This is a Pelikan 120, second edition, made sometime in the 1960s or early 1970s. I bought my first one when I was a kid. It cost $13.00, and later when they closed out sales on them, I bought the remaining nibs the stores around me had. A nib, back then, cost $5.50. The first edition of these pens was made in the 1950s. It sports slight differences: the nib does not screw in and out, although it is easy to replace; the Pelikan logo is imprinted on the top of the cap, a rather nice touch; the pen, itself, is just a touch thicker and more squat, which significantly changes the feel of the instrument in the hand. There are a few other little things, cosmetic for the most part not worth a real mention.
This is my Golden Key. Altogether, I have about twenty of them, maybe more, and maybe another twenty of the first edition. One, exactly like the one pictured here, sits fully loaded on my writing pad as I put this post together. Also on my desk, where the writing pad and my computer are–these days just a laptop since I don’t use a PC anymore–are some Parker 51s and Parker 21s, the silver keys, I guess, and some Chinese made fountain pens, which would be the bronze. In all fairness, I have to say that the Chinese pens, which sell for a fraction of the price of the name brands, write every bit as well as the name brands, and like the name brands, how they write depends not only on the model but on the individual pen. One of the Parker 51s, my favorite user, got lost in the woods in my backyard one autumn day and was out there a whole winter. I kept looking for it, sometimes daily for weeks at a time, and hoped I would find it. Then, the following spring, there it was sitting pretty close to where I had determined I’d lost it. I wasn’t even looking for it at the moment it appeared. I took it in the house, cleaned up the outside, took off the cap, and it wrote immediately; it didn’t even have to be started like many fountain pens do after a day or two of non-use.
Golden Key to what? Happiness, of course!
Okay, so do I have to say anymore? At this very moment, that bird is sitting on my shoulder. I just took him off his stand after leaving him there to eat. The cat is still sleeping on the bed, like Rip Van Winkle, since this picture is at least ten months old. All right, I’m kidding about the cat sleeping all that time, but truly she is asleep on the bed with her sister who looks just like her.
There are so many ways to connect, and I am not a visual-learner person. I go back to the right there from my dream reader entry. Connection for me is being right there with someone or something. But then, I guess the bird and cat and person sleeping are all right there too.
I bought this painting about thirty years ago. Everyone I knew at the time thought I was crazy for buying it. I’ve always liked it and thought it represented me and my feelings superbly. Today, if I were to think about representing my sense of solitude, I would stick with this. My feelings from thirty years ago are somewhat different and I have no real desire for this solitude in life, except when I’m writing and don’t want to be disturbed.
I’m a city boy but recently moved to the North East. Don’t ask me why! After last winter, perpetual freezing marked by relentless snow, I’ve gone on the five year plan, which means 5 years to find a warm-all-the-time climate.
That beautiful dog is a lucky girl. She gets walked off-lead in places like this, which is now a part of home, and if there is anything I would like to remember about my northeast experience it is how beautiful the trails are around here. The town owns them and the Army engineers maintain them, but don’t hold me to that as being wholly exact.
My home is a countrified home in a small town near all the amenities. Except for the hilly driveway that my front-wheel drive car won’t always get up in the frozen wasteland winters, it is idyllic.
I don’t think I would ever write a post like this if it weren’t for the course (above) and learning how to use all this stuff. In the “commons” I saw a little blurb about how time consuming this is, and it is, especially for someone like me who takes forever just to figure out that I’m supposed to do the assignments here and then link them on the assignment page. It is for someone like me who then takes another half hour to figure out how to get a link.
Geez! Just so, you know I wanted to write “oy” like in “oy, oy oy” or “oy vey” but that took me some time to figure out because I didn’t know how to spell it. More time! Then I wanted to say Jesus instead of geez but I don’t want to offend anyone, so I’ll stay away from that at least momentarily.
In case, dear potential dream reader, you actually have read this far, you are already starting to qualify for the position, and I am just about getting to the point of starting to have some fun.
The writing part, in case you ventured to the post “A Long Time Ago” is the fun part for me, and whether it is hard going or fast flying, depending upon what I’m writing, this is the part I love. My dream reader, then, would have to love reading what I write, you know, love wit and panache and style and literary elements and a whole lot more. Now honestly I am not saying that all those wonderful things are actually in my writing and truly even if they are, I wouldn’t have the confidence and ego to say so myself. But I would hope all my readers and especially my dream readers find what I write significant, thought provoking, entertaining and relevant.
I could go on and on, but just a little bit more. I don’t expect my dream readers all to be simpatico with me. However, overall, for whatever reason, my dream readers should like what I write. I’m reading something now that I picked up on my Kindle and damn if it isn’t very similar to something I just finished writing. I feel right there with that writer. My dream readers, I hope, will be right there with me.
And for you, my dear dream readers, a picture of my dog Rachel, a rescue we are fostering who needs a home. That does the media element of the assignment and the is the first time I’ve ever done a picture insertion.
I’ve been writing nearly all my life so this story goes way back. I was at a friend’s house and we were listening to his stereo. He had a stereo with speakers to the ceiling and just to date us, this was at the advent of FM radio. He also had a lock on the door of his room; I wasn’t even allowed to close the door to my room. I don’t remember the exact line anymore, but the start of a story, first line, popped into my head and in the midst of what we were doing, I told my friend I had to go home. I put my coat on and all the way home spoke that line like a mantra until I could safely store it on paper. I wrote it longhand first and then I typed it on my manual Underwood 5.
If I remember correctly, that line morphed into the idea for a series of stories I was going to name “The Dapper Duo;” of course my friend and I were the dapper duo. The stories never made it into existence, but that night I became a writer. I was fifteen and the idea of writing had never occurred to me until that moment. How or why the line popped into my head I don’t know nor did it matter then or still. I began writing, and no matter what else I’ve done in my life, I have always written. My friend became a recording engineer.
I believed back then that one didn’t become a writer–one was born a writer. I believed I was born a writer and at seventeen when I heard a college orientation presentation by Dr. Robert Day at Queens College, any inkling of ever doing anything but major in English and write disappeared.
After one semester at Queens College, I set off for OSU where I was given a scholarship and work/study stipend to attend the Honors Program in English. (I would meet up with Robert Day again some ten years later when I went to Queens for my MA in English.) OSU’s was an intensive honors program that allowed students to do nearly two-thirds of their credits in their major.
Those years I wrote poetry; I wrote poetry until Sanny, a Comp. Lit. teacher and friend, told me my poetry was s–t and I should try fiction. Well that didn’t seem so bad. At least he didn’t tell me to quit writing.
The rest of my life story is a blah, blah, blah but for the fact that all along I wrote, and for the early part of my writing career I believed that publishing didn’t mean anything. I was an artist and only the writing mattered, writing and the love of writing. My talent, I thought, was God-given and since it was divine intervention that brought me to it, that’s what I was.
About 1989 my Underwood was replaced by my first computer. Okay. For laughs, it was a Packard Bell, cost $2000.00 and the specs: 64K RAM and a whopping 2 mb, yes that is the correct first letter, hard drive. You needed to know DOS then and a whole lot of other stuff. You didn’t just sit down in front of a computer and go to work on it.
The most significant new thing about having a computer was that I had to learn to compose on the computer. From roughly 1966-1989 I wrote longhand and then typed the manuscript. Cut and paste back then was actually cut and paste. Along with a pen, I worked with rubber cement, a ruler (because I can’t cut straight with scissors) and scotch tape. Well thank you Lord for those newfangled devices: the PC. Then scanners made some things a lot easier.
This blog, I hope, will be about writing. I really don’t want to write much about myself or my life or the other things I do. I would like for anyone and everyone who views this to feel free about sharing comments, tips, ideas, expertise, feelings–you get the idea–about writing. Share some writing if you will, and I will put some up too as this moves along. Share some cool sites, or cool books you know. I would like this blog to be what it is named, Writer’s Play.
So let’s play and have some fun with words.
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Make sure to hug your kids today and make sure you tell them you love them and like them too.