Writing: My Largest Fountain Pen and a Shimmering Ink

Noodler's Neponset fountain pen in blue and white pearl, with a Goulet stub nib.  Writing sample in shimmering red and blue Diamine Polar Glow ink.  Text about exploring my neighborhood after a long absence.
Noodler’s Neponset fountain pen in blue and white pearl (which may have been named Ghostly Lapis?), with a Goulet stub nib. Writing sample in shimmering red and blue Diamine Polar Glow ink. Text about exploring my neighborhood after a long absence.

I’ve written about how much I love stub nibs, and the nib on this enormous Noodler’s Neponset pen is no exception. This is the first nib replacement that has required multiple adjustments. When it is aligned correctly it works well and wetly, as you can see, but sometimes I somehow lose contact between the feed and the nib – it just isn’t seated properly in the pen – and it just won’t write! I never had this problem with this pen before, so it is clearly my doing, and all about how I insert the nib and feed after cleaning it.

(There was a similar acrylic Neponset with peach and pearl coloring, and I resisted it for too long – it sold out. If I knew how comfortable the pen is to hold, I might not have resisted! I understand the limited editions that pens are released in better now…)

The gorgeous blue ink with a red sheen is Diamine’s Polar Glow. I love it beyond reason, and it flows well, but is demanding. The red sheeing particles never seem to settle in the bottle, but definitely settle in the pen, which is entirely fair for such a lovely special effect. (But it interrupts the flow of my thoughts when I am eager to write!)

Content-wise, the sample writing notes that I’m settling back into my neighborhood. I am happy to be back, even though it is not as new or fashionable as the area I moved to during construction. My normal neighborhood was built in the 1920s, whereas my apartment was from 2008-ish, so everything feels and looks 90 years newer – because it is! There are no power lines visible in that newer neighborhood, the sidewalks are smooth and even, the trees are well maintained, the paint on all of the buildings is in great shape… It makes me want my own neighborhood to be better maintained, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I hope the images of the ink tempt you to consider special effects in your writing, and wider nibs to show the inks off!

Books (Manga): Dawn of the Arcana by Rei Toma

Dawn of the Arcana
by Rei Toma
published in English by Viz / Shojo Beat (complete – 53 chapters)

I’m reading the still-being-released manga, The King’s Beast, which is so gorgeously drawn… and then realized that the author has older works that are complete for me to enjoy! This is one of them, and appears to be set in the same world as TKB.

Nakaba has had a rough life: she was orphaned young, kept isolated in a tower, has been avoided or abused by relatives, has an unacceptable haircolor, and ultimately is married off to a prince in an enemy kingdom for political reasons. Ignorant stereotypes about her kingdom are used to insult her. Aside from her loyal Ajin servant (a completely devoted man from an oppressed ethnic group identified by their animal-like ears), she has no one in the world who cares what happens to her.

And then, to top it all off, she starts to see the future.

Perhaps… she has more options than just running away after all. Perhaps she can turn her situation around… and change the world. If she doesn’t kill herself trying to look at the future!

The art style is much less elaborate than TKB, but familiar in a pleasant way. The heroine is optimistic and good-hearted, which gets her far. There are many characters, multiple countries, plots, family dramas, bitter rivalries, lost loves, and appropriately unexpected plot twists. I enjoyed it all.

Books (Manga): Demon Love Spell by Mayu Shinjo

Demon Love Spell
by Mayu Shinjo
published in English by Viz / Shojo Beat (complete – 6 volumes)

Miko is a shrine maiden who is terrible at detecting spirits, but she is game to cure a guy who appears to be possessed as he cheats on every girl at school. Her prayer works – but she winds up with a handsome man-demon the size of a doll.

Kagura, the incubus demon whose power comes from women’s desire, is vulnerable to attacks by other demons in this state. Those rival demons swarm him – and are tempted by Miko’s beautiful spiritual energy to attack her as well. Miko can’t even see them, unless she is touching Kagura – and oh, how he wants her touch and affection, so he can have the power to fight them off!

This comedy involves over-protective, spiritually powerful parents; a sexy, sexy demon; dreams of steamy passion; scary and/or sexy demons; lots of posing; and frustration for both characters as their conflicting needs (Miko needs to remain a ‘maiden’ and Kagura needs her not to) lead to silly situations as they fend off danger together.

I laughed out loud.

Demon Love Spell is light-hearted and slapstick, and completely unlike worrying about my job. Part of its charm is that it is complete (no waiting!) and concludes tidily at the end of volume 6 – ‘will they or won’t they’ suspense is best kept brief!

I was entertained.