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I hope that you and yours had a safe and wonderful independence day. I don’t think there’s anything better than grilled meat and the smell of explosives while hanging out with your family. Well except the fact social distancing had us by ourselves instead of the usual gathering of said family.

Much like chaining the fountains to keep the pyrotechnic show going strong, when I practice chaining the minuscule r the struggle is rrrrrreal. I know, I know I’ve complained quite enough up to this point when I practice chaining letters. This week I’m finally realizing the importance of this drill. Although I’d feel a bit better about doing a more varied chain like the alphabet chaining e.g. arbrcrdr etc. This way I’d feel as if I’d get some actual practice of how the letters connect and play nice (or not) with each other. Do you know a word that has 6 of the same letter in a row? Ooooooh or Rrrrrright maybe?

We’ve got to get used to putting out close to perfect work, not 100% perfect work all the time. As you grow the quantity of your completed work, it will compound over time and give you the results and perfection you desire.

I nearly broke down and drew more guidelines for this one, then I figured I’d just tackle it and let the letters fall where they may and adapt as I go critiquing at the end.

The under turn that connects the r’s is made on the 30 degree connective slant, should be executed with a fluid quick motion, keeping your turn short and without removing the pen from the page. I cannot stress the importance of holding the pen or pencil proper I know it’s hard to break your normal routine pen/pencil grip but skating along the page on the ring and pinky finger nails for stability frees up your forearm for the correct movement. I still personally struggle with this to which I naturally go into research mode to find a solution and in doing so have come up with the following advice ripped right out of the wealth of knowledge contained in the New Spencerian Compendium. “put something on the back of your hand as AN INDICATOR to remind you when your hand is not level.” It goes further to say – “A bit of paper about three-fourths of an inch square, or, if circular, about three-fourths of an inch in diameter, may be used instead (of a pasteboard button), for an indicator.” Simply place it on the knuckle between your first and second fingers. I challenge you to give it a try it is a tremendous help to keep you from rolling your hand to rest on its side.

The minuscule r is executed starting on the baseline with principle #2 the right curve stop ¼ space above the x-height, drop downward and to the right making a slight downward curved shoulder ¼ space, take it back down to baseline on the main slant into a connective slant (make sure that connective slant is executed with a quick and fluid motion keeping the curve short) and into the exit/entrance stroke of the next minuscule r. As always making one is a mouthful and easier done than said, the real challenge is the spacing I feel like these letters are too close together for my liking but it’s all just practice. Until next week — Happy practicing!

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