Readers' Favorite

May 25, 2011

Welcome Author Aine Greaney

As a special treat during Armchair BEA, I have an author guest post. I have the pleasure of introducing to you Aine Greaney. She is the author of Dance Lessons and Writer with a Day Job. She is an Irish writer who now lives in Boston. In addition to her books, she leads writing workshops and regularly writes for women's, art and travel publications. Aine has also offered to give one lucky reader a signed copy of Dance Lessons. If you live in Canada or US, please leave a comment with your email address. I will use to select the winner on Thursday at 8 pm US EDT.

Without further ado, here is Aine Greaney...

A few weeks ago, someone wrote into the “Careers” section of our local metro newspaper to ask for job-search tips.   In response, the career expert issued savvy advice  on job-searching,  interviewing and follow up. And then … right there in the middle of her column .. a real blooper.

“After the interview, it’s preferable to send an email thank-you,” wrote  Ms. Careers Expert (I’m paraphrasing). “A hand-written, mailed thank-you card will make you seem old fashioned and infer that your workplace skills are outdated.”  

What? Gulp.

You know, I had heard a rumor that some schools in America might be stopping teaching cursive writing. Why? Because, presumably, teaching children how to put pen to paper is an obsolete skill that our children will never use in their bright and digital futures. It’s like teaching darning or embroidery (by the way, my school taught both of these).

So next time I’m sitting scribbling in my local coffee shop, my table neighbors will nudge and point at this  technical luddite who refuses to get hip and get modern?  Or will some eager middle-schooler approach my writing table and (in her oh-what-a-sweet-old-granny voice) ask  to take a iPhone photo of me? Not because I’m inspiring or writing--but because her class project is on local history and what those old folk used to do in those good ole’ days?

God help us all. If any of this is true, then I’m heading out right now to buy up five decades’ worth of  spiral notebooks  and ballpoints to see me and my writing career through until death do us part.  Because one thing’s for sure:  Even if the techno troupe develop a gizmo that uploads your entire novel  from brain to page while you’re waiting for a load of laundry, I’m not abandoning cursive writing.  You won’t find this author hacking out first drafts or morning journal entries in any other way.

Why? Because a first draft is as up close and personal as flossing your teeth.  A first draft of writing is a physical act. You need to get right in there, wiggle things around,  bleed a little around the edges and see what comes out.

 So if you work for a historical commission or one of those Olde Tyme Portraits photo get-ups, me and my writing journal are taking commissions. 

Thank you, Aine, for posting on my blog. If you would like to find out more about Aine Greaney, check out her website

Her books...
Dance Lessons


  1. It makes me sad to know that they think that cursive is outdated. I believe that it is an important skill even if we don't use it as much as we used to. I can tell you that if the schools don't teach my son, I will!

  2. My cursive is woefully bad, but I agree it's still important to teach! I love writing stuff by hand, as well as typing it out. Both are important skills to have.

  3. I am thinking about canceling cable television this summer so that my kids don't sit around like zombies. Perhaps I will give them composition notebooks, pens and/or mechanical pencils and a topic assignment. We are all readers in my household, but I think we could take our personal creativity up several notches if we become consistent writers as well. Thanks for the article!

  4. Thanks to all of you who have read and commented. Yes, I think there's something distinctly personal about hand-writing. I *loved* that movie a few years ago--I'm blanking on that the title? The one about that brilliant teacher who handed out composition notebooks?