I love fountain pens. Like love love. Fountain pens are great. A few years ago, Lauren gave me a Lamy Safari, and I was hooked. I can’t stand using ballpoints now. I tolerate a Marvy Le Pen for my pocket notebook since it’s a bit easier to manage for quick notes on the go, but otherwise it’s fountain pens all the way.
I write in my journal with some semblance of regularity. I write letters on occasion. Always fountain pens. I have several now, and a few different inks. The variety of inks is one of the nice things — you can get a bottle of ink you like, and just refill the pen from that. A twelve-dollar bottle of quality ink will last for dozens of refills (I’ve had my most-used bottle for at least four years and it’s still more than three-quarters full); I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes out cheaper than using crappy disposable ballpoints.
On top of that, you are writing with a quality instrument, with poise and power and history behind it. You are in touch with the great writers in history (and some modern ones), you have the satisfaction of using a fine tool, and you likely have less writer’s cramp: fountain pens take far less pressure than ballpoints to put ink on the page, due to the physics of how they work. With a bit of practice, your penmanship will likely improve, too.
I regularly use two or three pens. I have five inked right now; I should probably empty and clean a couple of those. If you leave ink for months in a pen without using it, it can dry out and gunk up, so it’s better to only have a few inked at a time.
Depending on the paper (the smoothness affects the way the pen lays down ink), I do most of my writing with a vintage Parker 45 loaded with Noodler’s Bulletproof Black ink, or a new Kaweco Sport with the sepia ink cartridges they sell. These are my workhorses. For shorter stuff I want to stand out (like poetry or quotes), I use my Lamy Safari with Noodler’s Antietam (a nice shaded red) or an italic-nibbed Pilot Plumix with Noodler’s Navajoe Turquoise. Side note: can you tell what brand of ink I favor?
So, anyway, most people don’t seem to understand my preference for (obsession with?) fountain pens. Of the strange things I like (nerdy card games, pipe-smoking, what have you), this is the one that seems to draw the most attention and fascinated questions when it comes up.
(This post is part of a series of more personal posts. Thanks to Lauren for starting it, and you should go leave her a comment if you join in!)
1. What age did you learn to ride a bike?
2. Do you remember your first day of kindergarten? What was it like?
3. What was your first car? What did you love/hate about it?
4. Who is/are your hero(es)?
5. What is one of your favorite memories from your childhood?
6. Do you play an instrument? If not, what would you want to play if you could?
7. What’s something that’s on your “bucket list”?
8. What were you like in middle school? What were your clothing/music choices? (Around 12 years old.)
9. What is something adventurous you’d like to do someday?
10. Do you believe in anything “odd” – UFOs, ghosts, horoscopes, superstitions, etc.?
11. What’s something you’re interested in that no one really knows about or no one would really understand?
12. What’s your favorite nostalgic song? What does it remind you of?
13. If you could learn one new skill or pick up a new hobby, what would you like to do?
14. What’s your favorite book? Magazine?
15. What’s your religion/religious beliefs?
16. What are you going to name your children? Or, what are your favorite names in general?
17. Who was your childhood best friend? Do you still keep in touch?
18. Tell us your life philosophy?
19. Tell us a secret talent!
20. Create your own question and answer it!