Sue Miller on the Liars Club Oddcast

Sue Miller, author of The Good Mother, Inventing the Abbots, and more terrific novels, talks with the Liars Club about how much she knows and doesn’t know as she writes, and a dozen other intricacies of the craft, on this week’s Liars Club Oddcast.

Liars Club Oddcast logo

The Liars Club Oddcast

Premiering January 5th, 2017 (that’s today): The Liars Club Oddcast, on the Project Entertainment Network.

Liars Club Oddcast logo

Just a bunch of people who make stuff up for a living, interviewing other people who make stuff up for a living, and all while drinking beer and wine in the middle of the day.  What could possibly go wrong?

Join us for a lively round of lies and exaggerations featuring everyone from NY Times Bestselling authors to National Book Award finalists to debut novelists, screenwriters, actors and more. Hosted by The Philadelphia Liars Club.  Note: We are not responsible for the truthiness of any content, because, well, Liars. You get the picture.

First up will be Jonathan Maberry, who cofounded the Philadelphia Liars Club with me back in the 1870s… Trust me, I’m a Liar.

Return of the Inkograph

So, this week, clearing out a drawer, I came upon the Koh-i-noor Inkograph pen with which I wrote nearly every first draft of everything from about 1973 until its rear tip cracked more than a decade later.

Koh-i-noor Inkograph

The Inkograph was modeled upon Koh-i-noor technical pens, but it had a fountain pen tip (not a nib, but a tube for writing)—that is, it looked like a technical pen but wrote like a fountain pen. Back at the University of Iowa, Joe Haldeman and I were both Inkograph fanatics, and we remain fountain pen addicts to this day, who (in what can only be considered an act of male pen-bonding) still whip out our current devices and talk about them, about inks, about notebooks. No, really, we’re fine otherwise.

I retired this Inkograph long ago, but found its husk in a sleeve and thought, “What the hell, let’s fire this baby up!” And, lo, filled with some Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron ink, it writes as though I’d never stopped using it. What I notice now is how light it is compared to most of my other fountain pens. It seems to weigh nothing.

Somewhere around 1976, Koh-i-noor stopped manufacturing the Inkograph, more’s the pity. I still have one, pristine, unopened and unused, in its little carboard tube somewhere. Probably, it’s about time I hauled that pen out, loaded it with something vibrant, and penned a story with it.

Pen fanatics will likely already know that the Inkograph went through various permutations as the Rapidograph technical pen itself did. Some of these turn up at pen shows like the Philadelphia Pen Show, but so far I’ve yet to come across another example of this version (and don’t I wish I’d bought up all of the ones that Lind’s Art Supplies had back in ’76 other than the one I’ve never used…maybe it’s time to find out how it writes.)