"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Monday, June 10, 2013

WOTW: Mensch

Mensch:  (noun)  a person of integrity and honor.
New Oxford American Dictionary

I have heard this word often.  Most recently I read it in Michael J. Fox's book, Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Future, where the author uses the word to describe his brother.

In the past few weeks, I have been seeing this word a lot, since I have been relearning the German language with the help of Duolingo.com.  I recommend the site.  It is really fun.  Well, in German, Mensch means person, Menschen means people.  I have been familiar with this definition for many years, but I never really understood the meaning when used as part of the English language (as defined above).  It is interesting to me that a word can be borrowed from another language and then have more meaning added to it.

Have you tried Duolingo yet? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

IWSG: Handwritten Letters

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

In February, I participated in the Month of Letters Challenge.  At the time I had just finished reading Jane Austen's Emma and was in love with the idea of handwriting letters as communication.  I instantly picked up paper and pen and wrote a letter to my sister.  Back in the days before email became the norm, I loved writing letters.  I had a German penpal throughout high school, I wrote to friends I had left behind in Ireland and even stayed in contact with some friends I met during my student exchange to Chile.  I received and sent seven-page letters on a regular basis.  Then email took over, and I stopped writing letters.

It turns out that my sister loves the whole letter-writing idea as much as I do.  We have started a much more regular communication now that we write each other.  For some reason, we have never been able to keep up regular communication by phone or email, but suddenly we are writing letters and cards to each other.  There is something so personal and special about receiving a handwritten letter in the mail.

I did not complete the Month of Letters Challenge.  I liked the challenge so much that I decided to make it a year-long project :)  I plan to continue sending letters to my friends and family throughout the year.  I have had such positive feedback from the people who received letters.  It really made their day to receive a handwritten note in the mail.  I even included handmade items with some of my letters.  

I like that writing letters allows me to practice my writing in a different format than usual.  It is more personal, like a journal, but still published in a way.  I find that I go through a different process when I write a letter.  I find it to be an inspiring experience in its own way.

Do you ever handwrite letters?  

Monday, June 3, 2013

WOTW: Autodidact

Autodidact (noun):  a self-taught person
New Oxford American Dictionary

Found in Michael J. Fox's book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future:
"I used to tell people that I was an autodidact, then smile smugly when I could tell, by the look on their face, that I was so autodidactic that I had taught myself a word they didn't even know."

Sounds like something I would have done when I was younger :)