Pen & ink heaven


When I am restless and homebound (yes, I’ve been absent with a head cold), one of my favorite remedies is TED Talks. Often, I search for archaeology segments, but my other go-to remedy for boredom is writing, of course. I am a restless audience and have no compunctions about “channel” surfing. Last evening, I was in that liminal space between restless fatigue and boredom. I watched snippets from a writer who advocated writing the moment you wake up. No, the moment I wake up I feed the cat and make coffee, and then I write. Morning pages are a built- in part of my day. I’m up before the rest of the household so there is not distraction. I flipped the channel. There’s a writer from Providence RI, where I was born and where I went to school. She was both funny and sad, and I watched her entire speech. Her name is Ann Hood, and I will keep an eye out for her work.

Then—tada! I happened upon a Mile High TEDx talk by Jake Weidmann of Colorado. The first part of his talk was a defense of handwriting. He recommended it. It’s closer to the brain and requires physicality to create each letter instead of typing. Well, that reinforces my habit of writing at least three pages in my notebook as soon as the coffee is ready, and the cat satisfied. The brain works differently with the direct creation of each word. Great stuff!  He reinforced my belief in pen and ink. But there was more. Turns out, he was so dedicated to handwriting that he learned to make his own pens. And having built pens from a piece of wood and attaching a nib to it, he learned to write in a gorgeous, flowing style that has earned him high praise. He is one of only ten Master Penmen in the US. Take a look!


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