My Signature Stamp

Today I’m going to take a break from shouting out about The Journal of Angela Ashby … not because I’m done telling you about the book, but because I got something in the mail today and wanted to share. This may make me a bit of a dork, but I am super excited to share the stamps I received this afternoon. Not as in postage stamp, but rubber stamp.

In my mind, the term rubber stamp conjures up an ink pad, with your choice of ink color, a stamp with a wooden handle, and when it gets worn, the edges of the stamp hitting the paper and blurring the message. But most of the time that didn’t matter because all the stamp said was, “PAID” or “CENSORED” … a single word or at most a return address stamp that became illegible from blurred ink when the ink pad was over inked.

And no, that isn’t the kind of stamp I bought — I bought signature stamps — both pre-inked and self-inking. There are some writers who write every book long hand. There is a change in how your thoughts function when writing long hand vs. tapping away on a keyboard.

And I do happen to love what happens mentally when I do write long hand … but the arthritis I have in my hands makes it impossible to do more than a paragraph or two before the pen is flying across the room because I can no longer grip it. For whatever reason, I am affected more severely trying to hold a pen than I am when typing.

So when looking ahead at the need to sign multiple books in one sitting, I needed to minimize the impact to my hands. Enter the rubber stamp … only fancier than they used to be. I am not only thrilled with the stamp’s design, but also how it looks when used.

Why am I bothering to blog about the stamps at all? Well, first off, I think they look great, but secondly they coincide with my message of Be the Cat! because for me signing a lot of books in one go, or even spread out over time, would be difficult — an obstacle to overcome. No amount of hand strengthening therapies are going to enable me to hold a pen for long periods of time, but rather than allow that to affect me negatively, I have found a way to improve the situation.

From the time I was a child, my fine motor skills have been lacking, although my large motor skills were well-developed. And some days even lightly touching my fingertips to my palms (of the same hand) involves pain … and a book signing should be a wonderful experience rather than painful one, so getting stamps will allow me to enjoy the moment instead of trying to drive past the pain. With every stamped signature, there will also be a reminder of my Be the Cat message — a message near to my heart.

And that alone makes me smile.

PS — to any naysayers who think my stamp isn’t a legitimate signed copy … the signature IS mine, painstakingly captured for reproduction, and I will be the person putting it in every single book.


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