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  1. I just got my first fountain pen (Visionnaire Noir [yes, I am aware of the controversy]) which I wanted because I had taken to hand writing letters. Having the pen, I want to tackle my handwriting. My current is an abysmal print (chicken scratch), and I would like to develop a respectable cursive. I currently I do not even know how to produce all of the cursive capitals. My goal from this endeavor is to be able to pick up "any old pen" (ballpoint, gel, standard-nib fountain) and be able to write a nice cursive for "everyday" writing. I intend all my practicing to be with a fountain pen. I just do not want spend a lot of time learning to write nicely but require a special pen (flex nib, oblique holder, etc.) to be able to do it. I considered just acquiring some primary school cursive guide sheets and figuring it out; however, I am thinking that formal resources on how to write and try to learn a 'proper' method would give give better results. I know it will be slower and more work; though, as I understand it, side-writing is the worst configuration for left-handed FP so the effort is likely worthwhile. I am willing to put in the effort of relearning how to hold a pen so long as the method had clear instructions how to do it. I would even be willing to change writing hands if that is strongly recommended. Switching hands would not be high on my priorities (I like being recognized as a lefty), but I am ambidextrous so switching to right-handed writing would not be too great of sin. I write exclusively with my left because a primary school teacher needed me to not switch hands to be able to teach me how to hold my pencil properly [with a little grip thingy added to the pencil]. Before I properly did research, I picked up Platt Rogers Spencer's Spencerian Penmanship (Theory Book & Copybooks) thinking I would just work through that. I now realize that would best be done with a flex nib but I would prefer not to buy a new pen right now to get a flex nib. If it is a a strong recommendation I would. (I figure Spencerian would still look nice written without a flex nib once learned.) Ideally I would be looking for a recommended resource that I could work through. I spent a good portion of the day looking through posts and linked resources, but there end up being a lot of options. A common message was "do what works for you" and there are "ways to make it work." If I am going to try to learn a new writing form I would prefer proven guidance on something that works; or at least a good list of pros and cons so I can make an informed decision. Much of what I was finding just recognizes "different" options with the choice having been natural then adapted to work. The Spencerian book has instructions on how to orient the paper, and hold the pen, but only for right-handed use. I am looking for any advice or wisdom the community has. Your input will be greatly appreciated. ___ What I currently have for this undertaking: Visionnaire Noir Pen, Medium Round Standard NibVisionnaire Noir Black Ink (not especially saturated, seems to dry fairly quickly) Mohawk Strathmore Writing 24lb, Wove, Natural White Paper Spencerian Penmanship (Theory Book plus five copybooks) by Platt Rogers Spencer
  2. Greetings from the Bay Area! I have now been living in the Bay Area for three years, relocating from my home town of Seattle. I became an enthusiast of fountain pens (and writing instruments in general) through the study of graphic design. I learned about the tools of the trade; the fountain pen was one of them. Several of my peers had used fountain pens and technical pens for illustrations, and I slowly became interested in them. I procured inexpensive Rotring models to start off and learned how to use them. Later, as I progressed into Graphic Design, I found work at a family owned stationery store, Sab-Tec Stationers- owned by Sabah and Liesel Al-Haddad, that let me grow in my knowledge in fine writing instruments. I started selling art supplies and office products, but began to gravitate towards the Fine Writing Instruments. Soon I became extensively knowledgeable on all the writing instruments and became one of the top sales associates of fine pens in the store. I presented all the pens we had with enthusiasm- Cross, Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer, Namiki, Visconti, Lamy, Rotring, Aurora, and Recife- and many other brands and models. I purchased my own, as well as was rewarded with well-regarded fountain pens. When I left to advance my career and education, my interest in fountain pens did not wane. I had inherited my father's and grandfather's pens, which were tucked away with their belongings. For a brief time, I drew with my father's Parker 51, but after a while, I decided to get my own pens to draw with for my own personal satisfaction. Thus my collecting resume. I bought an assortment of inexpensive and expensive fountain pens through the years, each being used for various projects and writing. Parker, Pilot/Namiki, and Sheaffer pens can usually be found on my person or on my desk, along with the many, many pens that I have accumulated from vendors and suppliers- roller balls, ball-points, mechanical pencils, etc. I joined this network to touch base with the community and glean knowledge about products, opinions, and to fill in the gaps of my knowledge on fountain pen lore. I want to expand my knowledge on ink, paper, handwriting, calligraphy, and techniques. I would like to learn a bit on maintenance and repair as well. I hope to share the bits of knowledge I have on Fine Writing Instruments as well. Thank you all for letting me be part of the forum!

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