Friday, March 03, 2006

The Nice News and Such Post

John Lennon and Yoko Ono as drawn by John, who apparently was able to master the fountain pen

So no high drama today, unless you consider a blog comment I received from Neil Gaiman's fountain pen guru/goddess Kathy Li last night as concerns the vintage pen I bought back in December:

Kathy Li
9:58 pm (9 hours ago)
That's not a Waterman 52. That's a Waterman 52½V. Writes like a frickin' golf pencil. Very pretty on a ribon around your neck, but not the best of pens.

And that's not cheap. That's collector's prices. I've never given Neil a collector's piece pen--good thing too, as he loses them (that replacement on the Anansi Boys tour? His third 52). The very first 52 I gave him cost me a grand whopping $25 (fished out of parts bins at the L.A. Pen Show). I learned to restore pens in order to get them cheap-cheap.

The true beauty of a fountain pen is that it's a 20th century, mass-produced plastic device. Once you understand that, everything else will follow.

Yeah, Kathy, I pretty much figured that out when I received the pen -- I like your golf pencil analogy -- and yep, while I haven't worn it on a ribbon around my neck, I have worn it on a long strip of black suede. Ha. I did also buy the Lamy 2000 as per your pal Neil's suggestion, but here's the sad truth. I'm left handed. Even though I've finally mastered using it without getting big ink splots, my ambitious plan to write an entire novel in longhand with a fountain pen is pretty much down the tubes because I'm unable to write for extended periods of time without smearing the ink.

Now I understand the barbaric pre-Bic pen custom where teachers tried to turn all left handed people into right handed ones. My late mother was left-handed, too, and when she told me stories about that torture growing up, I looked at her like she was from the dark ages.

I haven't completely given up, though. I still dig using the Lamy and doing things like writing checks with the Waterman 52-1/2V (and even Neil struggled with that little thing when he signed my journal for me) but admit that when I'm in heavy writing mode, I'm now using black uniball pens I purchased at Staples.

Yes, I know. I am a dork. That's already a well documented fact in this blog. But in case you need further proof, though I'm guessing you don't, here's another real dork moment for you:

Need I say more? All you have to do is look at the expression on my face and you know what you're dealing with here. Eddie Vedder looks good, though, doesn't he?

But thanks for your post and if you have any how-not-to-smear tips for said left-handed dorks, I'm all ears.

Oh, and regarding the "collectors prices", yeah, I found that out, too, but the man who sold it to me is a college professor who does this on the side and was extremely kind to me so what the's my own fault for not doing better research.

And finally, I did look to see if you had a website of your own I could link but all I found was some funny old abandoned journals from a couple of years ago. What I did read made me laugh -- we'd probably be friends in the real world. Anyway, failing to find a current blog, that's why I linked Neil's comment about you instead.
In other news, a couple friends of mine have some great work published on line and I wanted to congratulate them as well as provide everyone with links:

First up, the lovely Jordan Rosenfeld, who has a wonderful story, Breathless, published in Spoiled Ink. And while Spoiled Ink has inexplicably given this the title Part II, this is in fact the entire piece and hopefully they'll remove that line in order to also remove any confusion.

Also, my pal David Niall Wilson has an essay up at Cemetary Dance which deals with how David gets his ideas...grrr...I'm so jealous...he seems like his mind is always switched to the "on" position, unlike me, who seems to have a short circuit somewhere.

By the way, David has an extremely cool blog. But I was just over there and saw American Idol references. Surely a man who loves King Crimson doesn't watch American Idol and he's just pulling our legs? Arghhh....note to self: E-mail David later and make sure he wasn't serious. And if he was...gasp...put him in touch with your only other exceptions to the "I won't have anything to do with people who like American Idol" rule...Lori Young and Ellen Meister.

And finally, my new friends Luis and Cindy Urrea mailed me two of Luis' books, The Hummingbird's Daughter (see Amazon link on right) and Devil's Highway. Both books are not only autographed for me personally, they contain sketches drawn by Luis and I was floored when UPS delivered them the other day. I will take digital pics and talk about the books in a couple of weeks when I am finished reading. I can tell you already that The Hummingbird's Daughter is blowing me away. Luis writes the way I dream about writing but never will, but that's not a bad thing, I accept it. It's kind of like Neil Young admiring Jeff Beck.

Am I giving myself too much credit comparing myself to Neil Young? Ha! Probably...but back in the day, they did call him "One Note Neil".

Wtf, I've always loved Neil and still do.

Obviously I have a thing for "Neils".