Things That Work

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for awhile. Lately I’ve stumbled across a couple of products that simply work. Now I know how this goes. What works for me may not work for you. But I still figured I’d pass the info along, just in case.

And then I thought, why stop here? I’d like to know what works for other people.

So, this is a meme. It’s as broad as anybody wants it to be. And I’m going to tag somebody at the end, of course.

1. Cheap Fountain Pen that Writes Like a Dream

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

By hanging out on some Moleskine and GTD sites, I discovered the Lamy Safari Fountain Pen with Extra Fine nib. Now maybe you’re a fountain pen expert who has expensive fountain pens and will say, “Oh, that doesn’t write like a dream, the Uber-Costly German Gold-and-Sterling Whipperjammer writes like a dream, not that cheap piece of junk.”

But here’s what happened to me. I love fountain pens but won’t buy one that costs much because I’m afraid I’ll lose it. Plus, I just don’t want to get started down that road, because boy are there some gorgeous pens out there. So I bought the Lamy and loved it so much I was tempted to get three or four in different colors, and use each one for a different color ink. (Um, what road was it you weren’t going down, Pooks? Shut up.)

But I started surfing sites and saw some really beautiful pens that didn’t cost too much more than the Lamy Safari, and I finally decided to buy a couple of them instead. And they write scratchy. Or at least, not as smoothly as the Lamy. And after excursions into other cheap fountain pens I finally realized, “Duh, maybe there’s a reason why people kept recommending the Lamy Safari.” (I said Shut Up.)

So I’m back to wanting several colors of Lamy Safari pens. To go with the pretty inks I have. (Another weakness.)

My recommendation is you spring for the converter so that you can choose your own ink and refill, but if you prefer the ease of cartridges, that’s fine, too.

And as for that ease of writing thing — I’ve mentioned it before but my handwriting is abysmal. And after years of buying bold pens I discovered that this extra fine nib makes my handwriting much more legible. Wow, who knew?

Then of course there’s the added benefit that the fountain pen (this one, anyway) glides across the page so easily that I’m less prone to gripping too hard, pressing down too hard, and thus my handwriting improves even more, and my hand doesn’t cramp.

This pen works for me. Especially when writing in my Moleskine. Is there anything more romantic and lovely than writing in a Moleskine with a fountain pen? I think not.

2. 100% Cotton Shirts that Don’t Wrinkle

LL Bean Wrinkle Free Shirt

Really. This is not a joke or an advertising trick. First I bought a couple for myself. So the Resident Storm Chaser asked me, “When did you start ironing your shirts?” I’d been wearing it all day and it still looked crisp and smooth, and hell no, I hadn’t ironed it. I did hang it up straight from the dryer, but that’s it.

LL Bean Tattersall Wrinkle Resistant Shirt

So I bought him some. We’re believers.

Go to LLBean and search on “wrinkle resistant” and you’ll find a great selection. It works.

3. Lip Balm with Color

Burts Bees Lip Shimmers

I have chapped lips. I constantly reapply lipstick or chapstick or lip balm or whatever, and sometimes I’ll be okay and other times they’re a mess. But just out of curiosity I picked up some Burts Bees Lip Shimmers, and I’m in love. The colors are nice. (Shimmery but not sheer — very nice colors.) And my lips haven’t been chapped in yonks. Love this stuff! (And if you’re not into color I assume the regular stuff is just as great.)

According to them, “They’re made from natural ingredients like vitamin E, coconut and sunflower oils to moisturize and highlight your lips.” Whatever it is, it’s great stuff. And cheap!

4. GTD

Getting Things Done

Haven’t I said enough about that yet? Well, no, but I’ll save it for another day.

But for me?

It works.

5. The Best Screenwriting Competition Ever

Nicholl Logo

And I believed this long before I ever won. It is the best run, the best planned, the most respected, the best in all ways. When Mrs. Gee Nicholl decided to endow a fellowship for writers she became the guardian angel to more thousands of writers than she will ever know.

It’s not just the writers who are discovered because they entered, and have careers launched. It’s not just the writers who win.

It’s the thousands of you who are even now typing into the late hours of the night and wee hours of the morning to complete scripts to meet that May 1 deadline. Whether you’re in Los Angeles or Dallas or London or Hamburg or Hong Kong the dream is within your reach because this terrific woman decided to honor her husband’s memory with this fellowship, and because the Academy has done such a stunning job of implementing it.

So … why are you reading this?

Go write.


And good luck!

Now … I want to know what works for other people. I’m going to tag Toni and Candace and brett even if he is an Aggie. You can write about one thing that works or a dozen. You can list them or explain them. I don’t care. I just want to know —

What works for you?



Filed under Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Analog, Books, Getting Things Done, Girly, Meme, Moleskine, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, Screenwriting, Writing

17 responses to “Things That Work

  1. I love this post even though I use throw away Bic pens and yellow ruled pads, and had never even heard of Moleskines, although I clicked the link and that should count for something. Perhaps in an uncouth way, I am revealing myself to be among the great unwashed hoipalloi, but with the best of them, I do like silky lips and a smooth shirt or two.

    A great site: I’ve blogrolled you.

    Blessings (they work for me!)


  2. Oooh! I love memes, and this is a GREAT one – thanks!

  3. Magic Eraser. Works on everything like nothing I’ve seen before.
    I’m pretty sure someone sold their soul to the devil to develop this product. It is magic.
    Are you psychic? I was going to do an entry in my blog tonight on Magic Eraser.

  4. Ooooh, cool post. Okay, I will do that one tomorrow (Friday).


  5. I don’t even know what a magic eraser is. See? That’s why I started this. Maybe somebody (ahem, ahem) will tag you.

    And now to see what C & T do with it….

  6. …”while I give not a hoot in hell for what B thinks.”

    (completing the thought you started in the previous comment)

    Hmph. I’m used to it. Really.

    poor poor pitiful B

  7. Oh hush.

    I just had momentary second thoughts about what kinds of things an Aggie would use that work, that’s all. Heh.

  8. Pooks, I was thinking just this week that my pens all suck, and instead of buying a pack of new pens I should get a halfway-decent fountain pen. When I’m watching movies to review, I can’t see what I’m writing, and the ink in the pens I currently use sometimes skips. So later I can’t read what in the hell I wrote. But I don’t want to put anything too expensive in my purse because I’m always losing stuff. Where do I get a Lamy Safari?

  9. They have them at a lot of online shops — you can google and they’ll turn up. They also have them at Amazon. But Daly’s Pen Shop is cheaper than Amazon. That may be If not, that’s close. There are different colors, different size nibs. I like the extra fine a lot. I sat down in a coffee house one day and just copied a lot of stuff out of a newspaper — about two pages worth? (Two written pages, not two newspaper pages.) I was just breaking it in and getting used to it. And since then it has written very smoothly. I also bought a bottle of “Private Reserve Ink” and a converter when I bought the pen. I don’t know if the ink is part of the reason it writes so well, but it may be. Lots of pretty colors to choose from.

    Let me know how it works out!

  10. planetpooks,
    GTD works for me too, and I love to write about my experiences. I use a Waterman Phileas fountain pen with a Fine nib. I’ve been using the converter that came with the pen for the same reason you mentioned: it allows you to use your own inks. I’ve selected Levenger Cobalt Blue for now. I’ve been looking at the Lamy Safari also, what I like about it is the indentations where your thumb and forefinger hold the pen, it makes it easy to wield it without requiring a “grip of death” that will certainly cause fatigue. The store did not have the pen loaded with ink and so I was hesitant that this fairly inexpensive pen might be scratchy. It’s good to hear that even the extra fine nib is smooth. I may land up getting one, or more!

  11. Damn! You got your own planet?? How cool is that? Does that make you, like, The Little Princess or something??

    And I was feeling good about having my own chair….

  12. Oh, my chair sucks. Planets are overrated compared to good chairs.

  13. Ah, another pen obsessed writer!

    I must MUST have my smooth writing Zebra brand jel ink pens in burgundy, hunter green and cobalt blue. (The various colours are helpful during revisions and also when I get bored with using the same colour. Which happens a lot.)

    P.S. A good chair on a good planet (they’re rare) can’t be beat.

  14. Here’s a heads-up. I’ve been researching “secret writing” (for a rewrite of an espionage script…which will be written entirely in code) [joking] and I came across a web site on cheque fraud. Apparently, it’s very easy in most cases to erase handwriting on a cheque and replace it with oh…say, my name. Just for instance. All it takes is a bit of acetone. And the cheque will be none the worse for wear.

    According to the web site and stories it posted, this type of cheque fraud is becoming a major problem. So how can you protect yourself? Use a gel ink. It’s the only type of ink that acetone (and some other chemicals) can’t remove.

  15. That’s an excellent point, Sam. There’s a waterproof black ink (called “bulletproof) made by Noodlers. I’ll put the fountain pen afficianados on it to see if it withstands the acetone, or whether we all need to be certain to use gel on checks.

  16. Here’s the URL with the info. There’s a list of chemicals used by forgers, but acetone is the most common.

Hit me with it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s