I RECEIVED NEW NIBS IN THE MAIL! Squee!
Recap: My beloved Wicket absconded with one of my dip pens because I’d left it too close to the edge of the table. This particular day was a 40 pager (40 pages in a single sitting writing with said dip pen). It took a while to get those pages down and he was sick and tired of Mommy playing with her stick and stinky inks and not him. Instead of chewing it up in my presence, as I expected, he raced with it outside and said pen and nib haven’t been seen since.
Writing with dip pens and inks, I am discovering things I would normally take for granted in using a modern stick pen or fountain pen. One thing is that nibs, good writing nibs, are hard to find. Cartoonists and Manga artists, as well as calligraphers, know different nibs are for different things – i.e. wide strokes, narrow strokes, block letters, cursive, etc. – but when you are simply writing and need comfort and ink retention without splotching, the nibs are also different. I didn’t know this at first.
Of course I played around with different nibs and inks in the beginning, and still do, because these items are the tools of my trade along with paper, laptops, tablets, and storage devices. Two completely different ends of the same spectrum.
My favorite ink for writing in general is “Calligraphy Ink” by Winsor & Newton. It isn’t too thick and the pigment doesn’t settle quickly to the bottom of the bottle after it is stirred or shaken in preparation to writing. Other inks can become thicker with the passage of time and others separate so badly you have to keep stopping every other page to give it a shake or stir. I don’t want to mention the ones I found worse for this because some dear friends suggested different inks for me to try and they swear by them. These friends are artists, however, not writers. Even I didn’t know my needs were so different from theirs until this book and this medium.
The color of ink also plays a role in how much writing gets done in a day. From the start I knew I wanted to write in the sepia color because, well, it was tradition: Sepia, usually cheap in the Victorian era and earlier eras were used for documents that were to be kept private or for first drafts. Black ink was used for more formal documents and “important” documents which were going to be public or governmental in nature. Blue was used as well, to a lesser degree. There were other colors of ink, but were rarely used in writing of manuscripts, so far as my research has shown. Red ink, of course, was for corrections or editorial marks.
In this modern world of ours, black ink is the same price as sepia ink or less expensive. Winsor & Newton’s calligraphy inks are all $6.99 a bottle normally. If you purchase the same ink through Amazon, you can sometimes get a bottle a few pennies cheaper.
The nibs are proving to be the greatest adventure so far. Currently I am using what’s called a “velvet” barrel, or “nib holder” which is soft and doesn’t let my hand get tired overly quick. The nib is a generic one from a set I purchased willy nilly from Amazon because I couldn’t find any of my other nibs since moving. It wasn’t until after working with them for a while I came to understand they were more for drawing than writing. The nib on the barrel dear Wicket took, was different, a vintage writing nib circa. late 1800s to the early 1900s. It held ink nicely and didn’t have a tendency to just drop ink onto the paper if I paused to think for a moment. The nib was also a medium tip. I’ve discovered, for writing, I prefer medium lines to fine ones.
Back to research and online shopping because there just isn’t a way for me to get out and do some shopping. Besides, the only place I could go would be to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. The Husband would have to take me to Hobby Lobby and with his work schedule and my health at the moment, it wasn’t going to happen any time soon. So, back to Amazon I went with my research notes on a screen pulled up as I shopped.
Finding writing nibs wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve done in online shopping, and it was not the hardest thing either. However, I went through quite a few screens until I found this:
Although each nib has a label such as memoir, journal, notes, etc., but the nibs write wonderfully. The lines created are smooth and the nibs themselves don’t drip during a pause in writing. Each nib writes differently, of course, so it will take me a while to figure out which one I like best for writing novels, etc. Now all I need are more barrels.
Now this brings us to the “laptop” portion of the title for this article. I have a new laptop. *sigh* I didn’t want to get a new laptop, but my beloved HP Pavilion 9 is going the way of the Great Dodo. Last week I had to recover Windows 7 twice and this week I’ve had to recover Windows 7 and a couple of other programs more than once. This tells me I need to get documents photos and everything else transferred to Box and a flash drive or two before there is a complete failure.
Yeah, the tablet set up still works, it just simply can’t do everything a laptop does. And I still love the tablet and all its accessories and am using it daily. Going outside of the home for writing will be easy with the tablet. The binder…? Well, it will be a bit more challenging, but I’m sure it can and will be done safely.
Now, back to transferring data and documents….