Her Ink · Paper and Ink

Join the Happy Mail Movement!

I have always loved real mail. The kind that says that someone is thinking about you and took the time out of their day to sit down and write you a REAL letter. I’m not sure if it’s the writer in me, but it just means so much more when I get letters in the mail. I suppose it started with my best friend moving away when we were in elementary school. Back then, you couldn’t just call someone who lived far away, or text them. Long distance phone calls were expensive. Texting didn’t exist (sheesh, now I feel OLD!). The only way to keep in touch with my best friend was through letters.

I wrote her, she wrote me. We kept our friendship alive that way. For three years. She was supposed to move back after that, but instead I got a letter in the mail saying that she was moving to Idaho instead.

Somehow the letters stopped after that. I guess I figured that Idaho was so much closer than Kentucky, we should be able to keep in touch without letters now. Either way, I didn’t really get letters after that. Not until my friends started leaving on missions for my church (AKA they go live somewhere for two years and teach other people about our church). They’re not allowed to call, or text (even though it was around by then). The only way to keep in touch with them was letters.

I won’t lie, I wrote 12 missionaries and my main objective was to get mail. I just loved getting the mail. To this day I can still hear the mail truck coming when I’m at my mom’s place. Although a strange thing happened because of that mail, I met someone I had never met. He saw my handwriting and asked if I would write him. Through mail, I gained a friend.

Then after college I became pen pals with one of my roommates after we decided that the world was a better place when everyone wrote letters.

I still believe that.

So, in an effort to resurrect the beauty of correspondence I plan to send out “happy mail” every week. Probably just letters, but once I feel like we’re rich enough I’d love to send out packages every once in awhile, just because.

I’d love for you to join me! (I’d even love to send YOU some happy mail). So Happy Mail Postcard


Do you like real mail? Do you send real letters?

Favorite Things

Tools of the Trade | Typing.com

Tools of the Trade Typing.com


I work at an elementary school in the computer lab. One of my main jobs is to teach the children how to type. I tell them all the time to keep their hands on home row. Over and over I use analogies to help them understand how much faster they could type if they just took the time to learn how to type correctly.

What they don’t know is that I was just as bad as they were when I was a kid. Granted, typing wasn’t as big of a deal back then. We still took our tests on paper and wrote essays by hand in class.

I was that kid that only put my hands on the right keys if the teacher was looking and complained that I could type so much faster if I didn’t keep them on home row.

It wasn’t until I was in high school, trying to keep up with five MSN messenger chats at a time that I finally learned to type quickly and keep my hands on those home keys. My ability to type quickly has influenced my ability to do what I really love, writing.

Even though these days I tend to write everything out by hand first, it still speeds up the time that it takes me to copy it over to the computer. There’s no way that I would have been able to finish my 50000 words for NaNoWriMo when I was in college if it had taken me hours to get my 1667 words for the day. Instead it only took me 45 minutes or less (so long as I wasn’t also procrastinating…).

However, I realize that a lot of people were like me. We didn’t realize the value in learning to type! Well, that’s where typing.com comes in. It’s a program that I use with my students, but it’s 100% free to join and use. I still use it to practice (and to show the kids how fast you can type if you learn the right way). So if you’d like to learn to type, or you’d just like to learn to type a little faster (I definitely taught myself how to type some of the keys wrong) then head on over!

Her Ink · Paper and Ink · Reading

Paper Heart Poet

Today is Poem in your Pocket day! I’ve been planning this post for quite awhile, but then kind of forgot about it (I’m definitely human), so this will probably be short and sweet!

I’ve always loved poetry. I’ve never felt like I am very good at writing it, but I’ve always felt compelled to write it. Especially around times of turmoil (so basically my whole life). I’ve always loved that feeling of converting my emotions into words and ink, setting down in words just what my heart is feeling.

I’ve always loved knowing that even if no one else understood, that page understood what I meant. It became a confidant when I couldn’t, or didn’t want, to explain what I was feeling to someone else.

I’ve also always loved finding little things in books. Post its or papers or notes from whoever read it last that they forgot to retrieve. Even though I knew that I would never know who they were, it made me feel kind of connected to someone else who had read and loved the same words that I had.

So, the paper heart poet was born. The idea is to write a poem and leave it in a book for someone else to find. That way, you’re putting more art, more beauty in the world, and maybe connecting to someone else. I also liked that you don’t necessarily have to remain anonymous. You can put your social media handle or the name of your blog or whatever and connect with someone new.

You can really do it however you like, but if you wanted an easy way to do it, here is a printable.  Just print it out, cut out a heart and write your poem on the back and slip it into a book! It could be any book, but I recommend one that you read and loved 🙂

If you don’t feel like the best poet, you can always put a poem (with credit) that you love that someone else wrote on the back!

I hope you have a poem filled day!

Paper Heart Poet Template 1


Are you carrying a poem in your pocket today? What book would YOU leave a poem in?

Her Ink · Paper and Ink

Keep Moving Forward

Keep Moving Forward


Meet The Robinsons has been one of my favorite Disney movies for years. It’s one that I keep thinking about over and over again. Mainly for the quote that is the title of this blog post.

Life is not always easy. In fact, a lot of the time, it seems to decide that the best thing for us would be to kick us when we’re down. But, just like they say in the movie, we don’t learn a lot from our successes. We learn most from our failures. There shouldn’t be any shame in failing.

We just have to learn to Keep Moving Forward.

I know, it’s easy to say, and hard to do. Lately, for me, life has seemed to be a series of problems. One gets fixed and another pops right up in its place, usually larger and harder to tackle than the previous problem.

But we’ve all made it this far. We’ve moved forward to this point. There’s no reason why we won’t make it past this obstacle just like all the ones before.

So, Keep Moving Forward.

Keep Moving Forward Printable

Click here for the printable! I hope that it inspires you to overcome whatever obstacles are in your way!


What words to you use to motivate yourself when things don’t work out? 



Favorite Things · Her Ink

Tools of the Trade | Voice Dictation

A few weeks ago, my husband Brian and I saw the movie Passengers. In the movie, Jennifer Lawrence plays a writer named Aurora. After realizing that she has woken up too soon, she finally gets back to what she loves doing… writing. However, in the whole movie, I don’t think I saw one pen, or even a keyboard. She writes by speaking.
Admittedly, I really like Jennifer Lawrence and I wanted to see if I could do that too.
Around the same time I had a friend at work who had to go in for Carpal tunnel surgery, so I started worrying about that. I use my hands for EVERYTHING. I’m a writer, so I type and write by hand. I’m a hand letterer, so I use them for art and lettering. I want to take care of my hands and make them last as long as I can.
My little sister has Lupus, so typing is hard for her, so I’d heard about Dragon Speaking Naturally. I was thinking it would be pretty cheap…
It’s about 300$. Not only is it 300$, but it’s less accurate for a Mac, which is what I use.
Being that I don’t have 300$ laying around (my husband has been out of work for three months, and even before that we definitely weren’t rolling in dough), I wanted to see what else was out there.
I read a few articles and considered my options. Most of the options that I saw in the articles were Dragon Speaking naturally. It’s like they have a corner on the market or something. Then I found a blog post about Google Voice typing. I’m already a huge fan of Google Drive so I thought I would try it out.
I fell instantly in love.
I’ve been trying to get my last novel that I’ve been working on by hand typed up for awhile, but just typing what I’ve already written is kind of boring for me. However, reading it out loud has several advantages.
  1. The computer does the typing for me.
  2. I can hear the awkward sentences, or see if things are flowing smoothly, while accomplishing another step.
  3. Because voice typing is not 100% accurate I read over it again. Usually there aren’t too many mistakes and my work gets another once through.
  4. I feel super cool.
Number 4 might be the most heavily weighted.
I used Google Voice typing to type up my post about General Conference actually. It’s so fun to watch what you say magically appear on the screen. I was head over heels for Google Voice Typing until I found Mac Dictation.
The first time I tried it I was geeking out so badly and smiling so widely that I almost couldn’t speak. No one was home, but I kept looking around to tell someone, “Can you believe this! Look at this!”
It’s even MORE accurate than Google Voice Typing. If you have a Mac, you can start using it pretty much right away. Plus, you can even download it to your computer so that you can use it when you don’t have internet.
I highly recommend both of them. Especially if you’re a slow typer. Or, even if you just want to feel cool and justify it by saying you’re saving your hands.
Have you tried Voice Dictation? What did you use? How did you like it?
Her Ink · Paper and Ink

Camp NaNoWriMo 2017

Camp NaNoWriMo 2017


Camp NaNoWriMo is starting in four days. In case you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, you should know that it’s basically the best month of the year. Starting in November you try to write a 50,000 word Novel in 30 days.

Camp NanoWriMo, however, is a little less rigid. It allows you to work on writing projects that you may have already started, and it also allows you to change your goal. You can do number of words, hours, minutes, number of pages you want to write… you get the idea. It’s great for finishing old projects that you may have abandoned for a time, or just to get a sense of community while you keep working on a writing project. Especially if you want to jump start a writing habit!

I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year, working on my novel that I started last November. I’d love to connect with you! I started a private cabin called Her Ink Cabin. If you want to join my cabin, then drop your NaNoWriMo user name below in the comments and I’ll invite you in!

Just a heads up, I tried to do 15 hours as my goal for the month (since I will, again, be hand writing my project) and it told me a needed a goal of at least 30 words. They just barely switched it this year so that you can choose something other than a word count goal, so I think they haven’t worked out all the kinks! I just changed my goal to the number of minutes. Well, I actually upped my goal to 1000, because 15 hours is 900 minutes and why not, right?

Anyway, good luck writing! I hope you’ll join me in writing this April!
By the way, if you’re wondering where I got the beautiful background on my laptop, you can get it here!

Paper and Ink

Today is Just Your Starting Point

Today is Just Your Starting Point2


I broke my right arm when I was in the first grade. Being right handed and breaking my dominant arm meant that writing was pretty difficult for me. In fact, if we’re being honest, I didn’t really try very hard after the first few days. I knew that actually trying to complete my assignments would mean that it would take me hours (ok, I was six, it probably would have taken me 15 minutes instead of 5) to complete the work. I scribbled with my left hand and called it good.

Sometime around when I broke my arm, my teacher sent home a note letting my parents know that I needed to practice my handwriting at home because it was illegible.

I was devastated.

I remember crying at the back of the classroom as the shame of it washed over me.

It’s something that I’ve never forgotten. Still, handwriting was put on the back burner until I hit 8th grade. I made friends with some new girls and they all had beautiful handwriting.

Back then, passing notes was still a thing. I saw how bad my handwriting looked next to theirs. I didn’t want to be the girl with terrible handwriting anymore. So I practiced all the time. I’d try and copy the way that they formed certain letters. Dissecting the way they looked and cobbling together my own handwriting.




My handwriting became my trademark. It’s weird to say, but I’ve actually made friends because of my handwriting.

Still, it wasn’t until I graduated college that I decided to try hand lettering. In much the same way, I got hooked on practicing and working on my letters. After awhile people started asking me to hand letter things for them.

Some times I think back to that little girl who cried at the back of the classroom. I wish I could tell her that she could fix the problem. That someday, handwriting would be one of her talents instead of her weakness.

I’m here to tell you the same thing I would have told her. You can do it. If it’s something you want, whether it’s hand lettering, blogging, writing… anything. All you have to do is decide that it’s something that you want enough to work at it. Start where you are, and someday your seemingly pathetic first attempts now will just be the beginning, they don’t have to be the end.


What is a talent you wish that you had? What’s stopping you from working on it today?


By the way, if you’re thinking of getting into hand lettering, here are some resources!

The Lemonade Store (on Youtube)

Tips for Beginner Handletterers By Kiley In Kentucky

Handlettering 101 by Dawn Nicole