Speaking of writing, about the only non-work writing I've done for the last year has been journaling. I've got a couple of longer stories in the works that I have some ideas about how to complete, so I plan to do some work on one of those today. My goal is to get at least one of them submitted for publication by the end of the month. It's time to start collecting rejection slips.
Obviously, I'll be deliriously happy if it sells, but I want to condition myself to regard rejections as a positive thing. Every story I write that gets rejected is valuable in that I can learn from it how to write fiction that will sell. An author I admire, Roger Zelazny, wrote of using his rejection slips in just that way.
For the last year, I've been interested not just in the process of writing, and finally doing something to realize my longtime ambition to be a writer, but also in writing instruments, particularly fountain and dip pens.
I've used a Parker fountain pen
since college, first with ink cartridges, then with a refillable reservoir converter. These have worked okay, but the nibs are steel and have no flex whatsoever. No flex means no variation of line width. Without variation of line width, you may as well use a rollerball or ballpoint pen. I would just go to office depot and buy a new Waterman Phileas, but that pen uses a cartridge converter system, and I've come to dislike such pens. I want a vintage pen with a built in reservoir in the market for a vintage Waterman or Pelikan pen. There's a lively trade for such things on eBay, so I expect to have something by the end of the month. If I don't find something on eBay, I'll probably buy something from Worldlux.
Earlier this year, I bought a stunning glass dip pen from Madison artist Martha Kauppi.. It's a thing of beauty, but I am too afraid of breaking it to use it regularly. Signing cards and writing letters is about the right frequency of usage for me. My fountain pen looks like one depicted on Martha's site. It's the one second from the top at the far left.