Monday, October 8, 2012

Time for a change!

I need to make a change!

I have slowly been descending into a rut for the past several years, in fact probably for well over a decade now. Work, family, health issues, laziness-all taking a toll on me. I cannot keep on living this way, so I need to make changes. I've read that Albert Einstein once may have said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." So since this is a pen blog (I think), I will start with changes in my a few of my pens!

My two main fountain pens (modern) are my Namiki and Pilot Falcons. I've had the same color inks in them for so many years. Maybe a change in ink color will get me back writing again.

I will start with my Namiki Falcon with the resin body. I've had this pen since 1998, back when not many people had heard the term "flexible nib" just yet. Back in November of '98 the Honolulu Advertiser did an article about handwriting. They interviewed me and put a large picture of something I wrote using a vintage Waterman.

Yes those are my grubby Greasemonkey paws. Writer Will Hoover told me not to wash my hands, now I know why!

Well that picture got a lot of attention and at the Pen Fair that followed that weekend, Honolulu Pen Shop was swamped with people asking about "flexible nib" pens. They sold out of whatever vintage pens were in stock, so then we turned to the Falcons...and sold those out too!

So this pen has a story and special meaning to me, well all of my pens do but. I originally filled it with Mont Blanc Bordeaux for a while then later with Private Reserve Black Cherry. Well now that Namiki has their line of Iroshizuku Inks, I've filled it with Ina -ho.

I try to match the ink color to the pen body but that gets hard after a while.

One of the reasons I haven't been posting here a lot is because I don't know what to write. Oh I know I can do Scripture, or I can use quotes. I had a ton of books on quotes to use for writing or calligraphy but got rid of them since now they are widely available online. But hey, I've always wanted to be a writer. In fact that's the reason why I started this blog in the first place! So I should come up with my own words. I often think in narrative and I should write down those thoughts. In fact I've just ordered yet another journal of sorts since I'm still looking for one that I will actually sit down to write in. Hey I see I was in a rut back then too. And no I haven't written much in that journal either. I should have a "journal garage sale."

More on my new journal setup later.

Recently I've been dealing with a bunch of doctor's appointments and testing. One day there was a cancellation and it threw my day off. But as the day went on, there were unexpected changes and that cancellation actually was a good thing that made the rest of the day go by rather smoothly.

So I've had this in my head since then.

Written with Iroshizuku Ina-ho in a Namiki Falcon 

I don't know, sounds kinda "wonky" now that I see it on paper. That is the first and only draft. I hear writers go through this self doubt thing all the time, and I'm good at self doubt. That's why I'm not doing much art, and I'm working on that.

So here is my well used Namiki Falcon with all of it's scars...

Oh and Ina-ho according to Namiki means "Rice ear"

I took this picture in Japan during a trip there BK (before kids) 

Not quite rice ear but rice in a field in Japan. Is there a resemblance to Ina-ho?

Next post will be about my metal body Pilot Falcon...hopefully soon!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pilot Grance and Iroshizuku yu-yake

Wow another letter and another post, I must be on vacation! But why do I only have the energy and motivation to get creative on the last days of my vacation?

Anyway here is today's arsenal.

Oh let me explain the bloody Mary. My friend John from Pilot Pens always reply to my posts on Facebook (after I get back from my 30 mile bicycle rides) that I should enjoy my mornings with a bloody Mary and a fine cigar. Well I don't smoke and I'm not about to start, I have enough health issues I've been handed via my DNA. I also don't drink except for a very rare glass of Riesling at a nice dinner out or a very small cup of fine sake. But the bloody Mary intrigued me, so John gave me recommendations for the recipe.  I've been enjoying virgin bloody Maries (Marys?) for a few days now. It does go nicely with letter writing, right along with coffee and some nice Hawaiian ki ho`alu music. Listen to my friend Ozzie, you'll know what I mean. But that's another story.

Anyway I thought I'd use a Pilot Grance that John gave me. I've had an all Sterling Namiki version for many years, but it's been sitting in my pen case in lieu of using fatter pens. But this this red Grance sorta looked like the color of a bloody Mary so...

I filled it with Namiki Iroshizuku Yu-yake. I thought of buying a bottle of a red Iroshizuku, but I'd probably never use it again. And the Yu-yake does look a little like tomato juice...sorta.

I wrote on a page of parchment paper from a pad. Don't always have to use fancy stationery though that certainly makes for a nice letter. I always start my letter with "Dear"... kind of the hopeless romantic in me!

The Yu-yake is a pretty nice match for the orange-ish parchment paper.

No auto correct. I need to get nice hard cover dictionaries and a thesaurus that will also enhance the top of my writing desk.

The problem with this pad was being able to tear the page away cleanly.

And it was hard to turn a "N" into an "A". There was a time when I would trash the whole letter and start over if I make a mistake. No more! Those mistakes in my opinion, add to the charm of a handwritten letter.

Since there is no matching envelope for the pad of paper, I used an envelope from a Korean Stationery store here in Honolulu.

I knew they would come in handy some day.

Always try to finish with a wax seal.

This one turned out less than perfect.

I'm hoping I can write a few more letters during the remainder of my vacation. Also I need to get some rest and get into a routine so I'm not too tired or busy to be "creative" when I'm not on vacation, that's the hard part for me!

I hope you all enjoy this letter and post. And John...

This one's for you!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pilot Custom 823 with Iroshizuku yama-guri

It's been such a long time since my last post here. Please forgive me!

I posted a tweet on Twitter jokingly that most of my posts on Instragram are food pictures. Then my Twitter friend @Inkophile replied back saying that she may have to remove me from her penlist. Noooo!!! But she is correct. So I told her I would write her a letter and post it here on my blog, so here we go!

There are several reasons I have not been writing. I'm still struggling with a lifestyle issue that's keeping me in the doldrums, still working on that. But another reason is I used to feel that everyone expected my letters to be written in a nice perfect script that I've developed a reputation for. This put a silly unneeded pressure on me before I even sat down to write. Then I'd procrastinate and well, not write at all.

This will stop now!

So I began my letter to Margana (@Inkophile)

I used a Pilot Custom 823 that was given to me by my friend John who is the sales manager for Pilot/Namiki Pens in the US.

I filled it with Irohsizuku yama-guri that I purchased from Honolulu Pen Shop.

Then I took out a set of nice hand crafted paper that was given to me a long time ago by my friend Corinne of Honolulu Pen Shop.

So I wrote and finished my letter, no need for me to divulge the details ;)

No fancy perfect script. No flexible nib fountain pen. No dip nib in an oblique holder. Misspelled words. Mistakes and all!

Quickly written, easier to put my heart on paper without tools or technique to get in the way!

Always nice to finish with a wax seal on the envelope.

I hope this does not disappoint!

I'm hoping to start writing more letters like this, it is one of my passions that I've been really bad at. I need encouragement though. You can find me on Twitter.

Thank you for reading and until next time I will always remain...

Faithfully yours!

aka Greasemonkeyhands

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Namiki Prera

This is another pen that my friend John from Pilot Pens gave to me, a Namiki Prera. He told me to try it, it has a steel nib. When I hear steel nib I think stiff and scratchy. Anyway I finally got a chance to sit down with it and filled it with Namiki Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun, gray ink for a gray pen, not that it really matters. Ok it matters to me!

It's a pretty pen and it feels pretty comfy in my hand.

The steel nib is definitely not stiff or scratchy!

I chose to write in a pad, not on fancy handmade paper or cotton rag stationery. I used an old Ampad Embassy pad, the one that Spencerian Penman Michael Sull used to recommend for practicing ornamental penmanship. Then I struggled with what to write. I really would like to use my own words but I don't have anything written down and I can't come up with anything when I need to for times like this. I need to keep a journal to write my thoughts in, maybe I can come up with something meaningful. But that's another ongoing story.

So I found and wrote a quote I like.

This was written very quickly, definitely not "calligraphy"! One thing I need/want to do is create videos and post them to show my writing style. It may show that I don't really do anything different than other writers. I just write!

John told me this model was not brought into the US. The US models are demonstrators. I think demonstrators are pretty cool to carry around and show to non-pen people. I may go to Honolulu Pen Shop and purchase one. That orange one looks pretty nice, and I can fill it with yu-yake that I have. Or maybe the green one and buy a bottle of green Iroshizuku since I seem to be on a green kick now. One can never have enough pens...right?

This the first time I used a scanner to create an image for posting here. When I used the camera though, I caught this reflection off of the pen that was kinda neat.

Ok I need to write a letter now with this Prera...

But I will use nice cotton rag stationery!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Namiki Sterling Dragon

I have to admit that my friend John is the sales manager for Pilot USA. I've known him for a long time, well over ten years. Recently he has been blessing me with Namiki and Pilot fountain pens. Some are current, some are discontinued and some were never brought into the US. However I am not being paid to post on this blog by John or Pilot Pens so this is not a sponsored blog or whatever you call those.

That said...

John recently visited Honolulu. He, his wife and I had the opportunity to have dinner and listen to Hawaiian music one evening. He had sent me a box of pens a few months ago, and that evening he presented another box. I will post about those beautiful pens starting with the Namiki Sterling Collection Dragon.

This was perfect timing because Chinese New Year was coming up and it will be the year of the Dragon, how fitting! I had a hard time trying to get the dragon on the pen in my pictures, this is the best I could do.

I filled it with Namiki Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun ink and gave it a try.

This post is about the pen, so I did not put much effort into my writing.

It's not a pen with a flexible nib so I can't write what I call "script" with it. But I've been wanting a pen I can use to write without worrying about writing "script" and focus on writing composition. This pen feels really good in my hand, it writes nicely and there is sentimental value since it was a gift from a friend. I think I have found my "go to" pen. The pen that will become an extension of my hand and soul!

Mahalo nui John! Now I just have to start writing, daily!

Well since it is now Chinese New Year, I wish you all...

Xin Nian Kuai Le