Monday, March 10, 2014

Pens, Polls and Goals

Energel and Piccadilly 
In my last poll I asked how you like your literature served, hot or cold, er no.  I asked, "How do you consume written material?":

  1. Dead Trees (paper)
  2. Magically (electronic devices)
  3. Other
Three responded with dead trees and one responded, "Other."  I have no idea what other they meant, perhaps smoke signals, carved in stone perhaps by a bird ala the Flintstones), or maybe fiery letters writ by the Hand of God.

Our next poll is along a similar vein:

What writing instrument do you prefer?

I ask this because I've recently become interested and in the possession of fountain pens.  It all began on a warm summer evening.  I had been selected to mentor in Tanzania through a charitable foundation at work called Abbott Fund.  I thought it would be prudent to bring an analog, non-electronic (there are analog electronic systems, don't forget) system to record thoughts and such.

I had tried to keep a journal when I was deployed to Afghanistan with disastrous results.  It was 2003 when we were alerted and back then flash drives did not come cheap.  I killed several, including the "huge" 500 MB one I was keeping my journal on.

I started researching notebooks and pens.  I ended up taking a Pentel Energel as my primary pen and a Piccadilly 5.5" x 8.5" notebook (see image above).  The Pentel was a great pen and I ran it out of ink.  I ended up with my backup, a Pilot G2.  I did not like that one as much.

As I was looking into pens I realized I wanted a quality pen.  I also wanted one that was nice to write with.  I started seeing that fountain pens are making something of a come back, and thought I wanted to try them when I got back.

Image courtesy of
I like the idea of fountain pens, like watches they are collectible little machines that, when high quality can last several lifetimes.  Unlike watches they can be a bit cheaper.  It's also more common for people to have more than one pen, while watches are less so.

Image courtesy of eBay
I have three fountain pens now. The first is a Pilot Varsity.  It's a disposable and possibly my favorite.  The second one I got I haven't used yet, because I didn't realize it didn't come with ink.  It's a Bauer.

Image courtesy of
The one I got for Christmas from Mrs. Prop is the most expensive and potentially the nicest.  It is a Lamy AL-Star.  I've been  having trouble with that one.  I'm either not writing with it correctly, I haven't loaded the ink properly, or it's broken somehow.

I'd like to review my writing goals.  This is my third consecutive Monday-ish posting.  Hooray for that.  I have not done any editing of Hidden Temple to the Lost Gods however.

I may have a valid reason though.  I have been working diligently on a "short" story called "Figurine in the Box."  It's a Lovecraftian cosmic horror story.  I started it last month and have shown some of it to some coworkers.  I feel obliged to finish it so I have not shown an unfinished piece that will never be completed.
Inspiration for my figurine

I put quotes around "short" because it has been expanding and threatening to become a novella.  This is mostly a function of the fact that I'm enjoying writing it.  It is close to 15,000 words right now and will probably end up just over 16,000.  This is before any pruning and editing though.

There is some value in this story though.  It is in the same genre as Hidden Temple so I'm in the right mood.  I've been writing it in a similar way as I wrote Hidden Temple.  I think I may have hit on a comfortable way to work the long form.  Finally,and second only to the fact that I must finish a story I shared with some one is, I think I have a market for it that will pay fairly well (as far as these things go).

I'm going to try to submit "Figurine in the Box" to Lovecraft eZine.  I will keep my dear readers abreast of how it goes.  Wish me luck.

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