Phantom of the Pen

-by Lori Moritz Writing tools are important. Consider the tools above: a pen, a pen case, ink, and a Carnival of Venice Mask. Why are these important? The Pen There is nothing like writing by hand. It creates a mental time warp that slows thought down to perfect narrative speed. It buffers the mind enough to imbue language with passion, something I can’t get while typing at ludicrous speed illuminated by nothing but the milky backlight of a computer screen. Writing instruments are personal. I prefer fountain pens that are heavy. I can’t hold a pen like that; I must wield it. Fountain pens glide over the paper and magically make their mark independent from pressure or force. I can write for a long time riding the inertia and momentum of such a pen. The only trick is getting up enough force to start. (ahem) I also love how such pens vibrate in response to the texture of the paper. Point is: the correct writing tool will inspire you. Find the pen, the color, and the notebook! (the only thing missing in my photo…) that you LOVE. And write in it. Write stupid things. Write smart things. Write secrets and write puns. Test out a few until you find a favorite, and then incorporate your pen into your writing routine. Computer work is fine, but every writer needs to write a little by hand. The Pen Case: Simple. A wonderful pen must be protected from would be pen fiddlers. The case is the solution. Ink: The right color and consistency is a key partner to your pen. Not Pictured Here Paper: Make sure you get paper that doesn’t bleed. You should enjoy the texture of it. Try a few in various notebooks. Carnival of Venice Mask: If it makes you feel like part of the Eyes Wide Shut Cast,...

2010 Booklist

– By Lori Moritz 2010 is winding down to a grinding (rapid, smashing????) halt. At least I managed to read a bit. These are the books I read in 2010, in no particular order… and some with odd commentary: World War Z by Max Brooks via Paperback This book gave me Nightmares. BRAVO! The Stand by Stephen King via Amazon Kindle This book took me a year and a half to read completely. This has nothing to do with Mr. King’s story telling ability. In fact, I read quite a few other King books in the year simultaneously.  In short, LOVED Part 1; The superflu and aftermath was horrific. Great apocalyptic stuff. Part 2 took the longest for me to get through… lots of political and social philosophy weaved into a tremendous amount of character development and people going about their newly assumed roles in the aftermath. There wasn’t much action. Sorry, I am an action junkie. Part 3 returned the action and interest… with the final STAND. Whoot! Overall, the year and a half was worth it. King does a fantastic job getting me to care about his characters. I felt like I was living their lives with them. And I am charmed by his ability to gross me out. That’s not an easy thing to do… The Passage by Justin Cronin via Audible audiobook This book I read because Stephen King told me to. Ha. Ironically enough, the novel follows the pattern of King’s The Stand quite closely. In Part 1, a deadly virus created by the US government wipes out nearly the entire population of the planet by turning the infected into vampires. This part of the book was riveting. Cronin did a wonderful job with this. Part two takes place some 100 years in the future, and concentrates on a colony of survivors. Again, lots...

Christmas Requiem

– By Adam Wilby CHAPTER ONE Even as his consciousness returned and he started to open his eyes Seamus grimaced as the familiar pain of the previous evening’s alcohol shot through his head. Squinting against the glare of the sun as it streamed through the window he turned over and his heart sank upon seeing the bars of the prison cell. On the far side of the bars a policeman glanced up from his chair as Seamus slowly made his way to his feet. “Merry Christmas,” he said sarcastically. Seamus rubbed his eyes as a fresh wave of nausea swept through him, “What time is it?” he asked. “Eight thirty, suppose you’re going to ask to be let out now?” “That would be nice,” said Seamus. The policeman walked over to the cell door and unlocked it before sliding back the bars. Seamus trudged through and began to head for the stairs leading to the upper floor of the police station. “Thanks,” he muttered over his shoulder. “No doubt we’ll be seeing each other tomorrow,” replied the policeman. Seamus heard the probable truth in the words but chose to ignore them as he proceeded up the stairs. Even before he reached the top he caught sight of Mary’s red hair, partially buried as it was under a thick woollen hat. Almost as soon as he caught sight of her Mary’s head turned in his direction and the scowl on her face seemed to grow ever deeper. As he drew nearer she turned away and began to make her way toward the exit. As he rushed to catch up with her a round of applause erupted from around them, “If you’re tired of him sweetheart, you can have my phone number” someone called out. Mary was far nearer the door than Seamus and she vanished through it long before he...