Saturday, December 20, 2014

#RhodiaPaperProject Week 1 samples

Included in Rhodia Drive's first week of samples were paper from three same sized notebooks (all 5 3/4 x 7 1/4) and all graph paper. All three samples handled fountain pen ink superbly with only a minimal amount of shadowing on any of them and no bleedthrough at all. Feathering itself was only minimal, with Noodler's Baystate Blue showing the most (I chose Baystate Blue for two reason; 1. it's my favorite color of ink, 2. it is notorious for feathering, shadowing, and bleeding through. I thought it would be a perfect test of the samples abilities to handle ink).

1. Rhodia Ice, White/Grey/Graph 80g (first choice of week 1)

Rhodia Ice front
Rhodia Ice back

  • Nice, smooth writing
  • Not much feathering

2. Clairfontaine Classic, White/Blue/Graph 90g

Clairfontaine Classic front
Clairfontaine Classic back

  • Smooth writing
  • Quite a bit more feathering, especially with Baystate Blue

3. Rhodia 80th, Ivory/Grey/Graph 90g

Rhodia 80th front
Rhodia 80th back

  • Smooth, but almost feels like writing on soap (I know...weird, but the only way I could describe it)
  • Colors look best on the ivory when compared to the others
  • Zero feathering
Comparing the three papers, it is a toss up between the two Rhodias. All three handle ink like a champ and I would purchase a full notebook of any of them, but the Clairfontaine in this test feathers the most. I'm not sure if the writing feel of the Rhodia 80th (that bar of soap feel) would bother me over time or not. It seemed to be most noticeable with the TWSBI 540 than any others. 

Pens and Inks:
  1. Noodler's Baystate Blue in TWSBI 540 fine nib
  2. Diamine Pumpkin in Kaweco Sport Ice fine nib
  3. J. Herbin Poussiere de Luna in TWSBI Classic extra fine nib
  4. Retro 51 Tornado rollerball
"If there is a story you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

Friday, December 19, 2014

Rhodia Drive's #RhodiaPaperProject

Over the last couple of months, I have been fortunate enough to receive samples of a number of different papers through Rhodia Drive's "Rhodia Paper Project." Users can request the current weeks samplings of three different papers to try out and review. While I have been lucky enough to receive all eight weeks so far, I have been extremely busy and have not been able to put up any reviews. Over the Christmas break I am going to work at rectifying this oversight.

To be upfront, I do not do many reviews and know that there are plenty of bloggers out there that post quality reviews of everything from paper, pens, inks, and pencils. I thought that I would try to do something a little different and am going to post pictures of writing samples on each one of the papers. I have pulled four of my favorite quotes about books and writings, and have used the same quotes and inks (for the most part...had a couple of pens run out and wanted something different) for each. I will post front and back pictures of each so that you can get an idea as to the feathering/shading on each one of the samples, as well as a few of my personal comments.

As comparison, I have also pulled a sample of Moleskine and a sample of a Franklin-Christoph journal so that you can see how things stack up. In this post, I will start with those two samples to give you an idea of how they will run.

First up, the every present Moleskine journal:

Moleskine Cahier front
Moleskine Cahier back
As you can see, the Moleskine paper does not handle inks very well. There is a bit of feathering, especially with the Noodler's Baystate Blue, and every ink bled through the paper, making the back of the page unusable. While I know this is not news to anyone out there, I did want to include it for reference.

Next, the Franklin-Christoph journal:

Franklin-Christoph front

Franklin-Christoph back
This paper handles ink quite a bit better than the Moleskine, with absolutely no shadowing or bleedthrough at all on the back side. There is a fair amount of feathering with almost all of the inks, however, and the paper is think. REALLY thick, but the writing experience is just fine.

The pens and ink combinations used on these samples is relatively the same throughout most of the reviews, but I will post any differences when they show up. Above you will see:

Noodler's Baystate Blue in a TWSBI Diamond 540 with fine nib (my favorite pen/ink combo);
J. Herbin Poussiere de Luna in a TWSBI Classic with extra fine nib (Franklin-Christoph);
Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Guri in a 1956 Parker 51 aerometric with fine nib (Moleskine);
Noodler's Nikita in a Retro 51 Tornado fountain pen with medium nib; and 
Retro 51 Tornado rollerball with a Schmidt ink cartridge.

Week 1's paper reviews will be up soon, but until then you can check out Rhodia Drive's blog for each weeks paper project reviews and samples.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Guest Book Blog

I have been remiss in not posting this website by a fellow teacher here at HMS. Ms. Anderson is an ELA teacher here at the school, and has been updating her book blog for some time. If you are looking for new book reviews, I invite you to check out her posts at: Girl of 1000 Words. She has been participating in the 40 Book Challenge by Donalyn Miller that I posted to all of the staff at HMS, and she'll definitely beat me by a long margin.

Enjoy the read, and hopefully you'll find a good book or two to add to your reading list.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TGIO! Thank Goodness It's Over (this post is a long one)

It's December 2nd, and the pens and clacking keyboards are finally silent. We have started going through and finding our success stories and those "almost" stories, but the takeaway of everything is that the students had a great time.

My success story is that I finally finished NaNoWriMo after a two year dry spell! My story is not done, but the competition is and I feel relieved that I was able to make it. Another proud moment on my side is that throughout the entire month of November, there was only one day that I did not write. That, in and of itself, is a huge accomplishment on my part. I may not have met my specific word count for the day, but the perseverance and continual work helped me reach that goal.

Looking back on everything, it surprises me that I was actually able to finish. There was a lot going on in November. I just found time where I could.

I started by prepping for NaNoWriMo, getting all the gear and supplies that I would need to write 50,000 words.
What's not pictured here is my Nock Co. Hightower which eventually replaced the homemade pen case. Not all the pens made it through November as well, but pictured from left to right are:
  1. Zebra Sarasa Clip
  2. Monteverde One Touch Stylus
  3. TWSBI Classic EF nib (J. Herbin Poussire de Luna)
  4. Kaweco Sport (Diamine Pumpkin)
  5. TWSBI 540 F nib (Noodler's Baystate Blue)
  6. Uni Style-Fit multi pen
  7. TWSBI mini 1.1 mm stub (Sailor Jentle)

Most of these were constant companions, minus the laptop that was too bulky to carry around everywhere.

The first distraction was the beach. We had a family gathering in Port Aransas (to make up for a rather disasterous trip to South Padre last June...). It was relaxing, but not always conducive to putting pen to paper (six adults and fours kids ranging from 6 years down to around 18 months, all staying in the same condo, made things a bit distracting at times).

 I ran out a notebook and a pen while there (the Moleskine Hobbit notebook and the Kaweco Sport with Diamine Pumpkin), and cracked open a new Franklin-Cristoph notebook and uncapped my TWSBI 540. Noodler's Baystate Blue has a love/hate relationship with pens owners, but for me, it is my favorite color. There is just nothing else like it.

Of course time had to be taken off for family things. There was the beach, nature all around, and my daughters favorite, dolphin watching.


There were a lot more dolphins than these three, they're just
hard to catch on camera.

Cute kid!

Work always gets in the way of writing, but that is the nature of it all. Thanksgiving rolled around, and as usual there were more distractions (but good ones for sure).

Writing by the light of a fire pit was something new for me. Smores and hot dogs were the order each night we were there.

Once again it was a family affair (only this time with my side of the family). Six adults and only two kids made it a touch easier to write over those five days, but the scenery caused the distraction this time.

Sunset over the Hill Country
Not everything went off without a hitch though. There were a couple of casualties during the frantic month of writing, and unfortunately, both of them were TWSBIs. I notice at the beach that my favorite pen -- the TWSBI 540 -- was beginning to develop some cracks in the cap. I wasn't really surprised as many have had the same issue, but when your favorite pen starts to show its age, you can get a little sad. The pen still works beautifully and will continue to be used on an almost daily basis until the unthinkable happens, or I get a replacement 580 (maybe a 580 USA model? Merry Christmas?).

The second was my fault completely. My TWSBI Classic developed a crack in the feed, most likely from over tightening. Eventually, it failed completely. To TWSBIs credit, their customer service is impeccable and there is a replacement part already on its way. 

50,000 words in the bag and the story is only about halfway done. Even considering the hiccups, I would definitely say this was a successful NaNoWriMo, and a great November.

Happy Holidays everyone, and may your stockings be full of pens and pencils this Christmas!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Long time between posts, but we've been a bit busy

Only two days and 3,500 words left. Sounds like I may make it this year and be able to say once more that I wrote a novel in just 30 days. To be fair, the book won't be complete come December 1st, but I will have met the requirements to be a winner of NaNoWriMo (in fact, my wife is sitting next to me ordering my winners shirt). 50,000 words in just 30 days is tough, but the feeling of completing that massive goal feels pretty good. 

The kids are pushing through on their own writing goals, pushing through that last barrier between them and crossing that line that they have set for themselves. Whether they finish or not, I am proud of each of them for taking on the challenge to begin with, and hope that this experience will spark the joy of writing in them. 

Thank you for all of the support that you have given to me and the kids over the years. This month would not be possible without it. December 1st I can finally slow down, so be on the lookout for more posts to come. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Happy Fountain Pen Day!

We are one week into NaNoWriMo, and the kids are putting words in the page at an amazing rate. This might be a banner year for word counts. 

Today is National Fountain Pen day! Started in 2012, National Fountain Pen Day was started to celebrate and share, embrace and promote the use of fountain pens. Check out for more details. 

To celebrate, I'm at the beach. I've got my pen and journal and I'll be plugging away on my word count all day long. So far I'm 1,000 words behind, but there's plenty of time to catch up. It's a rainy and cold day here, but I'm weird and like beachy days like this. I love rain at the beach. 

So grab your favorite pen and write a letter, journal entry or just doodle an celebrate your love of fountain pens. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Preping for NaNoWriMo

A few students have asked about things that they can do to get ready for November. Remember, you cannot count any words until November 1st, but there are plenty of planning options available.

First off, I'd recommend checking out this page and reading through some of the planning options they suggest: NaNo Prep - Planning vs. Pantsing.

Concerning those of you who are wondering what your word count should be, look at these two places: Word Count Calculator & Setting a Word Count Goal.

Good luck in your planning. We'll start meeting around October 1st to plan out those exciting adventures!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The School Year is Here!

And here come the writers.

I hope that everyone has had a great summer. Now that we have things rolling along here at Hutto Middle School, it is now time to start planning for that eventful month of November. I already have quite a few kids that are signed up for this year's NaNoWriMo. Most are repeat writers, but I am starting to get the 6th graders interested as well. As donations and prizes start to show up, I'm starting to get more and more kids stopping by my windows to check out the goodies.

Thank you to Laura Kellner at Kikkerland Design for the boxes of Leuchtturm pocket notebooks (I had to specifically as how to pronounce the name. Try luke-term). Also thanks to Philip Wang and TWSBI for donating some great pens for the third year in a row! (I'll have pictures of those pens coming soon).

As promised in my earlier email, there were a couple of stories that I wanted to share. I'll relay one of those today and the next soon.

One of my former students (she is in high school now) stopped me one day during summer band and excitedly proclaimed, "I bought a fountain pen this summer!" While on a family trip to Colorado, this student visited an antique store with her mother, and there in the glass case was a fountain pen.

(sorry for the sideways picture)
It is an older style Tuckersharp lever filler, and it was the only thing that she wanted. We've discussed how to water test it for leaks, and how to fill it from a bottle of ink. When I get some time, I'll get over to the high school and walk her through the process, but I am proud to saw that there is a new fountain pen geek in the making. And without the support of all our sponsors over the years, it would not have been possible.

Thank you again for the help over the years. I honestly believe that I would not have been as successful if it had not been for all of you. If you can help out again this year, I -- and the kids -- would appreciate it.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sculpting new geeks.

The last day of school. A joy for teachers; the bane of parents...

The last of the kids have brought their pens in for ink refills before the summer, and now it's time to get things closed up for summer. All of the kids are going through the end of day parties, yearbook signings, and good-byes for summer, but a few of the kids have asked to hang out in the band hall and work on their geekiness.

Killer Bunnies has been the favorite this week, but there are a few that have had a lot of fun with Munchkins. I actually have two versions in the box: Munchkin Booty (pirates) and Munchkin Bites (vampires & werewolves).

I have had a lot of fun introducing these kids to games that don't require batteries or cables. Honestly, I'm not sure that some of them realized games like these exists.

So now I have a new moniker to add to my list. I'm the guy who writes with "old" pens, and the guy who plays "old" games.

And I like those titles!

Monday, June 2, 2014

It's Gone... Again!

And once more, my beloved Fisher Space Pen is gone. Slipped out of my pocket sometime the last Saturday, and despite looking everywhere for it, no luck.

This particular pen was given to me by my father a long time ago. It's dented and scratched, there's some rust on the inside of the cap, but it goes with me everywhere (well, WENT with me everywhere...). This was the pen that was always in my pocket -- at the grocery store, beach, pool... You name it, that pen was there.

The Fisher Space Pen is one of those pens that I think everyone needs to own. It will write anywhere (come on... Anything designed to write in SPACE, will write anywhere). The bullet pen fits easily in a pocket and is always there when you need it. It is not the go-to pen that I pick up when writing a book or short story, but it is the workhorse that will do what you want, when you need it.

And it's gone...

I'll definitely be replacing my Space Pen at some point, but not before I head to the beach next Sunday (and it was going to be my beach pen...). The blue or black Field Notes Space pens are in the lead.

 In the meantime, I'll have to make do with something a little less than perfect for my pocket.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I'm a winner!

For someone who enjoys nice pens and paper, winning an "Ugly Pen Contest" is something of a love-hate thing. A while back, I came across a post from Pens Boutique on Facebook, asking their followers to submit their most ugly pen. The one with the most votes would win a White Leather Retro 51 Tornado. I scoured my school desk looking for something to post, and came across the perfect pen.

That's the "ugly pen" next to the prize Leather Tornado. The pen was given to me by my father who knows I love pens AND pirates. He is actually the one who started me on my pen obsession when he gave me a Sheaffer Prelude almost eight years ago. And what could be better than a pirate pen? 
Maybe three pirate pens (with the Tornado for reference). These three pirate pens live on my desk at school in their own special cup which read "Dead 'til I gets me coffee." (Yes, I have a thing for pirates. Unknow to me was all of the extras that were in the box with it! A special thanks goes out to Pens Boutique for the giveaway and all the extras.
My six year old daughter has already claimed one of the pink pencils (and her mom the rest...), and I'll use the extra winnings as prizes for my writing club. The blue Preppy pen is tagged for one of my wife's students who have been writing his own zombie story. I always try to encourage and reward young writers, whether they are my students or not. And thanks to all of you, I have been able to do that.

School is wrapping up soon, which means we are all in super stress mode trying to finish up. My apologies if posts are sporadic. I'll try to get on a more frequent schedule. 

Take care, and keep those pens fill with ink!

Edit: added clickable links to Pens Boutique

Current pen: Lamy Vista with ink converter and fine nib
Current ink: Noodler's Army Green (original version)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

To be a writer, you have to read

I don't know of any author out there who would not agree with the above statement. Reading is such an integral part of being a writer that the two should just naturally go hand-in-hand. If fact, reading is one of the single most important resources a person can use to increase their success in school.

So in celebration of reading, what book is everyone reading? Current book? Favorite book of all time? Favorite series? Favorite author?

There is so much discussion that could happen when talking about books that we could go on forever. I'd love to hear what is on everyone's shelves.

Currently Reading:

"Taken" by Benedict Jacka, 3rd book in the Alex Verus series

I'm proud to say that a student loaned this book to me. I introduced him to the Alex Verus series by Jacka and he fell in love with them.

Favorite Book:

This book is hands down my favorite book I have ever read. I'm a little happy and sad at the same time that my copy of this book went missing after I loaned it to someone to read. Oh well, someone's enjoying it, right?

Favorite Series:

I would be willing to bet that this is on quite a few favorite lists out there. The fantasy and magic aside, this is a wonderful series of books with a very strong message about doing what is right vs. what is easy.

Favorite Author:

All hail the Future Dark Overlord! I have been a fan of Scott Sigler's since he first start podcasting his novels back in 2005. His writing draws you into the story and won't let go. Scott Sigler first started giving his novels away for free as serialized podcasts, and has since landed publishing contracts with two different major publishers, as well as self publishing his Galactic Football League series and starting his own imprint. Sigler is the epitome of working hard to reach your goals.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Yeah. More...state...testing...

And while the students are hard at work on the second round of state testing, I thought I'd share some pictures of the participants. This isn't quite all of them, but we were in a rush to get pictures in for the yearbook (the first time we'll have our own page!). We had a lot of fun writing this year, and every few days another student is asking for more ink in their pens. My goal is to turn this into a full year writing club. Who knows? Maybe one of these kids will be the next great author...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Band Contests, STAAR, and a Spring Break thrown in

Things have been extremely busy here in Hippo-land. Both the HMS Concert and Symphonic bands attended their annual UIL Concert & Sight-reading contests. While the Concert Band didn't quite walk away with what we wanted, I am extremely happy with their performance and all of the effort that they put into preparing for their performance. The Symphonic Band walked away with a Sweepstakes trophy! Simply put, they received the highest ratings possible on both the stage performance AND sight-reading performance. Congratulations to Mrs. Champion and all of the Symphonic Band students for their great performance!

Spring Break -- as always -- was way too short, but was much needed downtime for students and teachers. And this week, we completed our first round of state mandated STAAR testing (the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness -- who comes up with these?). After two days of testing for over four hours a day, the kids (and directors!) were ready to jump back into playing some fun and exciting music for our spring concerts.

I've got some pictures and new things coming soon. Right now I'm working on some reviews for my current journal traveling, a Field Notes Expedition. I'm also working through my new pencil acquisition -- a Blackwing Pearl. I'll be posting some writing comparisons between the three Blackwing offerings as well (the Blackwing "original", Blackwing 602, and Blackwing Pearl). I hope to have more reviews and posts up soon.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 3, 2014

InCoWriMo? Oh yeah...right.

Well, to say InCoWriMo didn't go well this year would be an understatement. The job this year has been stressful, and by the time I can get home, it takes all my energy to finish fatherly duties with my daughter. By the time she's in bed, so am I.

I did get a few letters out, and definitely plan on sending more. The Pope, Dalai Llama, Emperor of Japan, and Mayor of Greenwich, England should all have received their letters from me by now. Here's to hoping that I get a response.

I'm working on replying to the few letters I received over the month of February. Looks like there are a couple of new pen pals to add to the list, and after tomorrow's band contest (what's been keeping me so busy), I should finally have enough time and energy to continue my international writing campaign.

Anyone else get any good letters?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rested and Ready

Welcome back from the land of San Antonio! Each year in February (it's always the week of Valentine's. Why is that?), every music teacher K-college (music, band, choir, and orchestra) descends upon the San Antonio Convention Center and Riverwalk for a four day conference called the Texas Music Educators Convention (TMEA). It is a whirlwind few days filled with classes, lectures, and some spectacular performances. One performance in particular, caught my attention and made me remember what music can be. It may seem that I'm a bit prejudiced in my opinion, seeing as I am a graduate of the school, but the Stephen F. Austin State University's performance on Thursday was spectacular (and everyone else who saw it agreed). What's more, every single musician in the ensemble was a music education major! Not only is SFA turning out some of the best music teacher's in the state, the quality of musicianship is phenomenal.

Two pieces in particular grabbed ahold of me in a way that music hasn't done in a long time. Being a middle school band director, I have become a bit jaded in the music selections that I work with. They are wonderful pieces to be sure, but middle school pieces none-the-less. These two pieces reminded me of why I teach middle school, and the musicians that I am helping to create.

The first piece is called "The Frozen Cathedral" by John Mackey. It is a 13 minute piece, and is exactly what the title says. Being in the auditorium, with the music surrounding me on all sides, I could close my eyes and see myself walking through that ice-covered cathedral. The second piece, literally brought tears to my eyes. "Gone" by Scott McAllister deals with the horrific accident that ended McAllister's playing career, and the emotions that he dealt with in coming to terms with this life changing event. It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces I have ever heard. Below I have shared links to performances of the two pieces. I invite you to listen, and hope they move you even half as much as they did me. Enjoy.

"The Frozen Cathedral" by John Mackey

"Gone" by Scott McAllister

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Year of World Leaders

InCoWriMo is just around the corner, and I've been dutifully collecting my addresses for letters. Ultimately, I'd like to write and receive a letter from every state in the U.S., every continent, and -- after a lot of letters and money for stamps -- every country on the map (my letter to Antarctica is on its way...).

But where do I start? Where do you get addresses from? What do you write?!

My students have asked me these questions countless times over the last couple of weeks, and before I joined InCoWriMo last year, I had the same questions. Depending on who you write to, Google can be your friend. Additionally, the forums on InCoWriMo have an address swapping thread for people who want to participate. While I don't recommend students post their own address, I do encourage them to write letters to family and friends. Or better, to a favorite singer or actor/actress. Better still, your favorite author!

Then the next set of questions rolls in:
     "Does anyone ever write back?"
     "Of course."
     "Like who?"
     "Well, I've been writing back and forth with someone from Sweden, and another from Australia."
     "Yeah, but anyone famous?"
     "How about the Prime Minister of Canada and Buckingham Palace?"

At this point, I usually just shake my head and move on, but I was excited to get those letters back. It has inspired me to write to more world leaders as well. Nothing ground breaking or deeply emotional. Just a "Hi! How's it going?" kind of letter with a "Do you use a fountain pen?" thrown in for good measure. Who knows? Maybe they will write back (I'm talking to you, Mr. President. I am still waiting on my reply from last year.)

I'll include a list of people who I've got addresses for, and if anyone can help make the last on happen, you'll be my favorite.

So, who are you writing to?

"The List"

  1. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin
  2. The Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott
  3. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key
  4. The Mythbusters (okay, not a world leader, but I'd vote for them)
  5. Mike Rowe (see Mythbusters above...)
  6. The Mayor of Greenwich, England, Angela Cornforth (this would be a letter from the beginning of time... Get it? Greenwich, England? The Prime Meridian?)
  7. The President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano
  8. His Holiness Pope Francis (yup, The Pope!)
  9. His Holiness the Dalai Llama (yup, him too!)
  10. The Emperor of Japan, Akihito
  11. Robert Iger, CEO Walt Disney Company (again, not a world leader, but I do love Disney)
  12. Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks (I drink enough of his coffee, might as well)
  13. The King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf
  14. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgings
  15. The President of France, Francois Hollande
  16. The President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon
  17. Alton Brown (I used his turkey recipe this Christmas and wanted to thank him)
  18. The President of the United States, Barack Obama (again...)
  19. and (though I'm not sure how I can ever get this accomplished...) the International Space Station (Thanks Mrs. Champion for that request)
There will be more, and I'll post when I get them (and when I get a reply!).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

InCoWriMo (Vintagel Social Media)

I honestly can't take credit for that title. I read it on a pen blog Anderson Pens website (yes, I read pen blogs...), and I thought it was too clever to pass up.

InCoWriMo stands for International Correspondence Writing Month. It was started by the Fountain Pen Geeks (FPGeeks for those of us in the know) last year as an off-shoot of NaNoWriMo. InCoWriMo takes place in February and tasks you with writing a letter or postcard a day to anyone. I participated successfully last year, and it was a blast. Not only did I receive letters from across the country, but also Sweden, England, Australia and Canada. I even got a letter back from the Prime Minister of Canada (with a signed photo), and a letter from Queen Elizabeth's Lady in Waiting.

This year I am broadening my scope. I'm in the process of collecting addresses from every state, as well as the Heads of State for various countries. I'd like to be able to send and receive a letter from all 50 states in the US (I only got 8 letters back from the US last year), as well as every continent (still waiting on that letter back from Antarctica).

If you are interested, I invite you to head over to the FPGeeks blog and check out their posts on InCoWriMo. There is an address share in the forums, and you can get lots of addresses there (and maybe even find a new pen pal). Additionally, Google is a wonderful resource for looking up addresses of just about any public figure you can find (I'm on the search for the Mythbusters' address...). If you really want to get into the spirit of InCoWriMo, head over to the Anderson's website (they are generous sponsors of the HMS Young Writers) and purchase the first ever InCoWriMo Writing Kit, where you get a fountain pen, bottle of ink, note cards and envelops to start your letter writing adventure.

I hope that some of you will join me in February as we send handwritten letters around the world. My address will be there, and I'd love to hear from you.