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Dotting the i's

Boston author Margaret Shepherd wrote "The Art of the Handwritten Note" and is working on "The Art of the Personal Letter," which will include a chapter on "handwriting repair." She offers these tips for making handwriting more enjoyable and readable.

Sit up straight

Rest an elbow on a table

Aim light onto the page

Use several sheets of paper as padding

Upgrade from ballpoint to marker and from marker to fountain pen

Warm up by making slow lines of loops

Practice keeping loops the same size, with the same slant

Lift the pen between some letters if joining them makes them illegible

Practice problem words (like fifty-seven, clear/dear, various, etc.) to smooth them out

Pay attention to margins and line spacing