Archive for Editorial

What books are currently on your night stand?

nightstand books

I usually have at least three or four books going at a time.

The books currently on my night table include:  American Vampire, a graphic novel by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Stephen King; The Kingdom in paperback by Clive Cussler; The Ptolemies by Duncan Sprott and Eastern Europe! by Tomek Jankowski.

Whatever book or combination I am reading includes a bit of history, archaeology, and some mystery–supernatural or otherwise.

I started with Eastern Europe! when some DNA tests from Family Tree DNA indicated I have a substantial amount of Eastern European and Baltic ancestry.  I’m acquainting myself with the region before I make a trip there someday.

Graphic novels are usually done by wonderful storytellers–both writers and artists.  IMHO, they are under appreciated both as good writing and as an art form.

The Ptolemies are a great soap opera of a dynasty, with plenty of interesting characters and weird twists and turns. Following them is like feeling your way against a dark temple wall.

Clive Cussler also tells a good story.  I like Dirk Pitt, but Sam and Remi Fargo are my favorites. They are adventurer-archaeologists–something I wish I could be.

What books are you reading?

 

Rhodia on your desk? Show us!

haijixxx

I never seem to get tired of looking at the art and writing tools that other people use. When I see the same items showing up again and again, that’s usually about the point when I have to check them out for myself. As a result, I have discovered many new and amazing products.

We of course, have a special love for seeing Rhodia in your world. So much so that we have set up a variety of Fan Photo Pages here on Rhodia Drive to showcase your images.

If you would like to share a nice clear picture of Rhodia on your desk, send it to: stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com for review.

Image courtesy of marcieello on Instagram

The Challenges of Attending College as an Adult

Europa-Institut_graduation

At 45, I am considering attending college for the first time ever.  Curious about the experiences of other adult learners, I reached out to my friends on Facebook: 

Lorraine M. Pasquali: I dove in feet first, like I do everything. After the first class, I felt I had made a huge mistake and cried in my car for 10 minutes before driving home. The workload seemed daunting… I was still working a full-time job Continue Readering »

Inky Fingers

ragemore
What fountain pen user hasn’t at one time or another experienced inky fingers? For me, it’s every time I refill a pen. It happens either by accidentally touching the rim of the bottle or when using a paper towel to wipe the nib section clean.

Other ways I’ve gotten inky? If a pen is running a little dry, I will sometimes twist the convertor to push more ink into the feed; if it’s a bit too much, spillage may occur. Dip pens/nibs come with their own type of inky hazards simply from having to repeatedly dip the nib into an ink bottle.

Under what circumstances have you experienced the inky finger syndrome? Anyone ever experience ink problems on an airplane?

Image courtesy of Ragemore on Instagram

 

Similar Fountain Pen Ink Colors

pelikanop

Have you ever discovered two similar ink colors? How did you determine your favorite between them? Price? Smell? Flow? Looking for something similar to an ink you can’t find? Take a look at this article on Pendemonium: A Few Thoughts on Fountain Pen Inks which includes helpful notes on similar ink colors.

Image courtesy of pelikanop on Instagram

 

Dialog Writing in Your Memoirs

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When I first bought character actor Stephen Tobolowsky’s book “The Dangerous Animals Club” I didn’t initially realize that it was a memoir. (If you don’t know Stephen’s name, you probably know his face because he’s been in over 200 movies – from Mississippi Burning to Memento.) Each chapter is a separate story, (some quite amusing) yet there are larger interconnecting narratives that weave together from the book’s beginning to end. From the very first chapter I instantly recognized Stephen as a gifted storyteller and was more than happy to read about his various experiences -including many from his 30 years in the entertainment industry.

When reading a book such as this, I’m always intrigued by the authors ability to either recall or write detailed dialog. I have a million stories I could write about, but how does one remember exactly what so and so said? If one does not have the memory of an elephant and did not take explicitly detailed notes at the time of the event, does the author simply use artistic license and make things up? I’d be concerned that I’d receive a phone call from Great Aunt Hilde screaming at me something along the lines of, “I never said that you should buy the tuna, It’s always been the cod!”

If you’ve ever penned a short story using actual events from your life, how did you go about writing the character dialog? If not, we can each check out the advice offered at the links below.

Can You Make Up Dialogue In Memoirs Or Nonfiction Books? at Writer’s Relief

Writing a Memoir Like a Novel: Dialogue at This New Mountain

 

Are you Familiar with Commonplace Books? Why not start one today!

Commonplace_book_mid_17th_century

Commonplace books (or commonplaces) are essentially handwritten scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas, etc.

These commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts, or facts they had learned and each book would be unique to its owners particular interests. They became significant in early modern Europe.

Per Wiki, commonplace books are not diaries nor travelogues, with which they can be contrasted: English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke wrote the 1706 book A New Method of Making a Common Place Book, “in which techniques for entering proverbs, quotations, ideas, speeches were formulated. Locke gave specific advice on how to arrange material by subject and category, using such key topics as love, politics, or religion. Commonplace books, it must be stressed, are not journals, which are chronological and introspective.” – Nicholas A. Basbanes in “Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World”

And in the words of Jonathan Swift: “A common-place book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories;” and whereas, on the other hand, poets being liars by profession, ought to have good memories. To reconcile these, a book of this sort is in the nature of a supplemental memory; or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation. There you enter not only your own original thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men as you think fit to make your own by entering them there. For take this for a rule, when an author is in your books, you have the same demand upon him for his wit, as a merchant has for your money, when you are in his.” —from “A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet”

Would you like to read more about commonplace books? Try these links:

How And Why To Keep A “Commonplace Book” at ThoughtCatalog

Commonplace Books at Harvard University Library

Rhodia Ice

rhodia ice 2

Rhodia has designed two new notepads for its 80th anniversary year (1934-2014): a white cover with silver logo pad, and a special 80th anniversary pad, with an interesting orange gold grid pattern on the cover.

We are calling the new “Bloc White” – Rhodia Ice.

Both pads will be featured at the National Stationery Show in New York May 18-21. 2014.  They will arrive from France within the next two weeks.

Rhodia Ice will be available in six sizes:  No. 11, No. 12, No. 13, No. 16, No. 18 and No. 19. The paper is 80g with muted silver grid or lines.

It is the most striking pad I have ever seen, with an elusive beauty and character. It is quite different from anything else–just like Rhodia.

rhodia ice

Retailer Spotlight – JetPens

Jet Pens

We are reintroducing the Rhodia Drive Retailer Spotlight!

To start us off in the inaugural spot is the fan favorite JetPens. You will find a large assortment of Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Brause and J. Herbin over at www.JetPens.com. If you’ve never heard of them or you’re a long time customer here’s your chance to get to know JetPens a little better.

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Thank you for taking time out of your day to chat with us about JetPens today. The website has really taken off in the past couple of years and your presence is felt throughout the blogging community and pen fans everywhere.

RhodiaDrive: How did JetPens get started?

Continue Readering »

Movie List?

serenete

Do you have a list of “To See” movies? American Hustle was at the top of my list and I finally got to watch it the other day. (I am a sucker for any movie taking place in the 70s.) I also would like to see The Wolf of Wall Street, Catching Fire, Anchorman 2, Captain Phillips, Beyond the Sea and Saving Mr. Banks.

Image courtesy of serenete on Instagram

 

A Change in Handwriting?

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Has anyone else noticed any changes to their handwriting over the years? Has it become neater, messier, or perhaps more stylized? I know that I began to use a combination of printed/cursive letters sometime when I was an early teenager. Since that time, I believe that my writing has become somewhat more stylized and I am now able to write straight across the page when using blank paper. My signature on the other hand, has disintegrated into only a few recognizable letter forms. 

(This is one of those times when my notes about a post actually becomes the post.)

 

J. Herbin scented fountain pen inks: Your Thoughts?

Herbin Scented Ink

Did you know that J. Herbin offers several different scented fountain pen inks? Whether or not you’ve ever tried a scented ink, we’d love to hear your thoughts about them.

J. Herbin scented inks are made from floral water (hydrosols) of rose, orange, lavender, apple and violets. The hydrosols used by J. Herbin come from Grasse, France, a Provencal town long associated with the perfume industry, and famous for its floral scents.

Fashioned with great care, scented inks are inspired by a tradition that began in Italy in the 19th century. J. Herbin and other manufacturers used to collect different scents from the perfume industry and add them to their inks.

Known as “Les Subtiles” (The Subtle), each ink matches fragrance and color: bleu/parfum lavande; vert/parfum pomme; amber/parfum orange; rouge/parfum rose; and violet/parfum violette.

 

Where do you buy your Rhodia?

pastorkerem

Stationery stores, art stores and book stores are a few of the more popular types of brick and mortar stores where you may discover a selection of Rhodia products available for purchase.

Click here to find a local retailer in your state or here for retailers with multiple locations. Product availability may vary and if you are looking for a specific Rhodia or Exaclair product, it might be best to call ahead.

The image above was taken at a D&R Music and Book Store in Turkey. Where do you buy your Rhodia?

 

Beautiful Tools

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New York City graphic designer, Louise Fili, has created Perfetto Pencils based on 1920s and 1930s pencil cases collected in Italian flea markets.

Perfetto Pencils have two tones like the pencils traditionally used by teachers in Italy for grading homework.  “Red is for a minor infringement, blue for a serious offense,” she said.

I was struck by the beauty of the pencil box as well as the pencils.  Beautiful tools enhance the pleasure of writing.

Rhodia Notebook in Maxpedition

maxwellequations

I belies this is a Maxpedition Field Book Cover which has an overall exterior size of approximately 8.5″ x 5.5″ x 0.75″. I am guessing that that this is an A5 (6 x 8 ¼ “) side stapled Rhodia notebook that the owner noted: “I had to cut a little off of the Rhodia to make it fit properly into the Maxpedition binder. Just a little off the back and then it fit just fine.”

It seems as though Maxpedition products are pretty popular with the EDC crowd. You can take a look at a Pinterest board featuring many of them here. (As a side note, we’d love to see more orange in these photos. Hint hint.) 

Image courtesy of maxwellequations on Instagram

 

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In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

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Grab Your Camera and Show us Where You Buy Your Rhodia!

Target? Dick Blick? Borders? Art Brown? We want you to show us where you buy your Rhodia... The next time you are out and about,  snap us a picture of where you buy your Rhodia products so we can assemble an online gallery of local retailers. To... Read on »

Favorite Pens

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: stephanie@rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done”. David comments on the Rhodia Meeting Book: “I love this Rhodia pad. First, the paper stands... Read on »

Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

Season 5 (Bravo Network) Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg, originally from Taos, New Mexico, was always good at math. After graduating 3rd in his class at Taos High School, he moved to Boulder, CO to study at the University of Colorado. His dream... Read on »

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Life Noted App

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Would you like to be a guest blogger on Rhodia Drive?

If so, contact me via e-mail at stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com with your proposed subject matter. We are looking for posts ranging in length from 100-500 words. Photos to accompany the article are a welcome bonus. If you have been reading... Read on »

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About

Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.