Yuletide Pen Pr0n

The Wife knows me so well, and she is the Awesomest Penabling Wife (fight me!). Share my pen squee! 🙂

This is an Esterbrook 407 Dip-less pen! It’s an antique from the 1940s (ish) and it writes like a dream! I cleaned it well, and filled it with the Pilot Iroshizuku ink “shin-ryoku” which is a beautiful blue-green ink! You fill the glass bit with ink, and then use the lever to fill the pen, and you have a perpetual inkwell! It’s so awesome! Also, the base is bakelite!

I love this letter opener! It’s so cute! The Wife says that her great-grandmother had something similar! 🙂

This is a wax seal burner and a wax seal with my initial on it! I’m so excited to use this for my next round of pen pal letters!

It came with a whole bunch of wax, too, which I’m looking forward to trying!

This is a French antique dip pen set with a letter opener and wax seal (plain with no design. We think that it was for sealing ribbon). It is so beautiful! It’s so different to write with, but it’s so comfortable to use! The Wife says that it’s probably around 100 years old!! It’s just so gorgeous, and this picture really doesn’t do this set justice!

I mean, look how cool my desk looks now! Squee!!! 🙂

(Oh, the little bottles of ink are from the Diamine Inkvent Calendar. They are really good, and I like a lot of them, and hope that they do larger bottles for at least 2 of them!)

Blessed Yule everyone! 🙂

Winter is Coming…and I don’t mind!

Hello friends!

It’s November, which means the fog and rain and cold has come down on Zurich. Not that I really mind, as I love Fall, Winter, and early Spring more than Summer. Me and hot weather don’t get along very well. 

The best part of Fall and Winter is the food, and one of my favorite winter foods is my Memere’s (Grandmother) Cretons recipe (aka Guntor in my family). It’s basically a pork pate with cinnamon, clove, onion, and garlic. It’s takes about 6-8 hours to cook, but OMG, it’s so worth it! You have it on toast with a good mustard, and it’s just amazing. It also makes your house smell amazing when you cook it (it really drove the Wife crazy the day I made it).

Sooo good!

I am deep into NaNoWriMo working on my 5th novel (a sequel to the first 4). It’s not too bad this year, but the novel is coming to me in a really random way. I write a part here, then another part comes that happens before that part, and then I have to re-write another part. Then a day later I figure out more of the plot line for the first book and get an idea for a second. Ahhh, the writer’s life, amirite?

My other writing project has been writing to various pen pals that I’ve met through various fountain pen enthusiast websites. It’s been fun writing with all my fancy inks, pens, and paper to people all over the world. And, well, I have to admit that getting snail mail that isn’t a bill is pretty awesome!

The Wife, who is the awesomest wife ever, saw my letter writing and decided to get me an early Yule present of an antique Victorian stationery box! I mean, look at this thing!! The glass inkwells are gorgeous, and there’s blue satin in the lid of the box. I’ve given the wood a good polish with museum-grade polish, and cleaned the brass on the inkwells as best I could. I actually do have ink in the inkwells right now (Tools To Liveby Iron Gall ink. Red on the left, blue on the right). And yes, I’ve been using dip pens with it, as I have three of them now. Sometimes I like using the dip pens for writing letters, since it gives my hand a break from the regular pens. 

The Victorian Stationery Box!

The other beautiful acquisition I’ve gotten recently is a Writer’s Box from Blue Star Crafts! This box is so beautiful! It smells so good with the handmade wood and leather! I’ve had it personalized and it also has a lock and key! I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to fill it yet, since I’m not traveling right at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. 

The last thing I’ve gotten was the Diamine Inkvent Calendar, and it’s been sitting here since the end of October, taunting me! I’m looking forward to opening an ink a day when December gets here! I also got an Advent calendar of nail art supplies from Madam Glam. I recently learned how to do my own fake nails (using polygel) and they look really good! 

Since it’s coming on Winter, I’m also picking up my yarn spinning again. I got a Woolee Winder for my electric spinning wheel, and OMG, it’s so awesome! It basically makes it so you don’t have to keep stopping and moving the hook on the flyer! 10/10 would recommend! (And I’m going to get one of them for my Louet Victoria, too!) Although, I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner. It takes a little fiddling with the wheel to get it going just right.

Well, it’s time to get back to writing! Hope all my American friends have a good Turkey Day!

Released

The Four Keys – Download or get a paperback version from Amazon: US Link – German Link

I write fanfiction, too (all PG/PG-13): AO3 Fanfiction

In Progress

Survey Foundation Series

Survey: In the far future, on a globally sponsored science station, a woman discovers the key to making a functional AGI work in the midst of political unrest. (First Draft Complete – with beta readers)

Unity: A military chaplain and her bodyguard get embroiled in a major conspiracy that threatens the humans colonies of Unity and the AIs Nation of Survey. (First Edit Pass Complete – with beta readers )

Colony: After the events of Unity, Jenny returns to her home colony where she, Lulu and another agent realize that someone else was also behind the New Harmonists pulling strings. (First Draft Complete! –with beta readers)

Consortium: After the events of Unity, Jack and Marsha get assigned by Survey to help an AI who had been exiled and has asked for help. (First Draft Complete– with beta readers)

Ancestor Series

Nemetona: A lone Captain and his AI answer a distress call from a sentient species who are dying. (Writing — 10864 words — NaNoWriMo Project)

Mercury Series

Mercury: The Mercury Generation Ship begins it’s journey to the Andromeda galaxy. (Started, but stalled.)

March comes in more like a cranky bear.

Welcome to March, friends. It’s been a year since my Wife and I started quarantining, and I’m kind of over it. Switzerland has been slow rolling out vaccines, and while I’m happy for everyone I know gettings vaccines in the States (especially my mom and dad!), I’m a little bit jealous, too. I’d rather hear that people are getting vaccines, though. The more people who are vaccinated, the better things will get.

Folks who know me know I have depression and anxiety, and the last month has been rough for me. Between the anniversary of the pandemic, a former housemate passing away, and my own brain and body chemistry, the depression and anxiety decided that it wanted to do it’s metaphorical gut punch. What sucks about when it decides to show up is that writing takes a hit. I’ve managed by powering through a few days of writing, especially since writing makes me feel better. But right now, the biggest thing that helps is that when I write a chapter and I feel kinda meh about it, I read it to The Wife, and then she tells it’s awesome. Having someone to do that for you when you’re doing this kind of long art work is so awesome and helpful. 

I’ll get through. I know how my depression and anxiety brain works. I have medicine, and people, and writing. I tried to flip my body clock to days again, but ended up flipping back to being nocturnal. I’m kind of hoping when the days get longer I’ll flip back. But I’m still getting writing done, so I’m not knocking it. (To be honest, it’s only irritating when I have to do things like bring up packages or go to the drug store, etc.)

The other thing I’m trying to do for my mental health is really curating my social media. I keep trying to branch out a little with who I follow, but then I run into the bad side of Twitter (ie: the crap I left Facebook for). So, I stick to people I know and other authors, and that seems to be a sweet spot. Same with Tumblr, too. What really gets me, about all social media platforms is how it can show so many people who don’t give a shit about others on one hand, and show a lot of caring for others on the other hand. Interestingly enough, it seems that there’s a lot of people who show a lack of compassion regardless of their political affiliation. Or spiritual affiliation, for that matter. It’s hard to read that on a regular basis, hence the curating. Even in conversations I could take part in, there’s a whole bunch of thinking about whether it’s really worth getting into it. If you don’t hear from me for a few days on social media, it probably means I’m taking a break.

I will say, though, a lot of what I don’t say on social media is story fodder, so I suppose it all works out in the end?

On a happier note, yesterday I got a new fountain pen! It’s a Pelikan M205 Classic with a dark blue iridescent pen body. It’s my first Pelikan pen, and it’s really quite lovely! Filled it with fancy Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai ink which is a lovely bright royal blue that matches the barrel! Fine tip and a piston fill. So lovely to write with!

Pilot M205 Fountain Pen
Pretty Fountain Pen!!

Zurich is experiencing typical weird March weather. I always seem to forget that I have four seasons here, and that March is always a weird weather month. Last week, we had temps around 18 C. Right now? It’s around 0 C and snowing. 

Hope you’re all staying safe and wearing masks. I wish more people would.

Released

The Four Keys – Download or get a paperback version from Amazon: US Link German Link

I write fanfiction, too (all PG/PG-13): AO3 Fanfiction

In Progress

Survey: In the far future, on a globally sponsored science station, a woman discovers the key to making a functional AGI work in the midst of political unrest. (First Draft Complete –  142K words – with first readers)

Unity: A military chaplain and her bodyguard get embroiled in a major conspiracy that threatens the humans colonies of Unity and the AIs Nation of Survey. (First Draft Complete – 128K words – with first readers)

Colony: After the events of Unity, Jenny returns to her home colony where she meets someone she didn’t expect. (Writing – 16975 words)

Consortium: After the events of Unity, Jack and Marsha get assigned by Survey to help an AI who had been exiled and has asked for help. (Writing – 112260 words)

Character Playlists

I’ve made some character playlists on Spotify to write to. Here’s the lists if you’re interested in getting a feel for the characters I’ve been writing. Some of the lists overlap with artists, but that usually means they’re going through similar stuff.

Survey:

Unity

Consortium: