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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

Neal Stephenson signing

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

Neal Stephenson signing

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bibliophilia
Same as the prior one- well not really. Much smaller crowd, much more civil than over at Cody's in Berkeley. I'm glad I went to the one near the house, also, because I could just traipse home merrily.
Surprise inspiration! Mr. Stephenson did indeed handwrite all of The Baroque Cycle with a fountain pen.
Left-handed.

I've always gone 'oh, no, I shouldn't get a fountain pen, they suck when you're left-handed', but... if this fucker can write 2600 pages of fiction with a fountain pen left-handed, I can frigging learn to sign my damn name with one.

For those who have expressed curiosity, I have a ton of books sitting on my bedside table which represent all the reading I've done since the last 'books I started in _____' post I did; they will be catalogued and put on the shelves soon, if only so I'll have room for the new nightstand lamp I bought.
  • Fountain pens don't care about your handedness

    They adapt to whoever is using them the first time and bend into the proper shape. Most high-school students in France use fountain pens (pencil is only for drafts) and, like me a good 10% are left-handed :).
    • Re: Fountain pens don't care about your handedness

      Do you cock your hand inwards, almost at a 90-degree angle from the forearm, when you write with a fountain pen? Or do you point the thing almost straight up from your forearm, so that the edge of your palm's not dragging over the ink?
      These seem to be the only two ways to manage it.
      • Re: Fountain pens don't care about your handedness

        Cocking is baaad. Never cock :). It's a sure way to smudge and look like a shameful leftie. Be proud of your leftiness and show all those righties that you can write with your hand just as straight as them. Also, depending upon what you write, you may want to change ink. For school stuff, we would almost always use Waterman blue erasable ink (so that you can fix whatever you want) but then you need to buy the eraser pen too. Fountain pens can be dirt cheap in France and Waterman ink cartridges can be bought in kilos. For pretty calligraphic stuff, most people use unerasable black ink, some girls liked to use violet-hued ink... Of course if you like fountain pains for the "status" aspect, I can't really comment, I've never owned an expensive one.
    • Re: Fountain pens don't care about your handedness

      So you just write with one as you'd write with a pencil:index finger curved a bit, pen pointing inwards-and-to-the-right, like about a 30-degree angle from your wrist? Okay.

      I've always viewed a fountain pen as an inherently cool thing, but I accept that part of that is my fetishization of complicated delivery systems; this is the same thing that feeds my love of absinthe.
      • Re: Fountain pens don't care about your handedness

        So you just write with one as you'd write with a pencil:index finger curved a bit, pen pointing inwards-and-to-the-right, like about a 30-degree angle from your wrist? Okay.
        Yeah, I guess the best way to put it. I never really thought about it since pencil writing was a big no-no in school (I'd only use them for drawing and roleplaying games :))
        • Re: Fountain pens don't care about your handedness

          A vast difference between American upper-and-lower-form schools and European ones, that: I was able to turn most things in in pencil if they weren't a quarter's project, a year-end report, &c. Most math class tests were done in pencil, f'rinstance.
    • And I forgot

      Turning your sheet of paper a few degrees clockwise sometimes helps. And remember to not be too tight on the pen, as it will hurt after a few hours of writing.
      • Re: And I forgot

        ....gah, the very concept of turning the paper terribly much makes my eyes water just a bit. I can certainly experiment, however. :)
  • ....well, shit, his handwriting's GOT to be better than mine. His penmanship clearly is. I have tried to learn to use a fountain pen, and invariably end with a nasty set of smudges on both my left hand and my page. I can safely sign my name with one, but a novel? No way. After about a paragraph it becomes one big smudge.

    Then again, after about a paragraph my handwriting becomes illegible about a paragraph into anything anyway, regardless of ink choice. There's a reason I learned to type so young.
  • by the way, the SF Library booksale is happening this weekend at Ft. Mason.
  • Darn, I almost went to the Cody's signing, but got hung up on a deadline!
  • I love my fountain pens. It took me a while to get used to them though... and at present, I'm not left handed.
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