Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – December 5, 2021

Esterbrook OS Estie Scarlet
My latest arrival

NaNoTraMo went out with a whimper. I only wrote 1200 words over the last 3 days of November. But I wrote every day, which I consider a small victory. I transcribed 28,950 words during all of November. While far short of the 50K word target, I enjoyed doing it, and using my pens. I’ll definitely do it again next year. I may set a smaller goal, or more likely I’ll accept failure and see how close I can come to the target. To reach the goal I would have to write about 2 1/2 hours a day for 30 straight days. That’s a big chunk of time.

I really enjoyed using my pens and writing them dry. There were a few days where the thought of using those final drops kept me going, so I could pick up a new pen the next day. I picked, or lucked into, pens that I really enjoyed writing with even though I ignored the obvious choice – the Pilot Custom 823.

I intended to keep transcribing in December, at least a couple of pages a day. But that hasn’t happened. I have written a few pages, but not anywhere close to my November daily average of 3.2 pages. I started reading the book since I enjoyed the story and I want to finish it without having to renew it yet again. I’ll have to pick something else to transcribe. Probably a book I’ve already read, and that I own so that I have plenty of time. (This one was a library e-book that I was able to renew twice.)

My cluttered writing desk
Not conducive to writing

The big thing that’s kept me from writing this week is that my writing desk is a massive pile of clutter. That picture is after I moved a large stack of papers I’m sorting and scanning in order to make room for my computer. Oh, I also spent part of Friday morning sorting through stuff and cleaning it up, making this the best it’s been all week. It’s just not conducive to me sitting down and writing, and the effort to make space is just enough of a speed bump to stop me Without just moving it all to another flat surface. I get tense working in the midst of all this clutter. Typing the post is bad enough, writing is nearly impossible.

By Saturday morning I had decluttered my desk and was able to write. So along with three bourbons I was able to write a journal page and transcribe three more pages. I wanted to use my pens so just started transcribing that same book, rather than think about picking something else. I had planned to write for less than an hour before bed. But I enjoyed using the pens so much I blew past my typical bedtime and kept going. They Lamy extra-fine is near empty and I’m eager to empty it and move on to another pen.

I used a Lamy Safari with a 14K gold extra-fine nib for my transcribing at the end of November, and again yesterday. I’m less than enthralled with the nib. It’s too wet and smooth for my tastes. I’ll have to do some comparisons with a Lamy steel EF nib, but don’t be surprised if you see me list the nib on my sales page. It isn’t bad. After all, I will use it until I write the pen dry, but I have better choices available to me. Once I put it down I’m not eager to pick it up again. But once I pick it up, its performance is acceptable.

My Willpower Collapsed

Anderson Pens sends out a vintage mailer on a regular basis – I think every Friday, although with varying amounts of newly available pens. They’ve had a lot of Japanese pocket pens in the last few months. I’ve been enamored and intrigued, but I’ve always been able to find a reason and the willpower not to buy any that caught my eye. That was until today when I saw the Pilot Elite Stainless Steel Lined Pocket Pen. I tried to find a reason:

  • Gold Trim? Not a trace – Stainless steel and black with a silver clip. Even the nib is silver colored. Damn. I could usually count on this to cause me to reject a pen.
  • Too small for my comfort? Probably, but a normal pocket pen size, and pocket pens aren’t for extended writing sessions, at least not for me. If it is comfortable for an hour long session it will be a pleasant surprise.
  • Weird cartridge/converter size? No – cartridge only, but Pilot which I already use in my Vanishing Points.
  • Too Expensive? Absolutely – it was the second most expensive pen in the mailer and more expensive than the few recent sales I found. But the other listings where less desirable. I’ve always found Anderson Pens used pen pricing to be fair and the descriptions to be accurate. The price did keep me from clicking the buy button for several hours. The fact that no one snapped it up for several hours enforces the thought that, at the very least, it wasn’t a stunning deal. This should have killed the purchase for me. But it didn’t, the pen is a perfect design, and this is a pristine specimen of it, at least as pristine as a 40+ year old pen can be.

I kept going back to look at it, and in the end my willpower collapsed. I bought the pens with the funds I had sitting in my PayPal account. It doesn’t seem like real money when it’s in PayPal, and has come from pen sales. I need to transfer that money out faster. To avoid future lapses, I’ve created a mail rule to sleep all Anderson Pens vintage mailers until Saturday morning. Hopefully any pens that interest me will be sold by then and I can just enjoy browsing the interesting pens.

One final comment – despite being in a vintage mailer and the vintage section of the website, I won’t be calling this vintage. My personal rule is that a pen has to be made before I was born in order to be called vintage. I feel old enough as it is, calling a pen that’s born after me “vintage” is unacceptable. At least I was still in high school. It reminds me of when I realized the “oldies”station was playing songs that I liked in high school (and were new at the time).

Original Nanami Seven Seas Tomoe River Paper Declutter

I came across a forgotten stash of Nanami Paper notebooks. All were ordered several years ago and are certainly the old Tomoe River paper. I’m putting them all into a flat rate box and offering them for sale as one bulk purchase. The box includes the following Nanami Paper notebooks:

  • One Crossfield (A5 ~476 pages grid) The first two pages were used and have been cut out of the notebook with a knife. Some cruft remaining from the two pages. Noticeable, but doesn’t affect the notebook.
  • One Crossfield (A5 480 pages grid) New – unopened
  • One Seven Seas Writer (A5 480 pages 7mm lines) – New – unopened
  • One Seven Seas Writer (A5 480 pages 7mm lines) – opened but completely unused

In addition, since this is a flat rate box I will include some misc notebooks I have in the stash. Not Tomoe River, but not trash.

There was a time Nanami sold, and I bought, factory seconds, a couple of them may be included in this bunch. I don’t think they marked them. All appear fine, and the only defects I ever found in other factory seconds were a couple of creased pages. I believe factory seconds came without blotter paper. I’ve included a few loose sheets of blotter paper, although they will need to be cut down slightly to fit the notebook.

I only ship within the US (50 states + DC). The price, including shipping, is $135.00. The offer is good through Wednesday Dec. 8th. Mail forwarding services are fine as long as my final destination is in the US. But keep in mind that paper is heavy and this is a medium flat rate box stuffed with it. If you use a forwarding service and prefer the non-Tomoe River paper be removed to lower the weight let me know and I’ll remove it. They’ve been sold.

Contact me at if interested. They’ve been sold.

Pen Sales

I’m taking a brief break from selling pens, but plan to offer a few more before the end of the year. Neither the Sheaffer Balance II Aspen or the yStudio Classic Desk Pen are suitable for travel, so those are the only two I want to sell before this year ends. If you’re interested in either one let me know and I will send you links to current photos when I take them, and offer them to you at a lower price before they go public. (It could be a week or more) Both have been featured in past blog posts. The yStudio has developed a heavy patina since this post was made. I don’t plan to polish it. The Aspen was reviewed here and is still the same.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard. I stopped transcribing and started reading on November 30. I made a bit of a dent in it on the 30th, while waiting for my car in the shop, then wasn’t able to get back to it all week.

New Arrivals

  1. Esterbrook OS Estie Scarlet (Scribe) Good first impression, and I’m surprised by how much I like the scribe nib. I like the scarlet acrylic, a much darker red than the maraschino version. FYI – The Scarlet is part of their regular line-up, not a special or limited edition.
  2. TWSBIE Swipe Prussian Blue (EF) I haven’t ink this up yet.
Esterbrook Oversized Estie Scarlet


  1. Pilot Elite Stainless Steel Lined Pocket Pen (F). It’s on its way to me.


  1. Franklin-Christoph Model 66 (EF)
  2. Karas Kustoms Ink Raw Aluminum (M)
  3. Sailor Pro Gear British Racing Green (MF)
  4. Lamy Safari USA Independence Day (1.1 stub)

Out of Rotation


Into Rotation

  1. Esterbrook OS Estie Scarlet (Scribe) with the included ink cartridge


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2 thoughts on “Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – December 5, 2021

  1. Whilst I consider myself a fully paid-up member of the Grammar Police, I don’t usually comment about typos because I know how many I make myself. However, I just want to say how amused I was by the notebooks which you will be sending in a “flat rat box” – I couldn’t help but think of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Hopefully the recipient won’t actually get a flat rat in this instance!

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