Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – November 28, 2021

Pens inked for November
They’re all empty now

My fountain pen usage remains high, at least for me, thanks to NaNoTraMo. The transcription has consumed my journaling time, which was non-existent. I really need to get back into journaling.

I finally made it through my pen cleaning queue. The pens written dry this past week have also been flushed and cleaned. I also realized I generally have a LIFO (last-in, first-out) approach to cleaning. The last pen to be cleaned had been in the queue since October. Ten pens went dry after it did, but were cleaned before it was. Part of this may be the way I queue up the pens for cleaning (Right to Left in a pen stand) and remove the Left to Right. But it’s also because the most recently used pen is usually the “favorite” of the bunch and I want it ready to go at a moments notice.

I did some black Friday shopping, all online, mostly for non-pen stuff, although some pen stuff was in there. Some had been on my list for a few weeks, to see if they went on sale, most didn’t. The pens I bought are listed in the Incoming section below. Then there was some paper and ink.

I finally shopped at Joe’s (The Gentleman Stationer) shop. There’s a lot of nice stuff in there, at reasonable prices. Check his recent blog post for his black Friday sale. It ends Monday.

The NaNoTraMo has me thinking differently as I pick pens to ink up. This week I wrote every fountain pen dry, and for a few minutes I had no fountain pens ink up. When it cam time to ink some up, I stopped at three, and two had the same nib.

So far I’ve written 11 pens dry in November, which seems like it should be a record for me. I’m going through so fast that I want to keep the number low. I’ll add pens if there’s one I feel like using. My new Estie will get ink once it arrives. I hope to write one my dry by the end of the month, to make it an even dozen. I’m also trying not to reuse a pen for the remainder of the year.


This is my version of NaNoWriMo where transcription replaces writing. Things went well, although I do fall farther behind each week. I did get four straight 6 page/1800 word days in a row, but I transcribed zero words the day before and the day after that mini-streak.

I’m using a library book for this. Not a popular one, so it seems. I could renew it twice without a problem. But it’s time to move on and will start reading it on December 1st.

I’m trying to come up with other ideas for transcribing on a (mostly) daily basis after November. I’ve enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I don’t want to do another book. I don’t like reading two books at the same time, and it wasn’t any better when one was being transcribed. Reading a second book while transcribing the first didn’t work for me. I may go with transcribing web articles that I’ve marked to read later, especially if they’re topics I want to really remember, such a tech articles.

Shrinking Accumulation & Prepping for Travel

I’ve mentioned it in the passing, and in some individual communications – Things are coming together for me to do an extended roadtrip (a year or so) in the new year. So the accumulation needs to get thinned more than I planned, and some longtime favorites are being passed on if I don’t feel they’re up to the journey. I’m looking at you Sheaffer Balance II Aspen. I’d prefer they go to readers who’ll use them rather than someone who sees my sales page come up in a Google Search. So if you’re reading this, you can take 50% off the price of any two or more pens currently on my Sales Page that are listed for a combined price of $50 or over. [Offer expired] You need to proactively mention this offer, before paying the invoice, I won’t prompt or ask you. (USA shipping only, 50 + DC) Individual pens remain at the price listed. Contact me at if interested.

Likewise, I have eight Retro 51 rollerballs left from the sale posting, and will offer all eight in a bundle for $120, without the packaging tubes, $140 with the packaging tubes. [Expired] You must buy all eight. (USA shipping only, 50 + DC). If you want less than all eight pens you pay the listed price for each one. So yes, you could pay more for fewer pens. Contact me at if interested.

Both offers are only valid through Thursday December 2nd. These offers have expired.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading/Transcribing: Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard. This is the book I’m transcribing. I’m about 1/3 of the way through it. My plan is to switch to reading it on December 1st.

Watched: I pulled out some old comedy movie favorites. Young Frankenstein. I still laugh at all the jokes and gags. I also watched Last Action Hero with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I really liked the movie when it came out, and was being panned by everyone. This time around I realized all the very good parts were in the the first half, when they were in the movie, and the last half, when they entered the real world, was pretty bad. I think it was more noticeable this time because I watched the movie in two sittings, so all the jokes from the first half had faded. Last was High Anxiety which I also enjoyed.

New Arrivals



  1. The Esterbrook OS Estie is a pen I can’t get enough of, so it seems. I ordered the just released Esterbrook OS Estie Scarlett. I got the palladium trim version of course. I ordered it with the Scribe nib, ground by Joshua Lax. I’ve been debating the scribe nib for awhile. It will be too wide for my everyday use (I suspect), but I want to support Esterbrook’s efforts to collaborate with local craftsmen for nibs, and material. Plus, I’m curious. Worst case I get a nib to play with on occasion, while using the pen with the MV adapter and my vintage Esterbrook nibs most of the time. I like my current Esterbrook OS nibs too much to swap them out for the MV adapter. The pen has already shipped with an eta of Monday.
  2. TWSBI Swipe (EF): I’m not sure what I’ll do with this, I may gift it, or I may use it. I like the Swipe. For me it’s a perfect starter pen. While the TWSBI piston fillers are nice, the included wrench and silicone grease are a bit off-putting and make it seem complicated in the eyes of a novice fountain pen user. Plus, a bottle of ink is needed. Not insurmountable of course, but like I said, potentially off-putting. The Swipe, has its own complications for a novice, but it is self contained. Plus, it’s a great value and has a large ink capacity



Out of Rotation

  1. Esterbrook OS Estie Seaglass (EF): As expected, this went dry last Sunday while transcribing the first page of the day. The R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink was extremely easy to clean out. The pen wrote a nice line, without any skipping, right up to the point where it didn’t write at all. There was barely a trace of ink in the water as I flushed it out.
  2. Kanilea Kona Cherry (EF): My current favorite pen and ink combo went dry during the novel transcription. As enjoyable as ever. But it will get a rest. I want to work through my pens and avoid repeats for the remainder of the year. Unless I hit them all, or the call of this one is overwhelming. So I don’t rule out for another appearance of this combo before year’s end.
  3. Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard (Zoom) Finally went dry. It was inked up last Christmas. I vaguely remember re-inking it, but I didn’t record any re-inking, so probably not. Obviously evaporation isn’t an issue. It got regular use (weekly or so), but only for short times. I used it for the novel transcription and didn’t enjoy the wide zoom nib for regular writing. It was too uncomfortable to hold at an angle to get a thin enough (for me) line. Definitely a pen for doodling and playing.
  4. yStudio Classic Desk Pen (EF): went dry during the novel transcription. I used this pen for a longer session than I ever have before. I found it become less comfortable as I used it. I’m guessing the gripping section is a little this for me, plus the brass can feel slightly slippery, causing me to grip it tighter than I should. While unnoticeable for its typical use of quick notes, and never for more than one page in a sitting, it became noticeable with time. Not so bad that I put it aside. Gripping it higher didn’t help since It screwed up the balance.

Into Rotation

  1. Lamy Safari Dark Lilac (14K EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux ink.
  2. Lamy Safari Savannah (14K OM) with a Lamy Turmaline ink cartridge.
  3. Lamy Safari Terra (14K OM) with a Lamy Blue-Black ink cartridge.


Paul’s Fountain Pen Journal – The Well-Appointed Desk

The universe reclining – Pam Alison Knits

What I’ve been using this week! 11-21-2021 Edition | Inkdependence!

Pen roll and pen case storage etiquette — mnmlscholar

Swan Leverless L112/87 – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Putting Karats To Paper: The Various Gold Purities Of Pelikan’s Nibs And The Impact On Performance « The Pelikan’s Perch

A stationery yin to work’s yang — mnmlscholar

Reflection: The Use of an Art Journal | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Fountain Pens From My Collection: Montblanc 149 | Fountain Pen Love

Planner Review: Luddite Function Pro Freefield Vertical B6 – The Well-Appointed Desk

So that was Black Friday. How was yours, pen addicts? | UK fountain pens

Midori MD Notebook Journal A5 Review – Writing at Large

Five Knockaround Fountain Pens for the Office and Beyond — The Gentleman Stationer

Currently Inked- November 2021 | From the Pen Cup

Weekly Update: Winter Cats and Yayoi Kusama – Writing at Large

It’s normal, right? | Quieter Elephant


2021 e-reader roundup: Kobo Sage, Kobo Libra 2, Kindle Paperwhite reviews – Six Colors // Best e-reader roundup that there is. From a voracious e-book reader.