Image: Fresh Ink

With smart devices in every hand, pecking out a short message or a lengthy blog post, it may seem pen and paper has gone the way of the dinosaur. Not so, says Elizabeth Upchurch, owner of Fresh Ink in Banner Hall, who gives us a few tips about freshening up our writing skills.

Why is the handwritten word important?
Willie Morris said it best in North Toward Home when he said, “Words are often as important as experience, because words make experience last.” Think of the letters that your grandmother kept from her husband when he was stationed overseas, or the letters you keep that your child wrote to Santa.  They are irreplaceable and capture for posterity the feeling of that moment.

Give us three tips for the written word:
– A unique touch is to fragrance your stationery. Paper retains fragrance well, and it’s delightful to open a letter that has a fragrance of the writer. A spritz of your favorite perfume will do the trick.
– Our new favorite pen for addressing letters is a pen with a felt tip on one side and a paintbrush tip on the other side. It literally makes anyone’s handwriting look cool and we have it in several colors.
– Envelope liners are our favorite extra touch, and they do not have to be expensive to be wonderful. Use a sheet of cool wrapping paper you love, and cut it to size to line an envelope.  Use a cool clipping from a magazine, or a local newspaper with a unique graphic. It’s the little things that people notice.

What seems to be the trend among stationery?
Two words – distinctive details. It can be as inexpensive as using a colorful peacock blue pen for writing your letters, or as luxurious as using double thick letterpress correspondence cards with gold-foil edges for your notes. Make your communication distinctively yours.