writing journal: conklin duragraph, mirror writing, inner rhythms

E is for Eva

A new fountain pen! This is a Duragraph I purchased from Cult Pens. It’s a reproduction ’20s design by the recently revived Conklin company. The colour is ‘Cracked Ice’, though I’m also rather tempted by the amber one, for obvious reasons.

Conklin Duragraph

‘Duragraph’ (a nice blend of ‘durabilis’ and ‘graphos/graphus’) is minutely etched in the silver band and flanked with three waxing/waning crescent moons on either side. ☽☽☽☾☾☾ An appropriate pen for winter, when I’m in the mood to delve into myth, lore and legend. And symmetry…

A video posted by @evadeverell on

I’ve been experimenting more with mirror writing. Most of the research on the topic focuses on brain “abnormalities”, which is disappointing, because I think it’s an activity that really trains you to switch off your conscious, corrective mind. I hope you give it a go!

The basic insight is that learned actions are represented in a body-relative scheme, not in external spatial coordinates. Thus, for a right-handed Westerner, the habitual writing direction is not left-to-right per se, but abductively outwards from the body midline.
from Mirror Writing, The British Psychology Journal

A few obervations:

    1. Mirror writing with my left hand comes very easily if I trust my hand. So easily that it looks much neater and flows much quicker than my practiced left-to-right left-handed writing.
    2. After mirror writing for a while, it becomes difficult to tell whether a specific letter is the right way around or not. It reminds me of those experiments where people wear upside-down glasses and stop noticing the difference after a while. Considering how inherently symmetrical we are, and how accustomed we are at moving our hands in sync, perhaps this isn’t so surprising?
    3. Do left-handed people find it as easy to write right-to-left mirror writing with their right hand? Does it matter that the motion is towards the body rather than away from it?
    4. Why is cursive easier than print? Is it just that I use it more?
    5. When I try to mirror-write with my right hand, I find it tends to fall into its regular letter shapes. Is it easier to mirror-write with your non-dominant hand because it doesn’t have its own motor memory and simply reverses the familiar motions of the other hand?
    6. Writing mirrored script doesn’t seem to make you much more adept at reading it.
    7. Numbers and punctuation aren’t any more difficult to mirror-write than letters.
    8. Foreign languages don’t seem to pose a problem. At least, they match my right hand in how well I can perform them.
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The Writer & Her Notebook

I’m working on a course for the Lady Writers League, called Reading Influences, which has given me an excellent excuse to spend days dipping into various translations of the Odyssey, wrapped up in a shawl and sipping spiced tea out of a snowman mug. So far Pope has me utterly transported. I’ve always had a weakness for rhyming couplets which seem to add a sense of inevitability and rightness to ideas they tie together. The anticipation of the completing rhyme keeps me reading even over boring boar hunts. They also have a tendency of sticking in my mind and surfacing like song lyrics…

Talaat ibn Kula of Ispahan
taught me the measurement of man…

Let us go then, you and I
When the evening is stretched out against the sky…

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the windowpane…

If there be yet another name more free,
More fond than mistress, make me that to thee!

For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

I always wonder whether people have predilections based on their own internal rhythms. Do I love couplets because I’m a gemini? :)

Mirror writing

P.S. The ink is Diamine ‘Grey’.

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Lady Writer

I write about literature, language, love, and living off your pen. Also, fortifying fiction, personal amelioration, and tea.

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