Thursday, December 23, 2010

The power of the pen

One of the tasks I have just completed is writing personal notes to each of my staff to put in their Christmas cards. I wanted to take a moment to personally acknowledge some particular contribution they made, and thank them for their help. I like being able to share thoughts in this manner with those I care about, and the few times I've received such a note have been very special to me. I keep them all.

And, though the recipients of the notes may not put any stock in it, they are of course made more wonderful by the use of a Rhodia Dot Pad no 16, Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses, and a lovely blue Esterbrook J with a 9788 flex nib. My writing doesn't really do the nib justice, but it still looks cooler than without the flex - almost like I'd written with a stub.

I wish I had time to do something similar in all the Christmas cards we send. The number of these have dwindled from a high of about 125 to closer to 70, but that's still a lot to write a personal note in each. I'm afraid we long ago succumbed to including a Christmas newsletter - which seems to be the lesser of two evils; it's slightly better than providing no news at all.

I wonder what others do to share family news at Christmas?

Stay tuned...

A friend gave me a marvelous pen for Christmas (yes, I already opened the gift!), and I'll do an inaugural pen review on the blog shortly. (With tongue firmly implanted in'll see what I mean soon!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Write a Rainbow

I am never content with just one or two pens inked. I also tend to like rather esoteric colors. No dull blacks for me, no thank you! Currently, I have six pens inked. They contain Wancher ebine, a shocking pink; Private Reserve Fiesta Red; Noodler's Forest Green; Wancher Imari blue; Caran d'Ache Sunset; J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune; and Caran d'Ache Storm. Oh, and Noodler's Black Swan.

Astute readers will notice that makes eight. Always cram as many pens into the case as you can. You never know when you might run short. (Stunt driver on closed course; always wear protective eyewear; don't try this at home.)

Invariably, when writing in my journal, I write about five lines in each color. And I somehow, unconsciously, choose pens by ink color so that the page looks like a rainbow when I am finished.

This makes the pages of my journal rather pretty to look at.

I am no artist, but there is an aspect to my journaling which feels like art and looks like it.  Duality to the exercise of journaling; while recording my thoughts, I am simultaneously creating. Drawing letters, colors and rainbows while drawing conclusions. With a flourish.

The act of journaling also feels more like creating than like writing. I can type about 100 words per minute; there's no way I can write that fast.

How interesting to think: my life, mundane as it is, creates a work of art.

However humble.