Thursday, March 6, 2008

Welcome to Have Pen, Will Write

There's a saying that we do not choose our path but that the path chooses us. I like that saying and I use it often. But in my case it seems that I create my own path as I walk - the asphalt just magically appears beneath my feet with each step that I take. Yes, I said asphalt. You see, I live in the Big Apple and we ran out of yellow bricks a long time ago. This ain't Kansas and it's surely not Oz. So my path has lead me to create my own blog spot: Have Pen, Will Write. It's a bit of an oxymoron as no pen is used to write the words that you are now reading. Yet, having this blog will enable me to share my passion for fountain pens with a wide audience.

About five years ago I read an article about the difficulty biographers are having in finding information about their subjects. It seems that, with the Internet people no longer write letters by hand, so there is no written record of a person's life left behind to be researched. Most of us who receive email do not print them out and tie them up with red ribbon as legacy of who we were. I have a drawer full of personal letters and cards that I've received from friends and family that I cherish. These letters are a part of my legacy.

The other incident that made me return to letter writing as a form of communication was the passing of the father of an acquaintance of mine. There were a number of email condolences that were sent by friends, but I did not participate. I felt strongly that the expression of condolence should not be communicated in an email. It lacks class and style. Such feelings should be expressed in a hand written card. Or take Valentine's Day, for example. Would you send your wife or lover an email Valentine's Day card? There's nothing special in doing that. The choice of pen, ink, stationary and perhaps a bit of fragrance on the card yields a complete and sensual expression of love that can not be conveyed through an email. Hence: Have Pen, Will Write.

I'm also happy to announce that I've just completed two half hour programs about fountain pen collecting. I want to share my love of writing instruments and the art of the hand written note with a wider audience and the programs allows me to do that. If possible I'll post some clips from the show for those who are interested and who do not live in New York where the shows will be cablecast.

So this blog spot will be about pens, calligraphy, the art of journal writing and hand written communication. All are invited to post their musings and questions about this subject.

But a blog spot is also a very public journal. Most of us who keep a diary would not leave it out for others to read, yet to have a blog spot is to do that very thing. So, as this is a public diary, I will occasionally venture into other areas with my posts. I'm a very active Freemason and I have a strong interest in esoteric and antiquarian subjects and you'll read about some of those things here.

So if you have thoughts that you would like to share and if you have questions about fine writing instruments don't hesitate to post.

More to come.......

Have Pen, Will Write



Ro said...

I have also found that its not just the pen that matters when writing legibly - since i an notorious for my habitual horrible handwriting- I'm affected by the paper I use to write on. My boss recently gave the entire staff, quality stationary and I wrote her a quick note of thanks on the first sheet with a silver and gold accented Cross pen a friend sent me recently and I found myself writing to neatly and clearly that I was almost inspired to whip out my old calligraphy pen and write to everyone!

Anonymous said...

Hey Cliff,
I'm glad you decided to start a blog because I feel it's another way I can keep in touch and stay in the loop.
I'll never forget the first time you sent me a letter 3 years ago, regarding some obscure philosophy, and I found myself staring at the page trying to figure out if it was handwritten or if it was some really nice printed font. I'm only 28, and in my life time I haven't come across penmanship like that except in old books. I still have that letter, and cherish it I might add. I've shown it to certain "friends of ours" and I found them more enthralled with the craftsmanship,because it wasn't mere penmanship, than the actual substance of the letter. I wish I could learn to write like that, and I hope to one day. If you have any advice on how I can learn please let me know. I too feel that there IS NOTHING like receiving a handwritten note, or letter. Even though my girlfriend makes funny of me sometimes, because almost every couple of weeks or so I buy her a card and write something in it, she absolutely loves it.
Anyway, I must get back to procrastinating, or what I call working on my screenplay...

and I leave you with this quote on writing...

Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we? ~Audra Foveo-Alba

Sheihan said...


I for one appreciate those calligraphic cards and letters you send out. I have saved every single one that I ever received from you.

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Sorry for offtopic