Writing Prep

NaNoWriMo is coming! NaNoWriMo is coming!

Ah that time of the year is soon to be upon us. The time when people go nuts from now until December 1st. Thank you Mr. Chris Beatty, as if the holidays need any extra craziness. Or could it be a refuge from the holiday insanity that takes over. Hmm food for thought for another post.

Pantser or Planner

First you need to decide which approach or a combonation approach you want to use. A “pantser” as defined NaNoWriMo.org is someone that is flying by the seat of their pants. Winging it, free spirited etc. approach to writing.

A “planner” is someone that plans, outlines, notes and thoroughly prepares for their writing. Anithesis of pantser.

Personally I like the combo of the two. Plenty of notes on world building, character sketches, a basic mind map of the how, when, where and whatfors. But with enough room to make a run into left field if that is where the story goes. Except I never get that far into my planning. Oh well there is always a first time.

Despite best attempts to get back into writing I haven’t. Either too much stress or just plan lack the fire and drive. Usually when life hits the fan is when my writing ramps up to help me escape the stress of the “real” world. So I am considering another run at NaNo this year.

Two months to prepare and get things organized with several story ideas in my head and also a couple of stories that I have been working on for several years. I think I can do it.

So the question you need to ask yourself is pantser or planner? Or maybe its NaNo or not to NaNo? As those answers will guide you into a writing adventure. Cheers, james

A New Notebook and a new pen

I have been watching all the excitement over the disc bound notebooks and I finally took the plunge and bought one. I got a Staple Arc 8.5 x 11 page size. So it is a hoss, especially after I up sized the binder discs to hold more pages. I have stayed with the Staples paper so far and my only complaint is the lines are narrow. *Footnote: I have gotten so used to writing on unlined paper and I tend to write larger when I use cursive. So it maybe a matter of me getting used to confined spaces again.*

Otherwise the paper handles my fountain pens easily and the ink doesn’t bleed through. I have only been using my extra fine nibs due to the line spaces. So grain of salt an all that. Fingers crossed I am going to try using my medium nib Hero 359, which writes wet. I will let you know how it goes.

I am pleased with the construction of the covers and discs. I am a little skeptical of how well the pages will stay, but so far I haven’t had any trouble. The discs are 1.5 inches and should hold 200 sheets or 400 pages. So I have plenty of space to add paper. I think I have 100 sheets currently in it.

One thing I don’t care for is how floppy this notebook is. However upon reflection I think it has to do with the disc size and the number of pages in it. I think if I had some dividers or a envelope it would be stiffer. I may decide to go back to the original disc size that came with it. It seemed to have been less floppy moving around.

Price wise it is more expensive than a regular notebook or 3 ring binder. The pages there are several options. Purchase the specialty paper with the holes already in it, Staples Arc, Levenger and others. Or purchase a special hole punch to make your own inserts. I have not invested in a hole punch because I wanted to try it first. There are at least 2 punches I have found online. One is the staples brand at a whomping $50+ and the the Levenger is around $20. There may be others but those are the two I’ve looked at so far.

Cheers, james

Pen and Ink Review

I finally got a bright green Hero fountain pen. I have been searching for a nice bright green pen since I started using fountain pens. And you can’t have an awesome green pen without a suitably awesome green ink.

So without further ado.

This is my medium nib Hero 359 in bright green inked with Diamine Golden Oasis. Oasis is a bright green ink with gold sparkles in it.

Now I had a lot of trouble finding the right pen for this ink. The sparkles or glitter causes the feed to clog and then the pen has hard starts and other problems. I tried it on the extra fine Hero 359a, the Pen Revolution Darjerling in a medium nib and my Hero 901 in medium. All of other pens wrote fine at first until the feed became swamped with the sparkles. Not only did it start writing crappy, it was a bear to clean the ink out the pens.

I have gone through a full converter of the Golden Oasis in the 359. When I cleaned it I didn’t have any problems. Although I did notice a slight sparkle in the Diamine Bilberry for the first couple of lines.

So the moral is try Golden Oasis if green ink and gold sparkle is your kinda thing, go for it. Just make sure you try it in several different pens if you have problems.

Cheers, james