June 11, 2009

The Friday Record

Well! I hate computers. I'm the contest chair for an RWA chapter's contest. This is the week we have to get all the judges lined up for the entries. And though I had most of them set up already, there's always a last minute rush to fill spots. So, needless to say, I've been busy this week. I'm very grateful for my category chairs, who are helping me keep my head on straight.

So, how does that tie into my hate of computers? Well, I've been so busy with the contest that I didn't get my planned blog on the San Francisco earthquake and fire done. Instead, I started a short and quick blog on a different subject for The Friday Record, only to have my document program freeze on me, and since I hadn't 'saved' the three paragraphs I'd thus far written, I lost them. And frankly, I decided I didn't want to rewrite them. So, instead of a blog about Tomball, TX (interestingly enough, named after a congressman Tom H. Ball), you get a directly cut and pasted paragraph on Pens from On This Day. I thought pens were a good subject for writers to read about and discuss....and unlike computers, they don't crash and loose your copy!

Fact of the Day: Pens

Reed was the first real "pen" (c 3000 BC) and the first inks contained a gelatin derived from boiled donkey skin, which gave the ink its viscosity - but also a very unpleasant odor that had to be perfumed with musk oil. Around the 6th century BC and for more than a thousand years thereon, the quill reigned as the standard writing instrument for people of many civilizations. Swans, turkeys, and geese's large wing feather made the best quill pens. Archaeologists discovered bronze pen points embedded in the ruins of Pompeii but not until the late 1700s were stell-point pens used. A century later, fountain pens were developed - the name chosen because the ink of these pens flowed continuously, like water in a fountain. L.E. Waterman, a New York stationer, devised the practical ink reservoir system. Lazlo Biro relied on improved methods for grinding ball bearings for machines and weapons and produced the first ball-point pens suitable for writing on paper around 1944. The Pentel, introduced by Tokyo's Stationery Company, was the world's first felt-tip pen, c 1960.

So, do you have a favorite writing instrument? I don't....whichever pen is available, I'll use it. My mom had a favorite pen type, one she used for years, but I think we've had trouble finding it the last few years. Sucks for her. I like getting free pens and will use them, especially if they're from writers. And I'll leave them at places, so others can steal them and learn about the writers, too.

Anna Kathryn Lanier
Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats
Heartwarming, Sensual Westerns

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