Thursday, December 01, 2011

Not Just Sans Serif, Sans the Whole #@$! Letter

I am in a quandry, suffering from a problem that I do not often face: a world-class case of writer's block.

Yes, Dear Readers, ol' Bilbo, he of the enormous and overflowing fountain of verbiage, is having trouble writing a letter.

Most of you probably still know what the expression writing a letter means, except for Mike, but perhaps someone can explain it to him.

Anyhow, the situation is this: each year at this time, I write a Christmas letter that goes out to our closest friends to bring them up to date on what's been going on at Chez Bilbo. I begin by writing the basic letter to my friend Toni ... this letter is very long, because Toni and I haven't actually seen each other since her wedding in about 1980, and she always wants to know everything that's been going on. After writing the letter to Toni, I then word-process it to create individualized letters for all our other friends who may not need or want that much detail, or who are only interested in certain aspects of our adventures (family, travel, dancing, blogging, world domination, etc).

Generally, I don't have a problem cranking out the basic letter, but this year is different. I can't get it together. I have plenty of notes, lots of existing documentation in the form of the blog, my travel journal, and the 7500 exabytes of photographs I've taken over the year ... but I just can't seem to get it all down on paper (or in properly-aligned electrons on a hard disk) in a coherent letter. Or as coherent a letter as I usually write.

I'd say this is driving me crazy, but - as my mother would probably have said - that's not really a drive, it's just a putt, ha, ha.

So ...

Toni and everyone else who looks forward to receiving Bilbo's Extravagant Holiday Epistle, hang in there. I'll get it together sooner or later. Hopefully sooner. If you are not on the mailing list but would like to get a real letter (not handwritten, unfortunately ... because of the volume, this is the one letter each year that I prepare with the word processor) to keep all your junk mail company, send your snail mail address to der_blogmeister(at)yahoo(dot)com, and I will add you to the list.

In the meantime, for those of you who didn't get the title of this post, a serif is a small addition to a font that helps to set each letter apart from those around it and make it more legible. A letter that is sans serif is one that does not use serifs (the word sans in French means without). Here's an illustration:

This, of course, lends itself to todays terrible pun (sorry, Eric Clapton) ...

There's also a great riff on serifs offered up today by Miss Cellania ... you can read it here.

That's all for now. I need to hook up my mental jumper cables and get that letter written, serifs or no.

After all, somebody's got to support the Postal Service.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Banister said...

I overheard my staff talking about Christmas letters, and Skip said "Anybody who is close enough to me already knows the news, and anybody who isn't that close doesn't care."

Banister said...

Sorry. I have to keep Kaluha off the keyboard.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

You shot the Sherif? Ouch!

I hope his name was N. T. Roman.

Mike said...

I wrote a letter once. I think it was an S. I didn't see any reason to send it to anyone. Ooooooh that gives me an idea!