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Lively Letters

Word of the week

Calligraphy (kah-lig-rah-fee): A fancy word for decorative handwriting. The word comes from the Greek words kallos, meaning "beauty" and graphein, meaning "to write."

Ne hao!

What a minute. Is that hello in a new language? Indeed, it is. The word is pronounced like two common English words. Knee and how. Pretty easy, right? So why is the greeting this week in Chinese if the word of the week comes from Greece?

Calligraphy is considered to be an art form that traces back to 206BCE-220CE, the Shang Dynasty period in China. During this time, all educated men (and even some women) were expected to be proficient at it! Using a paintbrush, beautiful letters are stroked onto paper in rows from top to bottom, moving from the right to the left side of the page.

How very different from our writing. . .

Calligraphy today remains an artform, but it is much less formal and there is a style guaranteed to fit every personality. There are tons of books available if you're interested in learning a new skill. Online examples are easy to find too. Even your computer is filled with fonts for you to choose from. In a way, that's a form of calligraphy. . .just not the handmade type!

Still not sold???

Then I challenge you to create your very own style. Perhaps you enjoy making bubble letters. Or maybe you like putting an unusual slant on your lettering. You may even like putting dots at the end of each line. The sky is the limit.

I want to see your creations! Because our book is all about kindness, I would absolutely love to see your calligraphy feature the word kind or kindness. Please e-mail your creations to and your art will be featured on the website!

Until next time. . .

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