Apples tumbled to the ground as Danielle ran towards her home, flustered. My eyes followed her as the camera switched to show her home, which was under the control of her bitter stepmother. The movie was called Ever After, and it was a favorite of mine. I had watched it several times with the passionate love of a child for the underdog, but this time something was different. Eyes glued to the screen, I collected a purple marker from the coffee table and began to write. “Hara ran through the forest, apples dropping from her skirts as she ran…”
While my writing style has much evolved since this early moment when my ten-year-old self set marker to paper on my first long story, I will never cease to consider this moment the start of my writing career. Every word I wrote in that old purple marker has since been copied to computer, printed, revised, and changed to no longer resemble the childish plagiarism it begin as. The purple ink has faded, waterstains and time nearly deleting what remains of the original words.
Hara is now a unique, independent character who is slowly moving out of my own head. She lives in a world of her own, standing alone against an invasion of my own making. Details change each winter as I sit in bed on a snow day or at a desk in a library, crafting a world that will likely never be published.
I have also long since moved from purple marker to black pen. Why am I telling you this?
A Day of Pens
Today, June 10th, is National Ballpoint Pen Day, a day to celebrate the style of pen that is so common today. Ballpoint pens have a smooth feel to them that makes writing feel nice, and helps ideas flow for many of us. To this day, I cannot write something truly creative with a pencil, and anything written in marker is pieced together with the same creativity as that first sentence penned to page more than a decade ago.
While at times I can craft a passable essay with keys and a screen, I am forever at my most creative when I write with a ballpoint pen.
Ballpoint pens are made with a tiny ball blocking the end of the pen. That tiny piece of metal blocks ink from drying, and also makes writing as smooth as the rolling ball of metal. Click here for more details on how the pen is constructed.
What to Do With a Pen
National Day Calendar recommends writing a letter to celebrate this day. Below is a letter to my readers, though in true ironic fashion it is typed rather than penned. We often underestimate the power of sitting down and writing a letter, not only for the recipient, but for yourself. When was the last time you wrote something on pen-and-paper? When did you last compose a long message rather than flitting off an email or text, or commenting on a post in social media?
I am writing to tell you that I appreciate your support of my blog. Each like goes directly to my head or my heart, depending on how sentimental you are feeling. I appreciate seeing the likes and visits on my page, and knowing that I have added a little bit of enjoyment to your life, if only for the short time it takes to read one of my posts.
From my first post on the unbecoming Anakis to my latest post on the heroes of Ketchka Tsendsi, and all the anthropology, Dungeons and Dragons, and holidays in between, you have read, liked, commented, and shared. Those shares brought enjoyment to others who enjoyed my posts as you have. I hope I continue to entertain through variety and quality writing.
The Standish Writes Team
A World in Ink
When surfing the internet recently, I came across a portrait called Redhead Girl, shown below, that was drawn in ballpoint pen. While photorealistic style is not for everybody, photorealism is truly the style of art that most impresses me. This style requires attention to detail and dedication that is unrivaled by others.
The artist, Samuel Silva, is a hobbyist who can be found on DeviantArt, among other places. Most people think of colored pencils, paints, oil pastels, and other mediums when they think of art, but Silva shows that ballpoint pens are their own medium for art.
Photoreal drawings are copies of photographs, such as the above drawing by Samuel Silva. This allows the artist to interpret the world and show others what the real world looks like to them. As a writer, I spend much of my time showing my version of our shared world to others, just as these artists do.
For more odd uses of ballpoint pens, some intended, some not, follow this link to Ben’s Journal. Note: Standish Writes takes no responsibility for any injuries that may result from misuse of ballpoint pens, such as using one for a tracheotomy.
Take out your ballpoint pen, and celebrate National Ballpoint Pen Day!