Writing

Sailor Shikiori Hisakata - Stardust Fountain Pen Review.

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The Sailor Shikiori Hisakata used to be known as the Sailor Procolor. I was lucky enough to be bought this pen as a gift from my husband. It's my first experience with a Sailor fountain pen and I think it's a great introduction. It comes in at a good price, approx £55 and is a great size. Plus there are some of the distinctive Sailor features available in this pen.

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My Shikiori Hisakata gets its Stardust name due to the barrel design. It has a resin body in a navy colour and throughout the barrel there are flecks of silver and blue that looks like Stardust or the night sky. I really love this design which is hard to emulate on a screen. In person and in the light the flecks within the pen body look wonderful. They really shine, but they’re not too bold and glittery. I’m not a glittery girl, but this works beautifully.

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The finish on the Stardust is chrome which compliments the colour nicely. Around the base of the pen cap there is quite a thick chrome ring which has the Sailor branding. Thee other chrome accents come from the pen clip and a ring around the top of the pen cap. Overall the amount of chrome detailing feels right.

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I have a fine nib which was purchased through The Writing Desk. This is the only nib size they have and as this is a Japanese brand the fine is very fine. The nib is small but the perfect size for this pen and it has some beautiful detailing that can be found on other Sailor fountain pens.

Sailor flourishes on the nib

Sailor flourishes on the nib

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This is a screw cap pen so your cap shouldn’t remove unnecessarily from the pen. The grip section has the same resin finish as the pen body which means that lovely design isn't broken up. It's comfortable to grip and I haven't experienced any slipping from the resin finish.

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Overall thoughts.

This is my first Sailor fountain pen and it is completely lovely. It’s a really nice pen to use, the nib is smooth and you get a super fine line. The pen is comfortable to write with for long periods of time and the weight balance is good. It’s a £55 Sailor pen and I think a great entry into Sailor. There are cheaper Sailor fountain pens you could try such as the Lecoule but the Shikiori Hisakata is a much prettier design.

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Mid-Week Mini: NaNoWriMo 2018 Conclusion.

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I have been taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. I took the opportunity of the month to edit the story I wrote by hand last year. This year wasn’t about taking part fully, working towards a 50,000 word goal because frankly I don’t have another story idea and I hadn’t quite managed to do anything with last years NaNoWriMo attempt.

My aim this month was simple. Get the analogue version into a markdown editor, which I have achieved, and secondly to edit.

I have been making good progress on the editing. I haven’t managed to edit everyday. Some days I ran out of time, or steam, and on other days I just didn’t have the motivation.

But then in amongst that there were those magical moments when everything just seemed to work and flow well. I managed to edit a lot of content, or really make some big improvements to plot, or dialogue.

The end of the month is coming to a close and I still haven’t finished with this story. There is more editing required and additional content to bring everything together. There is something that keeps bringing me back to this story and when I am immersed in it I enjoy it. I’m taking that as a good sign and a reason to commit to finishing this story.

I think in some ways NaNoWriMo can look pressurised and competitive. But if you take a small step back from the madness I have found that this month has given me something to focus on, a little encouragement when I chose to find it and the time to write…or in my case edit.

I hope for those who took part in NaNoWriMo this year you’ve all had fun with it and perhaps there are some wonderful stories out there in the making.

NaNoWriMo: My plans this year.

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Last year I took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time. I was drawn to this challenge after completing a Creative Writing course and I had an idea floating around in my head that I wanted to explore. I took the decision to write by hand, believing this would slow down my thoughts, allow my mind to digest the ideas and also not increase my screen time any more than I needed to. It was a great way to use my fountain pens and notebooks - I went through the full set of Baron Fig School Set three pack of Vanguards during the month. I wasn’t successful in completing the challenge but I did come out with a story more developed that I ever thought I could.

One year on, this half completed rough, first draft sits partially in my markdown editor, partly still in notebooks, completely unedited. I already feel a large amount of guilt because I’ve done nothing with this over the course of a year and I don’t want it to continue to sit there.

For this years NaNoWriMo I am going to get my first draft into my markdown tool - edit it, spot the gaps, see where extra content is needed, re-write sections, add to it, plus a whole lot of other things I am blind to at the moment. This year NaNoWriMo is a chance for me to focus and figure out whether my story is any good. Honestly I am a bit nervous about re-reading it, but that’s my inner critic and that person is completely unhelpful. It’s a start point and something to work on and improve.

The back end of the year always feels like challenge central and after just completing my first Inktober it does feel like I am flitting from one creative pursuit to another. I do find these collective challenges helpful to focus and in giving me a degree of accountability and that is how I will approach NaNoWriMo this month. No 50,000 word goal, no new story, I’m just using the month to work on the foundation I created last year and perhaps find a way to develop my story.

The tools.

Now this is a stationery blog, not a blog about writing, so I will be using some tools to try and complete NaNoWriMo this month. As one of my goals is digitising my draft I will be using my laptop or iPad to digitise everything, Ulysses is my markdown editor of choice.

However for the things that come up and that I spot for development I will use the Baron Fig Strategist notecards. I plan on putting one point on each card in order to keep everything very simply and so I can move things around if I need to. For anything that needs more thought and brainstorming I will venture into a Confidant notebook.

Overall thoughts.

I will of course share my learnings from my second NaNoWriMo and anything that I accomplish during the month. As always I enjoy hearing of other peoples experiences and pursuits too so please share and good luck to anyone who is taking part.

Mid-Week Mini: Baron Fig Show and Tell Confidant Notebook Review

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Baron Fig sent me their latest limited edition Confidant notebook to review on the blog. All the thoughts shared in this post are my own.

The latest Baron Fig Confidant limited edition is called the Show and Tell which is a collaboration with dribbble which is apparently a place where designers share the things they are working on.

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The Confidant is a gorgeous purple colour with the interior page layout debossed front and centre. The bookmark comes in the same purple colour as the notebook and the logo/icon is printed on the inside cover.

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The page format is the really unique feature of this limited edition and not something I think I have seen on any other notebook. The top half of each page is blank with the bottom half ruled. This really reminds me of my primary school notebooks where we would draw a picture of what we did at the weekend and below write some commentary around it.

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This is the intention with this page layout and gives this limited edition its name. There is space to doodle your designs, outline plans, draw mind maps and so on and then below a little bit of space to write out some form of description. The layout makes this notebook unique and perhaps limiting to some people, but I love the idea. There are so many interesting ways that you could use this notebook. I am pleased that Baron Fig chose to use the Confidant for this page layout choice. The hard bound covers and the additional pages means you could really use this for long term projects or journaling.

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This limited edition is an example of how Baron Fig are thinking differently with their limited editions and not solely looking at a cover design, they’re considering the whole notebook. This is a great release and a notebook I will really enjoy playing around with.

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If you’re interested to hear how the design came into being listen to the Eureka podcast, episode 14, where they guys discuss how they came to this. Notebook chat starts about 18 mins in.

Thank you again to the guys at Baron Fig for sending me this notebook to review.