“Are you warm enough? ”
“Me? I’m from East London, I’m fine.”
It’s raining up here. Am I getting wet? Nah, I’m from East London, I’m fine.
I have a laptop, a tablet, an iPad, a Freewrite Traveler, a typewriter and a notebook. And yet I’m still using my fountain pens. But I find that they aren’t fine enough, even those ones declaring that they’re extra fine. I like my writing to be slim, without bleed or the need for blotting. I like to glide across the page and not feel the scratching of the paper on the nib. If I were to be writing a piece for my Masters (qualification, not lords and owners), I’d start to explore the origins of the fountain pen, possibly alluding to my collection, fascination and use of them. I will also do a similar thing with typewriters. And who knows, I may even envelope my playing card collection. I did write a small piece a little while ago on fountain pens, but it was nowhere near any good. Or of any great length. I will extend it one day.
I have just over a month to go until I know for sure whether or not I’m off to Paris. There’s so many thoughts running through my head at the minute it’s starting to hurt my eyes. And it’s becoming painful, now.
I don’t have much internet success here in the Lake District, so all research is halted. What I should be doing is planning a route for the possible visit. If it doesn’t pan out for me to go, I’ll at least have some direction for any England based research of Paris that I decide to pursue. I should also confirm with my inner turmoil what topics I’ll be looking at covering. I’m still heavily drawn toward Hemingway but also debating about fountain pens, Les Halles, the Belle Epoque and the Lost Generation.
But am I simply better off just writing about my visit (if it takes place) rather than burying myself in research? I have so many articles, journals, books and webpages to read, scan and scour in sixty days. This is in order for me to lay down the required fifteen thousand words for the final piece of my Open University MA in Creative Writing. It would be like the behind the scenes of the intended piece; the bonus feature on the BluRay.
My thought processes are wide and varied. Which makes me think that I should try and record a conversation (with myself?) about what I want to write. I can then include the factual elements as an imaginary lecture (to myself?). An issue I have is that whilst I know exactly what I am to supply in order for the required grade, I’d much rather hand in an interesting assignment. I’d prefer to be the creative part of the creative nonfiction. Is too much, too much? Is not enough, not enough? Knowing when to stop is such a difficult skill to master. Graded pieces can dictate that you must include everything that is required of you. Show business tells us to always leave the audience wanting more.
What if my next five hundred words are the most important ones? Or perhaps the next ones after that? It’s like my fountain pen collection. I’m always left wanting another one. I’m hoping that the next one is the last one. But I never know what’s around the corner. Maybe it’ll be an extra, extra fine one.