Flex nibs and flexibility

Sometimes I think my brain inherently seeks balance. Or rather, that it craves balance, and I use my various hobbies and interests to help with that balance.

I find myself involved in a lot of long-term pursuits. I’m 3 months into a new job and still firmly “in training” – it takes at least 6 months, if not a year, to get the hang of everything. I’m walking to Rivendell (a 458 mile project) … two miles at a time. I’m continuing with therapy, where nothing happens quickly. I’m growing out my hair, which takes very little actual work (just gentle delicate care), but requires a good bit of patience at half an inch a month.

So when I turn around and think about something like knitting, I’m just flat out not interested in a project that’s going to take hundreds of hours of my time. I love knitting, and knitted things. But my stick-to-it-iveness is just running out on all the other things I have going. I crave projects that I can start and finish in an afternoon. Like making pickles. Or playing with fountain pens. Or writing a letter. Or playing with markers until I have a mandala.

In some ways, I’m a little sad – I miss the big crafting projects. I really enjoy doing them. I have a whole wall of shelves full of baskets of yarn and spinning supplies, and a closet full of sewing stuff. I know and love the satisfaction of working for a long time on something and then being really proud if it when I’m done.

But I just don’t have the attention span or the patience for anything that looming just now.

I started a knitted dishcloth about a month ago, and I’ve done about 15 rows. All in that first sitting. I’ve lost interest now. (I’ve repeatedly said that this is why I’m a blogger and not a novelist. I can write a story for 500 words, but not 50,000. I don’t have the attention span, and forcing myself to do it just makes me hate myself and my project.)

I also no longer have big chunks of time to work on stuff. If I get home from work at 5:30, take a 20-40 minute walk (35 minutes gets me 2 miles at a decent pace, but some days are more tiring than others), make dinner, eat dinner, and clean up/pack my lunch for the next day… it’s getting close to 8pm. I go to bed at 9pm. Blogging happens in that hour, as does any video gaming that might happen. If I have to take a shower, back that up by another half hour. I’m trying to reread The Lord of the Rings, but that’s not been working out so well – not because I don’t love it, but simply because I want to sit for more than 10 minutes at a time to read, and doing anything involves constantly stopping to look at the clock because I don’t want to run over.

Sitting down in my hour of project time and looking at 14 repeats of a 16 row lace chart just makes me want to cry.

But I can tackle a page of calligraphy practice. Or re-inking my pens. Or a letter to a friend. Or making a mandala. Or watching a bit of baseball and blogging.

I guess sometimes I just need “instant” gratification and to feel like I’ve actually accomplished something tangible.

Can we read your handwriting?

*crossposted from Seven Deadly Divas, click through to see their handwriting too!*

A few varieties of handwriting memes have been making their way around the web – there are tumblr and flickr ones, as well as the one I stumbled across from a pen and ink link list.

I, being a pen freak collector, was intrigued and thought it would be fun to see the various Diva handwriting styles that write here in text form.

A few quirks about my personal writing style (much of which will be no surprise for those of you who read my Fountain Pen post):

  1. I am VERY picky about pens. I write with a variety of fountain pens, but also like UniBall Signo (preferably Micro), Sarasa Clip Retractable Gel pens and UniBall fine point Jetstream pens for times when a liquid ink pen would be, shall we say, a liability. Like at work or on an airplane.
  2. I’m also very picky about paper. Paper should be smooth and thick, have no show through to the other side. I like writing on both graph and lined paper, and have journals of both types.
  3. I also collect journals made of really good paper (Clairefontaine, Pomegranate, Black n’ Red)
  4. My handwriting started out terribly as a child, when I regularly failed penmanship classes. Since I started doing calligraphy, it’s improved some, and I continue to work on it regularly. My favorite hand is Italic, and my general handwriting tends towards cursive Italic, a modern variant that’s both fast and easy to read.

Anyway, the general idea is for you to write BY HAND the things on the list that follows, scan it in, and post it for all of us to look at. No judgments please, your handwriting is yours, whether you think it’s awesome or not. (True fact, I’ve spent YEARS working on my handwriting and I still think it’s sloppy and not very nice.)*

I’ll be writing both with my fancy flex nib pen and with another fountain pen, because I like pens. Nyah.

The meme is as follows:

Write ‘Hello!’
Your name/blogger name
Your blog name/URL
Write ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.’
Favorite quote?
A number
5 words
Favorite music?
A really awesome website you read
Anything else you want to say?

And here goes!

Apologies both for the compression (I’m still learning my new scanner) and the fact that my purple ink looks black. I’m also still learning that flex nib pen – as evidenced by the letter inconsistency – and the Noodler’s Purple Martin is too saturated to show up as anything but purple-black unless you look REALLY close at it. Really saturated inks like that do better in a drier writing pen, like the Lamy Safaris, where flex nib pens apparently like an ink with more shading.

THE MORE YOU KNOW!

Anywho, pen nitpicking aside, it’s your turn!

Take all (or part) of the handwriting meme, scan it or take a picture, and leave the link in comments! I’m curious what some of my readers might submit. It only takes a few minutes, and phone pictures are fine!

* If desired, I can do a follow up post on “handwriting triage” – some ways to make your handwriting more legible and more like what you want. This post is just for curiosity and sharing!

**Also, I seriously considered titling this post “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” but figured it was inappropriate…