Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 27, 2021

While I’ve had 10 fountain pens inked up all month, I’ve been putting three in my Nock Co. Lookout ever Sunday, and using those three for the week. This week is was the:

Photo of last week's fountain pens
  1. Kanilea Kona Cherry (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux
  2. Lamy Safari USA (Bacas Needlepoint) with Waterman Intense Black
  3. Lamy Aion Dark Green (EF) with Lamy Green

I’ve picked these three for the week ahead.

photo of fountain pens for the week ahead
  1. Sheaffer 300 Matte Green (F) with Sheaffer Black – the only one of the ten that’s even close to being written dry this month.
  2. Diplomat Aero Volute (Marc Bacas OF) with Montblanc Spider Grey.
  3. Lamy 2000 (OM) with Montblanc Bordeaux – a pen that has yet to click with me, although it’s less than a month old.

My fountain pen usage remains low. It took another hit this week. I’ve been having some trouble writing stuff for another blog. As usual I’ve been writing the drafts longhand. They’ve ended up in the garbage. This week I sat down at the keyboard, ignored what was done before, and banged out a workable first draft. This doesn’t bode well for my fountain pen usage. Hopefully I just needed a change to kickstart my brain, and I’ll be back to pens soon enough.


I’m going to a summer schedule for the Sunday posts. I plan to alternate between a full Trail Log one week, and just a link post the following week. So next week will be a link post.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

I should probably change the heading for this section. I rarely watch TV/Movies or listen to audiobooks these days.

Read A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. I wanted to get back to history, so searched for a WWII themed book. I came across this one, which is a biography of Virginia Hall. She’s an American, although she started spying for Britain early in the war when America was still neutral. She fought sexism, and a leg amputation due to a hunting accident. I was quickly engrossed in the book. It was as much a thriller as a biography. A solid 5 out of 5 stars.

Read Artemis by Andy Weir. Despite enjoying The Martian, I never read his second book. Now that his third book is out I finally went back to read his second. The main character, Jazz, is female, but has the same personality as Mark from The Martian. He was talking to himself, she’s a wise-ass to everybody on the moon. She quickly becomes annoying. I enjoyed the descriptions of life on the moon, but the story line was convoluted and I found it boring. His research this time seems to have been the economics of a moon-based city, and welding. A lot of welding. 3 out of 5 stars.

Read Swag by Elmore Leonard. A typical Leonard story where the main characters are criminals. It almost goes on for too long – How many different ways are there to describe an armed robbery? But it gets to the ending soon enough. 3 out of 5 stars.

Reading Later by Stephen King. I had technical problems reading this eBook. After failed and frustrating trouble shooting I returned the book and placed another hold. It wasn’t so engrossing that I resisted doing this, even though the estimated wait is 6 weeks.

Reading Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard. I’m OD’ing on Elmore Leonard. I wasn’t liking the Leonard books as much as I expected. Good dialog and scene setting, but less than engrossing stories in the last half of the book. So, with this one I finally took a look at what I thought were Leonard novels I enjoyed. My brain was broken. They were by Donald E. Westlake. Published in 1976, this is another crime themed story. In this one the cop just switched from the bomb squad to sex crimes. The criminals are former 60’s radicals and bomb makers. The structure is a bit jarring, at least in the first few chapters. The cop is the subject of a chapter, then the criminals are the subject of the next, and so on, until about chapter 9 where the characters are mixing together. I may read a Elmore Leonard western, but once I finish this one I’m done with his crime stories for a while. I fell asleep reading it yesterday.


Why? – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

To grind a nib or not to grind a nib, part one : mnmlscholar

When One Nib is not Enough | The Pen Addict

Monthly Inked // 2021 Work Rotation | Weirdoforest Pens”/

School’s out for summer — so returneth the Nakaya

Gourmet Pens: Flexy Calligraphy Fun with Fountain Pens

Older Japanese Pens – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Consul the Doctor Episode 20 | Hey there! SBREBrown

Pen and Ink of the Week – June 21, 2021 – Franklin-Christoph Model 45L in Antique Glass with Graf Von Faber Castell Deep Sea Green — Write Experience

Why My Platinum Century 3776 Fountain Pens Have Architect Grinds – Chicana Writes

Musgrave Sampler Pack. – PENCIL REVOLUTION!

The TWSBI Eco 2 Years Later – Left Hook Pens

Vintage Find: Telescoping Dip Pen – The Well-Appointed Desk

The Flanders Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

To grind a nib or not to grind a nib, part two — mnmlscholar

Sunday Links – June 20, 2021

It’s the June Solstice today, meaning it’s the start of astronomical summer here in North America. Although, not until 11:32PM in my part of the world.

Yesterday was the first time Juneteenth was a national holiday in the US.

Both of these are good reasons to not have a full trail log this week, so those are the reasons that I’m officially using. Today brings just the links I’ve collected throughout the week.

Günther Wagner’s Black Horse: A History Of The Rap-Pen « The Pelikan’s Perch

Fountain Pen Ink Review: Vinta Inks Vintage and Neon Capsule Collections | Rants of The Archer

Top 5 Fountain Pens $100-$200 Update — The Pen Addict

Pen and Ink of the Week – June 14, 2021 – Conklin Herringbone — Write Experience

Fountain Pen Ink Review: New Brew Inks | Rants of The Archer

Upturned & Downturned Nibs – Left Hook Pens

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 13, 2021

Lamy Aion Dark Green, fine nib,uncapped with writing sample

Another week of low fountain pen usage. I’m also low on inspiration for topics to write about, so this is more of a link post than a recap.

My journaling is nearly non-existent. This i mainly because I’ve been reading, rather than journaling, as I finish my morning coffee. It doesn’t help that any evening journaling is always rushed.

It should come as no surprise that the Lamy Aion Dark Green (EF) with Lamy Green ink was my favorite pen of the week.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. MacDonald. Last week I mentioned that I read this series as a kid. This example of 1964 pulp fiction did not age well, or maybe I didn’t age well. It was enjoyable enough to finish, but I now understand why there’s not any other books in the series available on Libby, none at my local library, and only a smattering at libraries in the area. I give it a middle of the road three out of 5 stars.
Reading 10 LB. Penalty by Dick Francis. Another author I read a lot of when I was younger. He was an accomplished jockey and almost all his fiction books have a horse racing tie-in, although superficial at times. The main character in this one is a 17 year old kid (as the book begins) who seems a little too knowledgable for his age, which is my main complaint. While attempted murder and arson are serious crimes, the results in the book are relatively inconsequential for the characters. Unlike his typical book, this one takes place over the course of years. I enjoyed the story, but I never worried about who done it?. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Reading A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. I wanted to get back to history, so searched for a WWII themed book. I came across this one, which is a biography of Virginia Hall. She’s an American, although she started spying for Britain early in the war when America was still neutral. She fought sexism, and a leg amputation due to a hunting accident. I was quickly engrossed in the book and put off plans to alternate reading this one and a fiction title. I didn’t know anything about her going in, so it’s as much of a thriller as any work of fiction. There is a bit of a spoiler in the introduction as it’s mentioned she retired from the CIA in the 60’s.

Mid-Year review: Personal Favorites — The Gentleman Stationer

The joys of the returning pen meetup — mnmlscholar

Video-Review: Lamy Imporium – Scrively – note taking & writing

Fountain Pen Review: 2021 Lamy Safari Special Edition Terra Red and Savannah Green | Rants of The Archer

Vintage Pen News: Don’t soak that pen!

Blackbird Fountpen Eyedropper Filler – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Gearing up for a week of reading notes and meetings — mnmlscholar

Macniven & Cameron – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Altura – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Should I feel guilty for emptying a converter of an ink I’ve grown tired of? — mnmlscholar

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 6, 2021

This week's most used pen.
Most used pen this week.

My fountain pen usage was very low during the past week. It picked up a little near the end of the week. But, at the rate I’m going, I won’t empty any June pens by the end of the month. My most used pen this week was the Sheaffer 300 Matte Green. My favorite pen/ink combo was the Kanilea Kona Cherry (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux.

photo of the Kanilea Kona Chery
My favorite pen and ink of the week.

After a multi-day break in journaling I started again on Wednesday. But the entries are short, barely two pages for the 5 days. But my goal is to pull out the journal and a pen every day. One reason the entries are shorter is that I haven’t been doing the entries in the morning. I’ve been doing them at the end of the day. It’s not uncommon for me to just want to get it over with.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Two weeks, and a holiday weekend, worth of books.

Listening: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I gave up on this book, about 2 hours into the ~6 hour audiobook. I suppose all the depressing medical stories are setting up a reason for checklists that will surface later in the book. He just related one medical checklist to a success. But, I couldn’t take it anymore. I already use checklists, especially for mundane, repetitive tasks since those are what I usually screw-up, or forget where I am in the process. I think that was one point he might eventually try to make. I returned it to the library; early and unfinished. So that’s a rating of zero stars.

Listening: The Now Habit by Neil Fiore, Ph.D. I picked this one up because it was going to be discussed on the Bookworms podcast. My intent was to finish the book before listening to the podcast. I gave up on the book and listened to the podcast. They started off with a lot of the same complaints that I had, but unlike me, they stuck with it. I don’t see it as being very helpful for me and probably won’t finish it before the loan is up.

Read: Memory Man by David Balducci. I enjoyed this one a lot. Not one where I stayed up late to finish reading it. But I filled any spare time I had with the book. I plan to read the additional books in the series, although not immediately. I also consider other books by the author. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reading: Double Booked for Death by Ali Brando. Another mystery. I’m not sure how this made it to my reading list. It’s a cozy mystery, a term I never heard before this book. The amateur sleuth is a woman who inherited a bookstore, with along with a black cat. It took a long time for the body to drop, and by then I was already bored with the characters. Are cozies supposed to take time to develop the atmosphere? The Rayland 3-book set became available, so I put this one aside for that one. Other books I had on hold are also available now, so I doubt I’ll finish this one before I have to return it.

Read: Elmore Leonard Raylan Givens 3-book Collection by Elmore Leonard. The three Leonard stories that had Raylan Givens as a main character. All three pre-dated the Justified TV series. I read them many years ago, possibly before the series was on TV. I still enjoyed them this time. The first two; Pronto & Riding the Rap are based on the same story thread, with many of the same characters so are best read in order. Pronto wasn’t told in the TV series, although the last scene in the book is the inspiration for the opening scene in the TV series.

The last book, Fire in the Hole is a collection of short stories, previously published as When the Woman Come Out to Dance and renamed for a Justified tie-in. It’s a collection of short stories, two of which are long enough to be called novellas. One Novella, Fire in the Hole, is the only Raylan Givens story and formed the basis for the first episode of the TV series. It introduces Boyd and fills in the Raylan/Boyd backstory. It formed the opening episode in the TV series, although with some significant differences.

I enjoy Leonard’s writing and give the first two books 5 out of 5 stars. The collection of short stories was uneven, so I’d only give it 4 out of 5 stars.

ReadingThe Deep Blue Goodbye by John D. MacDonald. Another book I read long ago. The first entry in his Travis McGee series. The story is that each title had a color in it so readers could remember which books they already read, when they were at the airport bookstore buying a book to read on a plane. (No tablets or ebooks in 1964) I’ll open this one up later today. (FYI: The color scheme didn’t work for me. I had to keep a list.)

New Arrivals

  1. Lamy 2000 (OM): inked up with Montblanc Bordeaux.

Out of Rotation

  1. Lamy Safari Green (F) w/ the factory supplied ink cartridge.
  2. Lamy Safari Savannah (M) w/ the factory supplied ink cartridge.
  3. Lamy Safari Terra (OM) w/ Pilot-Blue Black. I was not enjoying this nib/ink combination.
  4. TWSBI GO Smoke (Predator Extreme) w/ Waterman Intense Black. Flushed a bit early since I was cleaning pens and this one had been inked up since November,

Into Rotation

See the June 1st currently inked post for all the details.

canetas e coisas: STIPULA

Summer is a pen full of blues — mnmlscholar

Fountain Pen Review: Platinum Prefounte – The Well-Appointed Desk

Writing Retreat/Retreating Writing — The Pen Addict

Review: Esterbrook Scribe Nib | Rants of The Archer

The Pens on My Desk | Inkophile

The Big Paper Retesting and Rerating – Fountain Pen Love

Currently Inked – June 2021

It was January 2 of this year when I last did a currently inked roundup. I did an ink purge this past weekend so; it seems like a good time for another currently inked post. I cleaned out my Lamy Safaris, along with a TWSBI Go that was inked up last year. My habit of using factory included cartridges to start off my new pens has me really, really bored with blue, black and blue-black inks. I broke another rule; I flushed out pens that still had most of their ink left, and were problem free.

Pens currently inked for June 2021

Five fountain pens carried over from May, here they are:

Sheaffer 300 Matte Green (F) with a Sheaffer Black cartridge

Role: Workhorse fountain pen

This fountain pen is a terrific value at $65. Green is my favorite color. The matte green with black accents makes for a sharp-looking pen. The nib is smooth and puts down a sharp line, true to its fine width. I picked Sheaffer Black (in cartridge form) for this pen so that it’s suitable for any situation. The nib and dark ink make it suitable even when I’m forced to write in weird postures and on all but the worst paper.

Kanilea Kona Cherry (F) with Montblanc Bordeaux

Role: To Spark Joy

A gorgeous fountain pen, filled with my favorite ink. While I usually tire of flashy pen materials, I like this one more each time I use it. I have to get over my fear of running out of Bordeaux, which keeps me from using the pen. That’s a terrible reason not to use the pen. This is one of two pens with this ink.

This one ran out of ink Sunday night, but I immediately refilled it. Despite the refill, I still consider it a carry over.

Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard (Zoom) with a Sailor Shikiori Yodaki cartridge

Role: Headings & Something Completely Different

This pen will never be a daily writer for me, heck, it rarely writes for than 10 words when I pick it up. I like it for headings, bold notes, or just to have fun using. I use the pen every day, even if it’s only to write the date on the top of my daily index card. Occasionally used for doodling, where I can explore the line variation provided by the angle of the zoom nib.

Diplomat Aero Volute LE (Oblique Fine) with a Montblanc Spider Grey cartridge

Role: Daily Writer

Unlike my workhorse Sheaffer 300, the oblique grind on the nib means I should sit at a desk (or table) when I use the pen. The oblique grind fits the way I naturally rotate my pen, while the fine nib fits my writing style. It’s the best of both worlds. I picked the ink because I like grey inks, and it matches the pen. This is a Mark Bacas nib grind of the stock steel fine nib.

Montblanc sometimes gets carried away with their ink names. The full name of this ink is Montblanc Heritage Spider Metamorphosis Web Grey.

Lamy Safari USA (XXF) with Waterman Intense Black

Role: Big Nib Therapy

Another Mark Bacas nib grind where my instructions were to get as close to a Platinum UEF as was safe with the steel Lamy nib. I don’t have the UEF for comparison anymore, but it seems pretty close, and it is very thin.

The thinness of the nib can make it scratchy on some papers, although it’s smooth on Rhodia, Tomoe River and Profolio Oasis notebook papers. I use it when I want a thin nib, either to mark up a document, or when I just want a thin line.

I inked up five new pens before heading into June. Here they are:

Lamy 2000 (Oblique Medium) with Montblanc Bordeaux

Role: The Rookie with All-Star Potential

This one arrived Saturday, and I had it inked up with my favorite ink by evening. It’s a factory oblique medium, but I still have high expectations for this nib. I’ve barely used it so far, but all the signs are good, unlike that Lamy 14k extra-fine nib that disappointed immediately.

While I prefer thin nibs, oblique nibs are perfect for me, and an oblique medium is much more accessible to me. The small nib, and even smaller sweet-spot of my previous Lamy, made it a pain to use. I was always rotating the nib into skipping. So far the oblique nib seems to work for me. The nib still doesn’t provide much of a visual queue for alignment, but it touches the paper perfectly with my natural grip.

Lamy Aion Red (F) with a Lamy Red cartridge

Role: Utility (another Rookie)

I’ve had this pen since April 9th and have been debating whether to ink it up, or pass it on. There’s nothing wrong with the pen, and I do like red. But, I already have the Dark Green sibling, which will get much more use.

I didn’t do it any favors with the Lamy Red ink. Especially since some ink leftover in the pen (from testing I assume) made the initial sentence a nice, dark red. But it soon became a washed out red. I much prefer Sheaffer Red.

I’ll use it marking up documents.

Lamy Aion Dark Green (EF) with a Lamy Green cartridge

Role: Workhorse Pen

Like the Sheaffer 300, this is a workhorse pen, appropriate for any use. The green ink might keep it from some business uses, but I don’t really exclude any ink from business use. But being honest, I may want to play it safe is some situations and avoid the green ink.

I wanted to keep this in the pen case, uninked, until the Sheaffer 300 went dry, but I couldn’t. I want to use the pen.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Montblanc Psychedelic Purple (The Beatles)

Role: Royalty

This pen is just back from bent nib repair by Mark Bacas. This is the 20th ink filling for the pen (Since Aug 2016), so it gets a lot of use. Despite being a medium nib, I love writing with the pen. My other KOP was ground to an oblique, but I kept this one as a regular medium. The huge nib provides an unavoidable visual queue to help avoid rotating the pen while writing.

Esterbrook (Kenro) Oversized Estie (Journaler) with Sheaffer Red

Role: Drawing Attention to Itself

The only ink this pen has ever held is Sheaffer Red. Any choice other that the fire engine red Sheaffer ink would be wrong.

Fountain Pens currently inked for June 2021 - uncapped
Writing samples for all the June pens