Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Tag: writing

Of Fountain Pens and Notebooks

I’ve always written in notebooks. I’ve never kept a proper journal or diary. There is no coherence to them. I often don’t even go back to the old ones. In fact, I tossed a great number of steno pads when I got a divorce from my first wife.

However, writing in notebooks is an old habit to break. I jumped on the moleskine bandwagon and haven’t looked back, though I was dragged into using them kicking and screaming. Okay, not exactly, but I gave them a try and I liked it. Since it is a high quality notebook I decided it was time to up my penmanship game. A little research showed me that fountain pens were the way to go. I gave up on expensive pens long ago because I kept losing them. There are cheap fountain pens, Pilot Varsity is an inexpensive disposable fountain pen and they are quite nice.

Writing with a fountain pen is different than a ballpoint. The ink flows more readily. You really need to write in cursive, so now I need to up my cursive game. My handwriting isn’t always the most legible. [Note-when I was learning how to write in cursive Russian I couldn’t write in cursive English for a while. It was weird.]

I was hip to the idea of using my iPhone for taking notes and writing but have given up for now. There are people that can do it. I even own a bluetooth keyboard. Writing longhand gives me clarity. It reduces distractions and leaves me to my own thoughts. It gives me more time to ponder as I put down words on the page.

I’m looking at other notebooks. Moleskines are pricey though paper in general is getting more expensive, so I’m looking at other brands. Rhodia seems to be another popular brand amongst aficionados of writing by hand. I’ll have to try one out. I have to use the technology that matches my thinking style. Touchscreen devices will improve and become more reliable and secure but until then pen and paper is my preferred aberration.

Letters of Note

Saw this on reddit:

Letters of Note: Slaughterhouse Five

It seems great writers have had horrific things happen to them or around them. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) lost his brother in a steamship explosion, John Gardner lost his young brother by accidentally running over him with a tractor, and Kurt Vonnegut lived through the bombing of Dresden as a prisoner-of-war. If it takes such tragedy or deprivation to be a great writer, I would rather be unremarkable.

In a letter to his parents about his ordeals Vonnegut wrote:

On about February 14th the Americans came over, followed by the R.A.F. their combined labors killed 250,000 people in twenty-four hours and destroyed all of Dresden — possibly the world’s most beautiful city. But not me.

I think that writing is the only way for some people to cope. Our lives are richer for them having written and for that I am grateful. I’ve been fortunate but I know fortune can change.

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