Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Charlie (Colorado)

Well, I'm not the best person to answer this, since I write three longhand pages in a bound jounral, every morning. (My putative future biographer trying to do a Pepys with my journals will be faced with many many pages of me waiting for the coffee.) Then there are the separate bound books in which I "thinkwrite", write long discursive discussions with myself as I try to work out an idea. And the longhand drafts I write of articles when they aren't coming clear.

Come to think of it, is there such a thing as terminal writers cramp?

In any case, I don't know that I think it's all that different writing longhand -- first it's hard, then if you keep pushing you get going, and the next thing you know it's an hour later.


I write three longhand pages in a bound journal, every morning.

Sounds like good ol' "morning pages." A good practice, in that it sometimes dredges up surprises -- the staff of life. "I didn't know what I thought/felt until I saw what I said."


I've been keeping a journal for thirty years; first in longhand, then typed on a word processor and printed out and eventually bound, and then in the 90's, on a Mac or a PC, printed and then bound.

So future biographers would find a history of writing implements, from Pentels to monospaced Courier to Times New Roman.

Half my entries begin, "I'm back from lunch." I seem to write better when I'm fed.

Donna B.

Charlie, I think you are the exception to the rule. "Waiting For Coffee" is a great title!

The closest I've come to writing a letter in 20 years is thank you notes. I do try to be little more eloquent than "your gift arrived and is appreciated".

Tom Carter

Arrrgh. I agree with you in general, but since I started using a primitive word processor in 1981, I've been wedded to a keyboard. Not only does it seem easier to write more competently, it's readable! I'd never write another word by hand if that were possible. Having said that, I also think we've lost something in all this technology. I'd love to receive more handwritten letters. Of course, I'd answer them on a keyboard....


Yeah . . . I actually didn't go write a letter yesterday (full disclosure). I wound up cleaning house, another old-fashioned activity I don't do enough of :)

I find that typing is closer to the speed of my mind and that handwriting is a drag, unfortunately. Also, the ability to revise lightning-fast, to work on a sentence as if it's a sculpture you can move around and work on any part of, and try it out and see it clean without scratch-outs, and change it back if you change your mind, is priceless.


Read this post. Wrote a letter. Hand got sore.


they are actually more robust than archived e-mails on a hard drive, to be ground to dust in the stampede of technological innovation.

No way. Remember how paper is fireproof, water proof, rot proof...oh wait, it isn't!!
Everyone goes on and on about the romance of paper...until they have to copy it. (by hand, of course! Copy machines don't count.)

Everything you've ever written can be copied in the blink of an eye, and it will be, if it's just a matter of will!

We leave behind more stuff accidentally, (photos! audio recordings! Home movies!) than past generations did on purpose.


I don't write letters as a general rule- no one to write to, really- but I take extensive notes in longhand when I work on a post and often draft lengthier posts in longhand at least once before I begin posting them.
Guess that's why I'm such a lousy blogger...
I had a small-time editor/blogger friend who used to chide me about this habit all the time- "It's an extra step! Learn to think at the keyboard!"
He's now given up both blogging and publishing.
Maybe slow and steady keeps me in the race, even if I don't win it.
Besides, writing just feels good *physically* to me. It's soothing.

"Take a moment -- no, let's be honest, take an hour -- this weekend to try to revive and savor the antiquated pleasure of writing someone a letter. And then come back and say what it was like."

Sorry, but no.

I used to handwrite letters to people, before I regularly used email, and it was a BAD SYSTEM.

You write and write just to fill up enough pages. The quality is worse. Quantity trumps quality. And it feels like a chore; it doesn't flow.

Email is easier to edit, and every digital system (email, phone, IM, etc.) is more spontaneous. Writing letters combines the worst of all worlds.

I've done it, I remember what it's like, and I don't long for the days of letter writing. Just because something's in the past doesn't mean it's worth being nostalgic about. There are plenty of facets of modern technology I think are unfortunate, but the decline of handwritten letters isn't one of them.


JAC: LOL. You know, it may be that what I really miss is getting them, not writing them . . .


I just wrote a letter this weekend! First time in years, it was so much fun, I couldn't agree more. I had to go get actual stationary, and then write out five, six drafts on looseleaf before daring to touch the nicer paper. I know that's weird, but it almost felt holy.

Anyway, sorry I've been gone for a while, really tough year, but I'm trying to come back and do my regular favorite blog reading, and it's great to hear your voice, as it were, again!


Great to "hear" yours too, Adrian. Welcome back. I hope everything is OK.


My parents died in 2000 and 2002, my sister got e-mail (about 6 years ago), as did a long time friend (a year ago), so now there is no one to write letters to--we do it all by e-mail. But I still send cards with hand written notes. However, even when I did send letters, they were usually typed, because I think too fast for long hand these days. Also, my handwritting has really deteriorated.

I've been enjoying looking through your entries. Always I'm looking for women bloggers.


Hello, Norma, welcome. I'll come visit.

Comments on Althouse have made me think maybe instead of writing a letter (which I never got around to, by the way; I do have one friend I exchange long handwritten letters with at long intervals) I should write a blog post in longhand and scan it. It's funny how self-conscious the thought of that makes me feel -- not about my handwriting, either. It makes me feel, I don't know, naked!


Debra Winger once said that "Acting is standing up totally naked in a room full of your family and closest friends and turning around very slowly."

Maybe good blogging is too?


Hand written blog posts: I write most of mine first at the coffee shop in a 5 x 7 lined notebook with #2 pencil. Now I not only have boxes of notebooks, I have printed out blogs on my shelves.


I'd love to see your handwriting, amba. That would be fun. It is personal- almost like a touch.

When i write down thoughts or poems, i cannot piecemeal- as the original is lost and i end up w/two different things, entirely. I remember exams in writing- getting a sheet or two of looseleaf for a rough draft. I'd end up w/two stories. I learned to never rough draft because it took so long and i always went off track.

I don't revise well... but, you could tell, couldn't you?


Letter writing is AWESOME, but I'm used to writing stuff out by hand because I also keep a handwritten journal. For fast stuff, I do prefer the keyboard, but those things are NEVER as awesome as having something handwritten in the mail.

Jac, don't be such a grouch and dis handwritten letters. Some people like old cars, some people like camping (good grief, how archaic is having no electricity and no SHOWER), some people like riding around on a horse. Some of us like the old and moldy -- doesn't mean we also don't like the new and shiny, too! :)

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