Tag Archives: diamine

#nablopomo2020 lockdown pt2

Here we go again.

Tomorrow, England goes into lockdown for the second time. A necessary action, I believe as the NHS faces a combination of COVID and winter pressures.

The memory, of that friday before the first lockdown is still there. I feel it very keenly; the meeting on the college campus. The horrible, heavy dread in the air. I was supposed to teach the next day; classes were to go straight on line. Even my counselling practice had to change and go to online/telephone.

This is somewhat different, it certainly feels different. A case of, I’ve done this before, but here we go again. Teaching is hybridised for the time being. The Counselling Practice, is COVID Compliant and continues.

My other focus, is creativity. You’ve already seen the socks and leg warmers. That is definitely going to continue. I’ve been thinking, ever since the Prime Minister made his announcement-as mad as it was-about my writing projects. I do have a stack of them.

The first lockdown was spent writing, and I daresay it helped managed my stress levels, a sense of being, amongst other things. I felt a very keen sense of loss, in not being able to go out, visit the BMAG or other creative places. I did manage to go the BMAG actually, to refresh and reabsorb energy for The Muse.

So, the writing projects; I have a few.

For one, I don’t need any more notebooks. In the first lockdown, I bought a pile, knowing that I had ideas that need to decanted. I sorted out all the stories, to be then tackle them. No more notebooks needed, at all. I am therefore, now faced with works to do. I had been wondering how I was going to get to them all. Generally, I will stare at them, pick up and open the one that calls to me. I also have to be in the mood to be carried away.

There is a vague plan. I have contribution to an anthology to write, in the first instance. It can be up to ten thousands words, and be inspired by Birmingham. I have a plan, a list of ideas actually that I plan to through for that.

Then, there are four, five, six other notebooks. Each with a story, that has been planned out in bullet points. Some are quite detailed. There are specific chapters. Others, have a general plan, that can be fleshed out as required. I used to write on a whim, just see where my imagination wanted to go. That was great, and for the most part it worked. Now, I bullet-point/plan, when the ideas come and use them as checkpoints. A sort of mesh, I guess, to then fill out. At least then, I don’t forget what I want to do. As such, there are post-its everywhere too. Bits and pieces that have come to me, that I’d like to integrate. You can never have enough post-it’s, I guess and I never throw anything away. Just in case.

All that is required, is my pens and my inks. I should just get on with them.

Some of them, have been sat on my desk for two years, gathering dust. I need to stare at them intently, to see what calls to me.

So, on the eve of lockdown part two, I have ordered some more ink. A new fountain pen too. Rest assured, I still have my Parker Sonnets. Nothing will ever replace them, and I will be heart broken if anything were to happen to them.

(I’ll never forget that first moment of using one in The Pen Shop. A proper Ollivander moment, with Fantasia playing, I kid you not. It was just the right one, the best fit, and I felt in love immediately.)

This is the current selection. I have a definite bias, when it comes to colours of ink. I have gone through two bottles of imperial purple, two of deep magenta, I think. Ordering more, I guess is more than preparation for writing projects. I even flushed out a few fountain pens last week, as I had used them a great deal and they had become clogged up.

I didn’t have time to prepare the last time. I didn’t even think, that writing was a way of enduring. It sort of just happened. Alas, I enjoyed it, it was useful. It was also meaningful. In a slightly different way, I guess, to baking Banana Bread.

I made bread, a few times. But then I gave up. It didn’t particularly give me a zing, in the same way that writing did and does.

There will be writing this weekend. I’m not doing NANOWRIMO. That has never really called to me. There is no way, no how, that I could that over a month; if only to write a first draft. My writing process is languid, in that I don’t particularly like those contained, very short deadlines. If I have six months, a year, that feels more plausible.

Alas, here we go again.

#nablopomo2020 inky tools

Writing a blog post, is very different from writing on paper. On paper, with pen and ink.

And I do like my pens. I have a few. I currently have seven of them. All Parkers at that. Three, are Sonnets, the others are IM. I waited a long time to splurdge, to invest in these. I did so, as they are really important to me; important as part of my writing process.

I’m not a big fan of sitting down at a laptop and typing away in the flow of a story. I much rather prefer sitting down with the pens and a notebook. I find that a far more organic, more soulful experience. This does mean however, that end up with inky fingers. I use fountain pen ink and in a variety of different colours. Not that this makes my spidery handwriting any more legible; probably makes it a great deal worse, to be honest.

Yet, the days of writing with a scratchy biro are over. For me, at least.

I do have favourite colours. I use the Diamine range of fountain pen inks, and the two colours that I seem to use the most are Deep Magenta and Imperial Purple. That said, I have used a fair bit of Sapphire Blue. I am currently in the process of window-shopping new additions to the ink box. Anything, but yellow, I think. There are a few shades of green in the ink box too.

I would be bereft, if anything happened to this pens. In the four-ish years that I have had them. I think that they have helped craft three novellas and two novels, There is a stack of other writing projects waiting in the wings. I remember, the panic I felt, when author Sir Phillip Pullman announced that he has mis-placed his pen. I was aghast. The pen, was however recovered.

There is a cliché, an adage. That the pen, is mightier than the sword. I like to think that is true; for me, my pens are my version of Excalibur. Words have a profound power, in all the forms that they take. The power to touch us within, to inspire, fire up courage. Sometimes, these words are nice; they are joyful and comforting. At other times, words can be pejorative, divisive and use to disarm and disable. As an author, this is a hard line to tread. To be responsible, whilst being creative.

Words, and therein the pens, have a power. It is up to me how to use it.

Then again. With great power, comes great responsibility.