Monday, June 7, 2010

Inkspots, Inkblots and Inksnots...A Left-Hander's Dilemma

I love pens and markers. Fine-tip pens, broad-tipped, Sharpies, roller-ball, gel pens, calligraphy pens, highlighters. Right now I have two fountain pens: a gold-and-black one and a silver-and-blue one. They take standard fountain pen cartridges from any office supply store. I also have a dipped-ink fountain pen, the kind with a reservoir and you dunk it into an inkwell (or other supply).

For some reason, I've always liked the smooth feel of a fountain pen when I write. All this, despite one major complication in using messy, inky pens. I'm left-handed. Any lefty will tell you that writing with a pen can be a nightmare. Unless you're very careful, you can accidentally smudge wet letters with the side of your hand as you go from left to write. Now, there are plenty of ways to avoid this. Tipping your paper almost 90 degrees to vertical. Crooking your hand at the wrist, so that you end up with cramps in your fingers. Writing upside down, or backwards. Using a notebook that's made specifically for left-handers.

Luckily, they do make nibs for calligraphy pens for left-handers, but you have to really look for them, and most times, you have to special-order them. The nibs are slanted the opposite direction from a "normal" nib. If you're trying to write a wedding invitation in italic script, and you're left-handed, be very careful. The voice of experience here.

I've long since resigned myself to ink smears and blots on my hand and my paper. There was a running joke when I was a teacher that a) my transparencies were unique and b) "Mrs. D can't write in a straight line". My hubby is convinced that my kids inherited the creative messiness from me. How else can Christina end up with marker smear on her face when no one else manages to do it?

I still use my fountain pens for first drafts. Yes, I do write some things in longhand and not just by computer. Of course, handedness isn't too much of an issue on a keyboard. But call me old-fashioned. I love the "scratch-scratch" of a metal nib on the paper and my ideas just flow just like the ink from the pen.

All writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010

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