writing novels with a translucent, red, fountain pen
Canadian Science Fiction writer
Mark A. Carter gives his
two cents worth about himself.
Right. Sure. You bet.
I hold a
B.A. in Drama and Psychology, a
B.Ed., an Honors B.A.
in English, and an M.A., with
thesis, in English Language and Literature. Although I'm the
first to admit that I got my degrees the hard way by not reading
most of the assigned texts, and by literally living the Animal
existence during my first three years at university, I did eventually
pull myself up by my own boot straps.
in the "Afterword"
to Hephzibah of Heaven,
I wrote this, in way of apologizing for the grief I gave my teachers
over the years:
owe an immense debt of gratitude to the English Literature Departments
at Trent University, the University of Western Ontario, and the
University of Windsor. When I was a young man, I did not appreciate
the excellent education I was exposed to, but I do now. Somehow,
even if by osmosis, I absorbed somewhat of an education. So,
it is with bent knee and bowed head that I say, "Thank you,"
to my teachers and professors, and to the literary giants upon
whose shoulders it has been my honor and privilege to stand.
I live with Donna in the outskirts
of Canada and in the shadow of so-called civilization otherwise
known as South Detroit. I
wrote Hephzibah of Heaven,
Thea of the Seraphim,
and Tellusian Seed
by hand, using a translucent, red, fountain pen, in the presence
of Messengers, or so I would
like to believe.
It was my intention
to retire the red, fountain pen after
even bought me a modestly priced silver, fountain pen
with which to write my next novel . But alas, the new pen was
put in a tin box for safe keeping. And the second novel, the
prequel to Hephzibah
called Thea of the Seraphim,
was written with the same old pen, as usual. I have
now completed the third book of the
Hephzibah Trilogy called
Tellusian Seed with, you guessed it, the red,
Am I superstitious?
The truth be told, I consider the translucent, red, fountain
pen to be my good luck charm. And I have been known to say upon
occasion: "You just can't get a good, reliable $7 fountain
pen anymore." But I have assured Donna that when the red
pen breaks, I will start using the $50 Sheaffer Prelude that she bought me. You
can purchase one for yourself at
If you want a
more lavish writing instrument, you can get it at Amazon too.
They actually have a fountain pen on sale at over $1600. I'm
not kidding. It's called the
Conway Stewart Elegance Plummage. I should say so. If you have money to
burn for that special writer in your life, by all means give
this pen as a gift.
But I can asure
you that if I was given a fountain pen that expensive, I would
never use it under any circumstance, except perhaps to sign a
galactic peace treaty. I would be afraid of dropping it, and
a writer always eventually drops his pen. And here's a rhetorical
question for you: "Does an expensive pen make you a better
to computers, Yes, Virginia,
after using Apple computers
for twenty-five years, I have abandoned my ancient
350 MHz Blueberry iMac and
AppleWorks for writing. What can I say? I got a
great price on an HP Pavilion
running Word 2010
with a functional US dictionary. Plus, my local Mac dealer was
an idiot. It always amazes me when a stupid salesman gives me
in this case Applespeak, that
assumes I know less than him and will be
baffled by his bullshit.
Let's put it
this way: he didn't make a sale, and I will never return to his
store. I think that says it all. My wife and I laughed all the
way to the car. Sheesh. Nevertheless, I will continue to use
my very old and slow iMac
for web design until the hard drive fries once again. Then it's
heave its heavy ass into the dumpster time, baby, and good bye