The Wonderful Pens of Ross G

pens, writing, RossG

I’ve always had an affinity for pens.
Maybe it’s more like a clandestine love affair as I fall hopelessly into the inkwell of love every time I troll the net looking at writing instruments.
I love fountain pens and rollerballs and all the accoutrements associated with them.
I love ink. No tattoo for me but I have some amazing fountain pen ink.
Some of my favorites are Noodler’s , Private Reserve, Pelican and Aurora.
Ballpoints irritate me to no end.
That’s just me.
My interest in pens began many years ago when I began writing.
I had this silly idea that the pen I used would make a difference when I was writing.
Logical? I think not.
I did realize that all pens were not created equal and a writer needed a pen with an even flow of ink and a comfortable balance of weight in the hand. Words and thoughts would flow more easily.
I am a writer. I need pens.
Looking online I was appalled at the money some of these things commanded.
$2000 for a rollerball?
$20,000 for a fountain pen?  (This pen should automatically come with a publishing deal)
With 3 daughters in and out of college/Grad school, I’m lucky to have a decent gel roller.
I currently have 5-6 fairly decent fountain pens:  Pelican, Aurora, Namiki (vanishing point), a Parker Sonnet and several other inexpensive models.
A friend I work with came in one day and showed me a pen sent to him by a friend or a friend.
It was a ballpoint which didn’t excite me but the pen itself was beautiful.
He told me it was given to him by so and so and that this guy made pens to give to friends.
I wanted to get on that list.
Several months went by before this same friend came in with another pen; a ballpoint but still really nice.

My curiosity got the best of me.
“Does this guy have a website?”

I went to the website and found many wonderful handmade things.
I found rollerballs, ballpoints and several wicked pissa fountain pens.
Years ago, Ross decided to try his hand at making pens.
Most were given to friends as gifts until he realized he was quite good at
this specialized art and decided to expand.

I spied one particular pen and wondered if Ross would be willing to barter a bit.
After a few emails and several days, I now have a fountain pen made by none other than RossG.
I promised him an honest review of the pen and here it is . . .

Appearance:
Modern, sleek, funky, gorgeous rosewood with gold-plated hardware.
Definitely catches the eye.
Several people have already commented on it (and they want more info)

Feel:
Solid in the hand with a very comfortable weight.
To me it has the feel of a pen that should cost much more.
It feels expensive.
You know you’re holding something special.

Nib and writing quality:
The pen came with a cartridge and a converter (my preference).
The nib was medium size iridium.
Although I’m not a big fan of iridium nibs this sucker worked better than my inexpensive Pelican (which has an iridium nib).
The ink flow was simply amazing and a total pleasure to write with.

Conclusion:
If you want a pen that is aesthetically pleasing, easy to write with, ridiculously affordable and a designated friend for life,  please check out Ross. (Click on the post picture!)
Or click HERE. (Tell Ross I sent you)
All pens are handmade and have that warm, comfortable feeling in your hand.
I know several people that already want a pen made by this man so get in line.
His pens are in short supply right now as he is waiting for some materials to come in.

He will ship all over the world.
He even says Australia’s not too far away.
I may send him some TinTams someday.

If you can’t buy one of his pens, please promise me you will send the link to this post to someone who will.
That would make me and Ross very, very happy.

For the Love of Books

A long time blogging friend posted this video on my Facebook Timeline tonight.
This video is over 15 minutes long but it makes a serious statement regarding the media we use on a daily basis.
I love my Kindle and my Iphone but there is something very personal about a book.
I dedicate this post to my 3 amazing daughters who have a love of books and reading that makes me proud.
I like to think Pamela and I had something to do with that love of the page.
Please, please, please take the time and watch this video.
I know. 15 minutes is a long time.
Think of how much time you spend with a book.
Think of the feel and smell of a book.
Visit my friend Ang @ Don’t Put Boogers in your neighbors Cereal
She is a grade school teacher with some amazing (and hysterical) insight into the life of her students and their growing little minds.
This video moved me in many ways as a lover of books.
I hope they never go away.
Books rule.

~m

Black Cows

steely dan, music, life, love

I was on the train home tonight when I reached in my manpurse and found my long lost Ipod.
I’d put it in my bag weeks ago but forgot I actually had it.
Settling in I set it on Shuffle and sat back for the magnificent ride out of Boston.
Steve Lukather, Steve Khan, Marc Jordan, Marcin Marsilweski and many other musicians found their way to my earbuds.
It was around or near Ashland that ‘Black Cow’ came on, a Steely Dan version from the band that I used to play in.
I listened and smiled.
It was good.
Even my ‘Fender Rhodes’ solo was okay.
I thought about that time in my life when it had a rhythm and a purpose but somehow I lost it.
Or it lost me.
The nights of packing down gear at 1:30am after a gig no longer made sense to me.
The $50 paycheck at the end of the night was a slap in the face for all the time I’d spent learning tunes, harmonies and all.
30% of the folks that followed us got it, most didn’t.
Most understood that we spent a considerable amount of time doing what we did, the reason the 10 of them came out every night.
Hack musicians need not apply.
I was happy and musically fulfilled until the day my heart and soul just couldn’t do it anymore.
I like to think that the musicians that truly know me understand.
It makes me sad that some could never understand me.
I still play piano from time to time and still write a song or two but my gigging days are over, barring some unforeseen miracle.
I will forever have a problem with one bridge that burned for no particular reason.
We musicians are a funny lot.
These days find me writing words without music but somehow rhythm stil finds its way into my words.
Or so I think.
There was a time when my musical chops were finely tuned.
These days they are a bit dull and dusty.
But thank God they’re still there.
I’m just following my instincts these days.
And my gigging days are done.
If  it’s right for me, it’s write.
And get outta here . . .  {rhodes solo}

 

ps. anyone want an MP3 of Black Cow delivered to your inbox, email me.

Just right

writing, blog, creative

 

Writing is such a funny thing.
When you want it to happen it doesn’t.
Never has for me anyway.
A friend of mine told me that writing is simply ‘BIC’.
Butt in Chair.
Life is hectic these days and creativity has no schedule.
It has no rules, no times when it will happen, why, when or if’s in terms of gestation.
I’ve just filled my favorite fountain pen with Noodler’s Black (my favorite ink!)
No idea whether my muse (looks like Danny Devito) will visit me tomorrow but I will write anyway.
It may be shit, it may be good but it will be writing.
New Year, New stories, a New Me.
I’m going for ‘BIC’ . . .

~m

Extremely Louder and Incredibly Closer

blog, writing, life, Facebook

Once upon a time my blog was an essential part of my life.
I lived here almost 24/7.
God forbid I should get some godforsaken CSS error that screwed with my theme (not my theme!) or my plugins.
Life gets in the way.
Politics get in the way.
Facebook really gets in the way.
Twitter? Not so much.
I realized tonight that I have neglected a place that once meant so much to me.
I have for all intents and purposes abandoned a creative harbour that held stories, memories and many things I once held so dear.
Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Like I need to tell you about last Tuesday night when I went to dinner with my wife for our 29th anniversary.
Anniversaries are supposed to be special and perfect, right?
We sat down and perused the menu when our waitress came by to say hi.
We ordered a few appetizers to start off.
Grape leaves & some hummus.

“Would you like something to drink before you order?” our waitress asked.

“Yes, please,” I said.

Pamela ordered an Almond Joy Martini and I ordered a Maker’s Mark Manhattan.
All was right with the world.

Our drinks arrived several minutes later. Perfect.

We didn’t even have time to toast when I spilled the entire Manhattan all over my crotch.
As the icy concoction slithered its way to my unsuspecting jewels and eventually to the crack of my ass, I felt the need for
a new pair of pants or at least a pair of Depends.
As my manhood rose up into my abdominal cavity to escape the chill, we laughed and laughed again.
You can’t make this stuff up.
They made me another Manhattan (in a sippy cup jk) and all was right with the world.
Although I did squirm and make funny faces as I ate my dinner.
Will we remember our 29th anniversary?
You can take that to the bank.

I guess the bottom line is that I’ve given up my energy to Facebook and other URL’s lately.
And while I love talking to friends it just isn’t taking care of my writing mojo.
Writers write stories and rarely do Facebook.
Change is in the wind.
“to thine own self be true”
And I am long overdue.
Let’s roll . . .

~m

Goodbye Facebook

facebook, social network, internet, friends

With each new year there are decisions that need to be made.
And I have thought long and hard about this one.
I have decided that I am saying my final goodbye to Facebook.
It’s not that I don’t like it or have security issues regarding weirdos that follow me wanting my social security number or my sexual preference to animals vs people.
It eats such a shitload of my time that I hardly write anymore.
Facebook makes me write fluff, meaningless shit that friends will undoubtedly comment on.
And I have loved that, please don’t get me wrong.
Videos, jokes and funny pictures are great but in the scheme of things the site is killing my creative life.
I love my friends (all of you that follow me) but it’s time for me to go.
There’s stuff on the 2012 agenda that will never get done as long as I keep dragging my sorry ass on Facebook.
I felt that there should be some kind of explanation before I hit that always dreaded ‘deactivate’ button.
With Facebook, Google +, Twitter and Linkedin, I am about ready to shit a social network all by myself.
My FB deactivation should happen sometime next week.
There will be no more posts from me on Facebook after this.
Sorry . . .  {some of you may even be breathing a sigh of relief}
Anyone that is the least bit concerned about my whereabouts should bookmark my blog.
If you want to contact me, you know where I am, folks.
FaceBooking has been a real blast but it’s time for me to hit the books, so to speak.
To all my friends, know that you will always be a part of my life just not on Facebook.
Feel free to drop me a line or visit my blog when you’re surfing the web.
Writer’s write and this writer is too damn far from doing anything remotely close to writing.
Be safe, be well and be happy my friends.
Stop by and see me at Smoke and Mirrors
Until then . . .

~m

Cliche

writing, cliche, the written word

“If you have heard it or read it before, it is a cliche.
Remember, today’s great writing is tomorrow’s cliches.
Write tomorrow’s cliches.”
-John Bremner

 

I have been accused of using a bit too much cliche in my writing.
(and sadly, I tend to agree)
This quote stuck to me like a fresh booger sticks to your fingertip.
[not cliche]

~m

Kindle Me

Kindle, ereader, Amazon.com

It’s very difficult to stay away from my little place of comfort but I wanted to
update the blog a bit.
I’m tired of looking at the ‘Closed for Winter’ picture in my previous post.
Since I last posted many things have happened
I got a 3G Kindle for my birthday (thanks to all that conspired on the Amazon gift cards!)
and I haven’t stopped reading.
I looooove it.
(‘love’ just didn’t have enough ‘O’s in it)
Can you read too much?
I don’t think so.
I have been writing but still not enough for me.
Gotta work on that.
And I am.
I am also now a member of a writing group in Boston.
We write, critique, laugh, talk about writing and drink funky smoothies in Davis Square, Cambridge.
It’s taken me a long, long time to join a writer’s group and this one is looking very promising.
I will hopefully get some honest opinions on my writing which is ultimately the reason I joined a group.
I posted tonight because I had close to 20 spam comments that went into moderation when they should
have been clobbered by Akismet.
Turns out my plugins needed some serious updating.
It’s all good now but I wanted to check in anyway.
God, I miss this place.
Thanks for still visiting me and I promise to at least post an update or two from time to time.
Until the next time,
Be safe, be well, be happy . . .

~m