A couple months ago, Karen had the very good idea of organizing a pass-around writing project: a ghost story that you, our readers, could assemble one chapter at a time. Five volunteers signed on, and we’ll be posting the story they wrote starting next week.
Should be a good way to spend those dark winter nights…
My French counterpart, Murielle, discovered this article in the Courrier international about Lucha Libre, a crazy-sounding Peruvian improv contest in which writers gather in a bar, don masks, and then have five minutes to write a story on a particular theme. The winner is published; the losers drop their masks and face public humiliation.
The name means “free fight” and is a takeoff on the popular style of Mexican professional wrestling (libro also means book in Spanish). Above, you’ll see a montage of Lucha Libre in action — looks fun, no?
Usually, it helps to take claims of historical authenticity with a grain of salt… That famous dead writers used your notebooks, for example, or that James Dean wore your khakis.
This is closer to the real deal. In 2004, J. Herbin discovered an authorization in its archives by the writer Victor Hugo to produce a black ink especially for him. The authorization remains in the archives, but the recipe has since been remade into a couple of bottles of ink. Karen managed to get her hands on one of them, and was then kind enough to pass it along to me.
This is not a fountain pen ink; Hugo wrote with goose quills, though steel nibs were becoming increasingly popular. Personally, I haven’t had much luck with feathers, but that did not put me off from trying it out with a glass pen. And what fun it was! The ink is shiny, dense, and saturated. It pops on bright white Clairefontaine and looks handsome on my ivory Habana, too. Because it’s so thick, you have to be a little more careful about bleed-through, and clean your pen carefully (and immediately) after you’re done. Still, it’s an awfully fun ink to play with. About the only complaint I have is that the bottle cap’s a bit finicky and is tough to get off and on.
There aren’t very many bottles left, but if it’s something that interests you, please let us know in the comments, and we’ll ask Herbin if they’d be willing to make more.
Our latest Writers’ Project interview is live! We did something a little different this time and talked with Stephen Lloyd Webber, who is both a practicing poet as well as a writing instructor. Stephen’s wide-ranging blog offers plenty of inspiration and exercises; he also runs writing workshops and wellness retreats each summer in Italy.
Check out the interview to learn more about Stephen and read his thoughts on writing, teaching, and creativity.
Looking for some end-of-summer reading material? Check out our latest Writers’ Project interview, where bestselling author JT Ellison talks about her research, her writing routines, and her new book, The Immortals.
You’ll also find plenty of food for thought in our archives, where we’ve stored our previous interviews with Jeff Abbott and Damon Young.
Exciting news this morning: We’ve just launched a new feature on the website of our parent company, Exaclair, to celebrate writing, creativity, and the tools and minds that make it all possible.
Called the Writers’ Project, it includes interviews with authors from around the world who share tips and techniques and talk about their latest projects. Australian author Damon Young is our inaugural feature; visit the Writers’ Project homepage to learn more about Damon’s writing habits, his new book, Distraction, and the “tangible, intimate quality to the marriage of pen, ink and paper.”