Ideas to Explore

Some things I've found helpful, enjoyable, interesting, curious, funny, entertaining, and think you may also.

Tomoe River A5 Notebook

Tomoe River FP Loose Sheet

Tomoe River Paper

I use fountain pens almost exclusively for my writing.  I didn't always use the fountain pen mostly because I was intimidated by my poor penmanship.  I felt my handwriting didn't match the elegance of writing with a fountain pen.  Then for whatever reason a few years ago I abandoned the notion that my handwriting had to look a certain way in order to qualify to use a fountain pen.  I believe anyone is qualified to use a fountain pen if they want to, and I wish more people wanted to do so.   

Fountain pens today are not like the pens of yesterday.  They come in a variety of sizes, styles, colors, nib widths, materials and customizations.  If it can be changed it will be or has been changed on a fountain pen.  Some pens today are even designed to assist you with finger placement when you hold the pen.  

I'll share more about pens later.  For now I want to share with you a paper that I have fallen in fondness of, trying to avoid the use of love.  I am fond of this paper, Tomoe River, because it is about the most fountain pen friendly paper I've come across.  I have yet to experience any bleed through except for times when I have heavily colored in a spot or gone over a spot several times.  It is even possible to write on both sides of this paper and still be legible and no bleed through.

The paper is thin, thin, thin.  It is almost like tissue paper thin.  When you first use it you may be skeptical that such a thin paper could hold up to your fountain pen.  Give it a go, and be pleased.

Enormous Smallness is a nonfiction picture book about the poet E.E. cummings. Here E.E.'s life is presented in a way that will make children curious about him and will lead them to play with words and ask plenty of questions as well. Lively and informative, the book also presents some of Cummings's most wonderful poems, integrating them seamlessly into the story to give the reader the music of his voice and a spirited, sensitive introduction to his poetry.

In keeping with the epigraph of the book -- "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are," Matthew Burgess's narrative emphasizes the bravery it takes to follow one's own vision and the encouragement E.E. received to do just that.

Matthew Burgess teaches creative writing and composition at Brooklyn College. He is also a writer-in-residence with Teachers & Writers Collaborative, leading poetry workshops in early elementary classrooms since 2001. He was awarded a MacArthur Scholarship while working on his MFA, and he received a grant from The Fund for Poetry. Matthew's poems and essays have appeared in various journals, and his debut collection, Slippers for Elsewhere, was published by UpSet Press. His doctoral dissertation explores childhood spaces in twentieth century autobiography, and he completed his PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center in June 2014.

Kris Di Giacomo is an American who has lived in France since childhood. She has illustrated over twenty-five books for French publishers, which have been translated into many languages. This is her sixth book to be published by Enchanted Lion Books. The others are My Dad Is Big And Strong, But . . . , Brief Thief, Me First!, The Day I Lost My Superpowers

A basic element in Nietzsche's philosophical outlook is the will to power (der Wille zur Macht), which provides a basis for understanding human behavior — more so than competing explanations, such as the ones based on pressure for adaptation or survival. As such, according to Nietzsche, the drive for conservation appears as the major motivator of human or animal behavior only in exceptions, as the general condition of life is not one of emergency, of 'struggle for existence'. More often than not, self-conservation is but a consequence of a creature's will to exert its strength on the outside world. In presenting his theory of human behavior, Nietzsche also addressed, and attacked, concepts from philosophies popularly embraced in his days, such as Schopenhauer's notion of an aimless will or that of utilitarianism. Utilitarianists claim that what moves people is mainly the desire to be happy, to accumulate pleasure in their lives. But such a conception of happiness Nietzsche rejected as something limited to, and characteristic of, the bourgeois lifestyle of the English society, and instead put forth the idea that happiness is not an aim per se — it is instead a consequence of a successful pursuit of one's aims, of the overcoming of hurdles to one's actions — in other words, of the fulfillment of the will. Related to his theory of the will to power, is his speculation, which he did not deem final, regarding the reality of the physical world, including inorganic matter — that what holds true for man's affections and impulses, may also apply to the external world. At the core of his theory is a rejection of atomism — the idea that matter is composed of stable, indivisible units (atoms). Instead, he seems to have accepted the conclusions of Rudjer Boskovic, who explained the qualities of matter as a result of an interplay of forces. One study of Nietzsche defines his fully developed concept of the will to power as "the element from which derive both the quantitative difference of related forces and the quality that devolves into each force in this relation" revealing the will to power as "the principle of the synthesis of forces." Of such forces Nietzsche said they could perhaps be viewed as a primitive form of the will. Likewise he rejected as a mere interpretation the view that the movement of bodies is ruled by inexorable laws of nature, positing instead that movement was governed by the power relations between bodies and forces



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