Monday, March 9, 2015

Great Expectations Denied

This link leads to a lovely Jane Austen/mail image. I want one. The board, not Jane Austen. 

Anna, note the salutation. Everyone should have an Anna. Someone said that of me once. I have never forgotten. I do wonder about the intent now.

I'm still on my quill pen acquisition mission. The goose feather that was guaranteed to arrive two days ago has yet to make an appearance. It's been "out for delivery" since Saturday. Heartsick, I pulled my up-close-and-personal inspiration off the shelf. Poring over the pages of my copy of Thomas Jefferson Architect offers small degree of comfort, and patience is still a virtue, right? 

Jefferson's signature is a disappointment here. I wonder if he used a guide for spacing and keeping lines straight, or if he was simply used to writing well. I wonder if his ink was black or naturally brown. I am most impressed with Jefferson's drawings. They're lovely and imperfect, but I cannot imagine drawing with a quill. I look forward to trying my hand at it. Writing will be challenging enough but still . . . 

I read that a person got three to six words between dips with a goose quill, but much more with metal. Curious too? Check this link for a few interesting facts:

"The trick then was to bury the feathers in hot, dry sand to harden the points, after which it was time to get your penknife out: the better the cut, the finer the script."

Aw, gee, man! I read this and got mad. Where's my goose feather? I have to practice! The plan was to do the sand bit in the backyard today, but no, it's raining. Shucks. Now I want a swan feather. And a crow feather. 

There's more if you're interested. Jefferson complained of rheumatism and joint pain. His penmanship changes at time just as mine does. I have neither ailment but then who has a consistent hand every day?

Is it quill or metal? Can you tell? He writes an interesting number 8. His F is consistently different.

This photo is from the book. The desk's placement is ideal for some serious writing. It's rather small, don't you think?

The wider view reveals another desk. What could be better than having a place to write when you cann't sleep? I have a desk near my bed too. And books all around the room. And of course my favorite chair and lap desk. Jefferson had nothing on me!

Another desk in another room. It's conveniently placed between the fireplace and a window. Closer to the window might have been a distraction? 

I wonder how long it took him to write this. Antient. My spell check wants to re-spell it for him. Rainy days and Mondays never get me down. Well, not any more. Thomas Jefferson to the rescue-- this time! I'm off to see if my goose quill found its way home. Can your goose write?


  1. I never thought to try a crow feather. The crows are nesting at the end of the garden so I will have to go on a scavenger hunt. One for you and one for me! Lately, I've been watching a flock of swans that I see near the river on the way to town. I have kept a close watch in case any feathers have been left behind. I haven't had success cutting a quill yet. I'd forgotten about the sand treatment, thanks for the reminder!

    1. What about a raven's feather? LOL? I just read Poe's poem. You have crows! I hope you find a good one. Hugs for thinking of me. You're one of a kind.

      I never imagined using a swan's feather, then I read their feathers are best. You live in a wonderful place! Swans, crows, woodpeckers!

      You're welcome. The sand strengthens the quill and makes removing the membrane easier. My goose feather smells to high heaven, which leads me to believe it was not washed first. It smells like . . . I wrote all about it, and mailed the letter this afternoon. This is fun!