is writing a book about his years as a jack-of-all trades yard ape and the matter of fact social tension that exists between the folks who install 13 foot Christmas trees and those who have them installed. He asked me to read the opening chapter, any and all feedback appreciated, which I did marking down thoughts, suggestions, and edits with a red pen along the way. It was awesome. For years I pored over legal documents and marked them up like crazy, but those words were already committed to print and I was merely reviewing them rather than (potentially) influencing them. Like I said, loosing the red pen with an editor’s eye was sweet.

It very much reminded me of high school when Ms. Westby, my universally love and equally feared English teacher would return my paper chock-a-block full of red marks. Always red. Lots of red. But those red marks – along with the ones from Ms. Sexton, my other loved and feared high school English teacher – and the prospect and opportunity to make a story better which they represented, were in large measure why I chose to get my degree in English. And that choice, like the “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” stories, in some part anyway, set in motion a chain of events that have pleasantly combined to form where things stand today.

So yes, red holds a special place in my heart but for whatever reason green is and will likely always be tops. Then again, things change so I’ll let you know how that goes. But what isn’t up for interpretation is the super-duper omigosh importance of teachers on a general level and of Mss. Westby and Sexton on a personal one. Which reminds me of the scene from “Fletch” (my immutable green movie) where Fletch is giving a toast to Fred “the Dorf” Dorfman and asks the audience to hug a cop, to which I’d add, “Hug a teacher”, it’ll feel good for both of you.

sun or snow

Recently brown ink has received many links from friends who have noticed some cool folks appreciating handwriting as much as we do!  Thought I would spread some sun and share a few of them…


I love the concept of OliveBox, a company which ships out lovely stationery and office supplies unknown to the buyer!! You can subscribe for a plan which suits your taste and budget and a delightful box of paper goods will be at your door in no time. A combination of stationery and surprise is pure heaven to my ears. (Thanks Lisa at


This book, The Missing Link, looks marvelous. The author, Philip Hensher, believes handwriting is simply good for the body. He states, “(Writing) involves us in a relationship with the written word which is sensuous, immediate and individual. It opens our personality out to the world, and gives us a means of reading other people. It gives pleasure when you communicate with it; when done at all well, it is a source of pleasure to the use.” I think I need this book. To read more, check out the article on Fast Co Design. More discussion on his points later!! (Thanks Dan at

And here in Minnesota, we are determined not to let a little snow in April…and also in May stop us from getting out and expressing ourselves. So here are few Goings On around the city:

Kate Hopper is reading from her book Use Your Words, A Writing Guide for Mothers at the 7th Annual Motherhood & Words event at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis this evening at 7pm. Come celebrate motherhood in your lives and listen to Kate as she encourages you to write the stories you’ve been saving in your minds!


At the Lunalux Stationery Saturday monthly gathering four colorful floral notes will be available for personalizing, printed with petite gray lettering. An ideal Mother’s Day Gift!!

And to leave you off, here’s a kid who I’d hug if I ever had the chance to meet!! In today’s society where texting is the prime source of communication with teens, he definitely went against the grain with this very important question (Thanks Mrs. Bent).

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Enjoy the weekend, sun or snow.