Friday, November 27, 2015

Ink fest!

There's one benefit to at least starting NaNoWriMo this year: it got me back to writing by hand, which a) I enjoy and which b) seems to jog my creativity a little, or at least gives me a longing for creativity, which is sometimes the key to finding it again.

This is maybe a third to a half of the full stash...

I still have more fountain pens than any one person needs. At least they're small! At the moment, I've been leaning toward the cartridge converters, partly because they're often simpler to maintain, and partly because...well. Let me tell you.

Back when I first discovered Goulet Pens and their ink samples, I ordered about a billion* ink samples. Because, hey, I could! And look at all the pretty colors! And then life got in the way and I used pencils a lot for awhile there and I pretty much forgot about the ink samples until I moved, and then realized I still had about a billion* minus four.

So this has been a month of playing with inks again, primarily in my Pilot Metropolitan and the Lamy Safaris, since they're cheerful and easy to clean out. I've only actually emptied a few vials, but it's a start.


Of course, now I want a bottle of Noodler's Cactus Fruit Eel (it's so bright and happy!) and a bottle of Waterman Tender Purple and a bottle of...

But not until I've used up at least half a billion more vials, I think.

*slight exaggeration

Edited to add: here's a post with a bit of info about how I get ink into my pens! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NaNoWriMo Halt.

Aaaand, I'm out. I might make 25k this year. Or I might just set it all aside.

I knew it wasn't going to be an easy year. I'm still getting settled in the new house, work is kicking my behind and brain, and I had no time to think ahead during September and October. I'm a pantser as a general rule, but that doesn't mean I don't daydream a bit before beginning. I have some feel for my characters, and how they'll act/react. I've wandered my settings a little bit. I kind of know where I'm starting and finishing. This year, I didn't really get to that point.

And I'll be honest: for the last three or four months, I've been in a phase where it feels like either I've already done all the good writing I'll ever do, or else that any good writing I've ever done was a fluke, a freak, a chance happenstance, and I'm not capable of true creativity. Also struggling because let's face it, I've done very few Big Exciting Things in life, and if we're only allowed to write what we know, who will ever want to read what I write?

Pretty sure we've all been there. Probably more than once. Doesn't make it feel any less real.

I had hopes this year's NaNoWriMo would pluck me out of that slump. I hoped magical things would happen. Instead, I felt like all my words were childish and cardboard-y, and started to dread writing sessions.

So I stepped back for awhile. I haven't really added to my count for about a week.

The other night I dreamed about my Alphasmart Neo--a device I admit I've not used much for several years, and which I've been considering replacing with a tablet or Chromebook. In the dream, I was at some sort of bluegrass festival by the edge of a salt water bay, and some of us did some hiking and canoeing in between talking and making music.

Over the course of the dream, I dropped my Alphasmart in the water three times. Three times I watched it begin to sink. Three times, I shrieked and dived in after it, pulling it out just in time.

Which, maybe, means I still want to write, somewhere deep inside?

Or maybe I'm just feeling guilty about dumping it. Don't really know.

In any case, this year is a miss. I still have ten completed NaNoWriMos under my belt, so I can't beat myself up *too* much. But I'm disappointed all the same.

Monday, November 02, 2015

NaNoWriMo Go!

And boom,NaNoWriMo has begun!

I spent September buying a house and moving out of my rental, and I've spent October trying to unpack and move in and make it pretty, so I've had no time to plan and have almost no idea what I'm going to write. I'm taking a stab at a sort of light fantasy take on moving to a new home, since I don't think I'm up for much else.

And because I'm currently in fountain pen mode (the pendulum swings a bit, as you may have observed), I'm writing by hand again. So far the pen and ink line up is as follows:

  • Lamy Safari (Green) - J. Herbin Lie de The (sample)
  • Waterman Phileas - PR Lake Placid Blue
  • Lamy Safari (Orange) - Waterman Tender Purple (sample)(still don't like the new ink names, Waterman!)
  • Pilot Custom 74 - Pilot Iroshizuki Kon-Peki (cerulean blue)
  • TWSBI 530 - Diamine Majestic Blue
  • Pilot Vanishing Point Twilight (the most beautiful pen EVAR) - Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo ("moonlight" blue)

I like to switch color every page or so during a long writing session, as well as at the beginning of the day. It's good motivation (makes it easier to see how much I've written in a sitting), and this should give me enough variety to keep things fun. All of these are good workhorse pens and relatively trouble-free inks. I'm a little heavy on the blues--may switch one out for a green next time a pen comes up empty.

I wrote eleven pages (comp book sized, but college ruled!) yesterday. Still got it. Now if I can just keep it up for thirty days straight...