Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 30, 2022

Kanlea Kona Cherry, ready to journal.
Journalling by the lake

I spent most of last week camping, and relaxing by a lake. I did more journaling this past week than I did the last few weeks combined. Still, on a page-per-day basis, my output is low.

Since most of my writing was in my journal, and I stuck to my dedicated journalling pen, the Kanilea Kona Cherry (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux was easily my most use fountain pen of the week. It’s hard to name a favorite, but the Kanilea is certainly one of my favorites, it’s exact location just depends on my mood. It’s hardly an inconvenience to use a favorite pen and ink, so I’m not complaining.

I was also drawn to metal pens this past week. The Diplomat Aero and Spoke Icon fed my need for green pens. While not green, the Pilot Elite, which is metal, also spent some time in my hand. All three of these were mainly used for notes and lists, so their ink level didn’t go down very much.

Diplomat Aror, Spoke Icon and Pilot Elite Pocket Pen
Three metal pens. Making my lists and notes for the week.


I did my first bit of camping in many, many years. I had originally planned to be in Florida, at Rodman Campground. But the forecast was for considerable rain, and that site has a muddy reputation. So I changed my plans.

I ended up at Eastbank campground, on Lake Seminole, near Bainbridge, Georgia. I was at one of the two tent-only campsites. These are at the far end, away from all the RV sites, so it was nice and quiet. The other tent-only site was empty while I was there, making it even quieter. The quiet was occasionally broken by hunters in other areas around the lake.

A photo of the sunset on Lake Saminole
Sunset on Lake Seminole

Sunrise was on the other side of a forested hill, so it took a couple hours for me to see the actual sun in the morning. But sunsets were quit beautiful, except for the day it rained.

My main problem was with my phone. The campground is near the central/eastern time zone line, and my phone couldn’t deal with it, randomly deciding on the time zone. I tried just using my analog watch, but it was still annoying, so I had to lock the timezone on my phone. Also, the GPS on my iPad Mini wouldn’t work, although luckily by phone GPS still worked.

Another minor problem included the site’s tent pad. I found it very hard to drive stakes into the packed dirt and gravel pad. This wasn’t too bad since my tent is free standing and only requires stakes for the rainfly porch. But if it had gotten windy, and I needed guylines, it would have been a pain to deal with.

This weekend was a nice reminder of why I headed south. My old homestead is being hit by a blizzard. The weekend forecast was 12-18″ inches of snow and single digit temperatures, although I’m not sure what actually fell. Saturday morning I saw a fine snow/sleet mix outside my hotel window, but none was sticking, and it only lasted about an hour, then the sun dried everything up.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Up Country by Nelson DeMille. The third installment of his Paul Brenner series. It’s a long book. Still working through it. I’m now enjoying the book, mostly, but it is still a hurdle for me to pick it up and start reading. But once I do, I go for an hour or two. I’ve got about 3 hours of reading left.

Listened: Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey. Book two of The Expanse. Finished this one. It was just as enjoyable the second time through. Although, reading them back-to-back, and for the second time, Holden is getting to be a bit much, I may have to take a break after the next one to cleanse Holden from my brain. 5 out of 5 stars.

Listening: Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey. Book three of The Expanse. Started this one as soon as I finished book two as I continue my second pass through the series. I’m just under 3 hours into it (out of 18 hours).

Out of Rotation


Into Rotation


new notebooks – michaeljordahl

2021 Review — TooManyPelikans

Eco Friendly Stuff, The Review – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

Our Old Friend Joe – Writing at Large

VIDEO: Top 5 Entry-Level Gold Nib Pens – 2021 – Goulet Pens Blog

VIDEO: Journaling Workflows Webinar: The Why and the How – YouTube // MacSparky currently journals electronically, but 95% of what he talks about has nothing to do with tools being used.

On Reading and the Tournament of Books – Writing at Large and Weekly Update: PET CT, Pens and Mischief Movie Night In – Writing at Large

An Unusual Swan 3162 – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Feeling overwhelmed can be quicksand — mnmlscholar

Pens in case: January 2022 – Pam Alison Knits

Pen Pal Match Up for February 2022 – Wonder Pens

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 23, 2022

Pilot Elite Steel Lined Pocket Pen
For reasons I can’t explain, I really enjoy using this pen.

My fountain pen usage picked up a little bit this past week. Although, it’s nowhere near the usage of November through mid-December. It’s still mostly lists, notes, and short journal entries. I expect usage to increase in the coming week, or weeks, as I’ll be doing some camping and traveling in areas with bad cell reception, so no internet for me. The plan is to sit by the lake, read and use my pens. With some hiking to break things up.


As mentioned above, I’ll be in areas with bad connectivity/internet so next week’s Trail Log may be late, or short. I plan to write it offline and then post it when I have connectivity. So I still plan to publish on Sundays, but they may be posts that were scheduled earlier in the week, and not updated. For example, this post was scheduled late Saturday afternoon, so any update/links after that will appear next week.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Up Country by Nelson DeMille. The third installment of his Paul Brenner series. It’s a long book. Still working through it. It’s become a bit of a slog. But an interesting slog.

Listening: Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey. Book two of The Expanse. I’m just under halfway through the book. I put it aside to start a different audio book, but that book just wasn’t suited for listening, at least not for me. So I returned it and will tackle the written version when I get a chance. That said, I haven’t gotten back to this one and still have nearly 12 hours left.

I may have been a little too ambitious, I downloaded nine library ebooks, most by authors I’ve never read.



Out of Rotation

  1. Diplomat Aero Green (14kt Fine) with a Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black Cartridge saw an early exit. Performance was poor so I pulled the cartridge early. It was skipping and had occasional hard starts. This is the second GvFC Carbon Black cartridge that had a problem, making the box 0 for 2, out of 6 cartridges. I considering trashing the rest of the box. I hate to waste cartridges, but if they’re going to get trashed early I might as well skip the aggravation.

Into Rotation

  1. Diplomat Aero Green (14kt Fine) with a Montblanc Emerald Green cartridge. I popped on this cartridge after removing the GvFC Carbon Black cartridge. The ink reached the nib quickly, and performance has been good. Another, and possibly final, nail in the coffin of the GvFC Carbon Black cartridges.

Another Swan Leverless L205/62 – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Personal Values | Quieter Elephant

My Supply Room: Lets Post Some New Items

Sheaffer Icon Fountain Pen Review — The Pen Addict

Small, but perfectly formed | Quieter Elephant

Handwriting is still important – Julian Summerhayes via

The Cramped

Sheaffer Icon Fountain Pen Review — The Pen Addict

REVIEW: ONOTO MAGNA SEQUOYAH FOUNTAIN PEN | The Pencilcase Blog | Fountain pen, Pencil, Ink and Paper reviews

Crónicas Estilográficas: Foreign (and also Domestic) Urushi

Vintage Inks – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Fountain Pen 101 Primer – How Does a Fountain Pen Work – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

2022 Philadelphia Pen Show Trip Report — The Pen Addict

A Guest Article from Chloé – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 16, 2022

Kanilea Kona Cherry with Montblanc Bordeaux ink bottle
The Kanilea Kona Cherry has been re-inked with Montblanc Bordeaux

I left on my road trip this past week, so my fountain pen usage remained low. I still haven’t gotten back into transcription, but I did start doing short journal entries again. I inked up my Kanilea Kona Cherry with Montblanc Bordeaux and keep it in my

I had to part with some more ink before I set off, there were a couple of reasons, but mainly space and weight. Secondarily, the first few days would see below-freezing temperatures and overnights in the single digits (F). I kept my Montblanc Bordeaux, British Racing Green, Waterman Intense Black, and Pilot Blue-Black in bottles. It’s safe to say that those inks are my four favorite inks. I still have 36 different inks in cartridges.

I went a little further south than I had intended. There was a winter storm forecasted for Charlotte (my intended first extended layover), so I headed down to Charleston. I didn’t want to deal with snow or ice, especially in an area that might not be used to it. I’m really enjoying the nice weather. It was single digits my last night in Connecticut. It’s Saturday afternoon and writing this first draft with the windows open and fresh air coming in.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Up Country by Nelson DeMille. The third installment of his Paul Brenner series. It’s a long book. I’m about 50% of the way through the book. So far the mystery/crime is just a MacGuffin that provided a reason for Brenner to return to Vietnam. Much of the story (so far) is about his memories and the country.

Listened: Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. Book one of The Expanse. I just bought the final (eighth) book in the series but decided to re-listen from book 1 before I listen to it. (I have them on audiobooks.) Finished it and is still 5 out of 5 stars.

Listening: Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey. Book two of The Expanse. I’m just under halfway through the book.

Out of Rotation

  1. Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized Seaglass (EF) with Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black Cartridge. This one never actually entered the rotation. I inked it up, but the ink never reached the nib overnight. I tried gently squeezing the cartridge and noticed a crack in the cartridge. So I pulled it and went with another ink. I put a (different) F-C Carbon Black cartridge in another pen to satisfy myself that the entire box isn’t bad.

Into Rotation

Two weeks’ worth of activity.

  1. Diplomat Aero Green (14kt Fine) with Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black Cartridge
  2. Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized Maraschino (Journaler) with Sheaffer Red
  3. Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized Scarlet (Scribe) with Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrün
  4. Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized Seaglass (EF) with Sheaffer Emerald Green
  5. Kanilea Pen Kona Cherry (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux
  6. Pilot Elite Steel Lined Pocket Pen (18kt Fine) with a Pilot Blue-Black cartridge
  7. Spoke Design Icon British Racing Green & Brass (EF) with Montblanc Petit Prince Red Fox

Restoration or Conservation? – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Why I Love Natural (Undyed) Leather and Why You Shouldn’t Worry If It Gets Dirty — The Gentleman Stationer

Thoughts on handwriting | UK fountain pens

Pilot Vanishing Point Limited Edition History – Goulet Pens Blog

Clips – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Monthly Inked // 2022 Work Rotation – Weirdoforest Pens

Gold Starry Safety Pen – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

Crónicas Estilográficas: East and West

Pen Cleaning Day — The Pen Addict

My Writing Style | dapprman

A Dozen Favorite Fountain Pen Inks | An Inkophile’s Blog

Never Too Late to Start Planning – The Well-Appointed Desk

Analog Coping Mechanisms | From the Pen Cup

I can stop. Anytime I like. | Quieter Elephant

My simple pen and paper set up for work – Chicana Writes

Sunday Links – January 9, 2022

Esterbrook Oversized Estie Scarlet
Inked this one up a little while ago

A busy week with very low fountain pen usage, and along with little free time. So just some links and updates on my book consumption.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Redemption by David Baldacci. The fifth installment in his Memory Man series. I finished this one and gave it 4 out of 5 stars. The series definitely has a formula and this one follow it, so a bit predictable. Still, it was enjoyable read.
Reading: Up Country by Nelson DeMille. The third installment of his Paul Brenner series. It’s a long book. It hasn’t sucked me in, although it’s a good enough read so far. I’m about 20% in and considering stopping. Although, Goodreads gives it a n average 4 star rating from nearly 18K readers.
Listening: Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. Book one of The Expanse. I just bought the final (eighth) book in the series, but decided to re-listen from book 1 before I listen to it. (I have them on audio books.) Still working through it.

Irresolute – Pam Alison Knits

2021 Year in Review – The Well-Appointed Desk

The (Wish) List – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

The new year diary, 2022. | Fountain pen blog

The new year diary, 2022. | Fountain pen blog

Happy New Year – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

2022 Daily Carry: Starting the New Year — The Gentleman Stationer

Finding a remote teaching rhythm — mnmlscholar

Reflection: Journaling for Clarity | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Undated Nolty Daily Book Dailybook Diary from Japan – Notebook Stories

Really, The Dog Ate My Pen – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

In Praise of the Ballpoint – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Pens in Daily Use January 2022 | dapprman

Mabie Todd Swan 6160 – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Holiday Haul 2021 // Year in Review – Weirdoforest Pens

2021: Looking Back at a “Heavy” Year – Writing at Large

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 2, 2022

Obligatory 2021 Recap

Raw numbers from 2021:

  • I bought 14 new (to me) fountain pens in 2021, along with three Lamy nibs. This, despite writing a year ago that “In 2021 I’ll budget enough for a good fountain pen or two …” Was two a typo and I meant fourteen? They do share two letters.
  • I don’t do a good job of tracking pens that leave my accumulation. But, based on PayPal transactions I sold 19 fountain pens and 8 Retro 51 rollerballs.
  • The Fountain Pen Quest had 35K visitors and 72K page views, if WordPress stats are to be believed. This is down from last year, only 2019 was lower than this number. The best year was 2015 with just shy of 80K visitors and a quarter million views.
  • I published 67 posts, most of them were the Sunday Trail Logs.
  • While search engines sent the most visitors, the Pen Addict and Gentleman Stationer were the sites with the most referrals. Thanks Brad and Joe!
  • It was no surprise that most readers are from the U.S., with the U.K. and Canada a distant second and third. Spain is fourth, and the highest ranked non-majority english speaking country.

Favorite Fountain Pen of 2021

Photo of the Kanilea Cherry Kona fountain pen

Variety is the spice of life! If I had to pick one pen, I think it would be last year’s runner up, the Kanilea Pen Co. Cherry Kona. I’m fickle, and last year’s favorite, while still a joy to use, doesn’t hold the top spot.

When I did the book transcription for November’s NaNoWriMo I picked a fountain pen and wrote with it until it was empty, then moved on. I didn’t allow re-inking any pen for the entire month. I continued this practice through December, and I didn’t repeat a pen until last week. I really enjoyed using a variety of pens, each for an extended period of time. Although, I’m now switching between a few inked pens as I try to beak the mindset of writing fast to empty a pen asap.

By the time December began I had about a dozen pens that I really enjoyed using.

There’s definitely recency bias, but my newest pen, the Pilot Elite Pocket pen is the one I’m now most eager to re-ink and use some more.

Most Disappointing Fountain Pen of 2021

Lamy 2000 with an oblique medium nib. I thought my favorite nib type could help me enjoy this classic pen. I tried to make it my journal pen, but that didn’t help. Regular use only made it less enjoyable. The pen was both bought and sold in 2021. The Lamy 2000 just isn’t a pen for me, no matter how much I wanted it to be.

NaNoTraMo Continues

I replaced NaNoWriMo with NaNoTraMo where I transcribed, rather than wrote a novel in November I continued this in December and wrote 79 pages. This compares to 96 pages in November. It’s become a habit and the one day I missed it felt incomplete. While it was fewer pages in November, I was more consistent in writing 30 out of 31 days, compared to only 25 out of 30 in November.

Since I don’t have a word goal to reach, I need to slow down and work to improve my writing. While I don’t have a word count goal, I find myself wanting to write a pen dry, which keeps me from slowing down to work on my penmanship. I get a thrill out of writing a pen dry. It’s a big motivator for me. Going into January I want to concentrate more on improving my penmanship, which will mean fewer pages and fewer empty pens.


I don’t make resolutions, so that’s not what these are. But my plans for 2022 are:

  • Don’t buy any new pens. Use and enjoy what I have. I did a lot of writing in November and used a lot of pens, at least for me. This is likely to fail, so I have guidelines below for when the inevitable happens.
  • Write reviews for the pens I’m using. Most of my current pens don’t have reviews, at most they have first impressions.

I do have problems with absolutes like “Don’t buy any pens,” so I set the following rules for when I break that rule:

  • I must sell one core pen before buying a new pen AND the money to purchase the pen must come from 2022 pen sales. So, it may be necessary to sell multiple pens.
  • The requirement that at least one core pen must leave my accumulation is dropped when my core pen count is at a dozen or less. The requirement to sell at least one pen, and fund the purchase with pen sales remains.
  • I’ve gotten away from requiring a pen to spend a couple weeks on my wanted list before acquiring it. That list needs to return.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Djiboutu by Elmore Leonard. I gave up on this one. Kobo said I read (actually transcribed) 5% of it, still in the second chapter. Leonard is know for his dialog, but in this book it annoyed me. One character dropped all the g‘s in words ending with ing. He also dominated the dialog. I had so little interest in the story, which seems to lack any focus, that I fixated on this. I also like that his books usually get right to the story, with little exposition. So far, it’s been all exposition focused around two characters. 1 out of 5 stars. (Zero wouldn’t record as a rating and I don’t do partial stars, so 1 star is as bad as it gets.)
Reading: The Fallen by David Baldacci. The fourth installment in his Memory Man series. I gave this 3 out of 5 stars. (although it’s the highest rated Memory Man book on Goodreads.) It’s a bit convoluted with a bunch of despicable human beings as characters in a messed up town. The ending wasn’t much of a mystery. Still, a good read. If this had been the first book of the series that I read I wouldn’t have read any of the others.
Reading: Redemption by David Baldacci. The fifth installment in his Memory Man series. I was still waiting for some library holds to free up, and I didn’t feel like searching for a book, so I just continued on with the series. I usually pick a palate cleanser between books in a series. I probably should have done that here. About 30% of the way through the book and my reaction is “Meh – more of the same.”
Listening: Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. Book one of The Expanse. I just bought the final (eighth) book in the series, but decided to re-listen from book 1 before I listen to it. (I have them on audio books.)



Out of Rotation

  1. Pilot Custom 912, Black (Posting) – I found it notable that I had to prime the feed once while using the pen.
  2. Pilot Elite Steel Lined Pocket Pen (F) – I was shocked that this small, light and thin pen was comfortable to use for extended writing sessions. It had its turn as the pen I used for the book transcription.

Into Rotation

  1. Pilot Custom 823 (F) – An aesthetically displeasing pen for me, but a great and comfortable writer. Made perfect with the Montblanc Bordeaux ink that I filled it with.
  2. Sailor King of Pen, Royal Tangerine (O.M.) – My last remaining KOP. Filled with a Shikiori Miruai ink cartridge. I wanted a unique color for my wide nib. At least wide relative to the other inked pens. I’ll use it for headings, along with longer sit-down writing sessions.
  3. TWSBI Swipe, Prussian Blue (EF) – Sheaffer Red is the first ink for this pen. I wanted a color suitable for marking up a document.
  4. Kaweco AL-Sport, Raw Aluminum (EF) – this pen hasn’t been used in over 3 years (second fiddle to the Brass Sport in the days when I wanted a pocket fountain pen). I filled it with the Caran d’Ache Vibrant Green cartridge that failed to work In the Retro 51.
  5. Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized Seaglass (F) – I needed a black or blue-black ink, so this I popped in a Caran d’Ache Carbon Black cartridge.

Two week’s worth of links. Some writers were exceptionally productive at year’s end. I arbitrarily limited myself to two links per site, so check the websites for other recent posts.

The thrifty ink-miser’s flush. | Fountain pen blog

Being “the pen person” at work — mnmlscholar

Lamy Safari Special Edition History – Goulet Pens Blog

Lamy Scala: a forgotten gem? | UK fountain pens

How The New M205 DUO Stacks Up To Its Predecessors « The Pelikan’s Perch

Fountain Pen Joys and Despairs of 2021 | dapprman

True motivations | UK fountain pens

My 2021 State of Pens – Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb.

Season’s Greetings – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Edelweiss in the Alps // BENU Talisman Fountain Pen (REVIEW) – Weirdoforest Pens

2021: Some of my fountain pen highlights. | Fountain pen blog

Currently inked and a top three – Pam Alison Knits

A Pen Man in a Strange Land; Quick Update – The Poor Penman

Strange Palm Trees – Writing at Large

Nearly ten years of The Pen Addict Podcast – Bleistift via The Well-Appointed Desk

My top 12 inks and project review 2021 – FOUNTAIN PEN INK ART

Lessons From 2021 And Plans For 2022 | An Inkophile’s Blog

Strolling into week four of the inkvent challenge — mnmlscholar

Tale of a Vandal Pen User: Reflecting on Eyedroppers | Peaceable Writer

Best Wishes for 2022, and My Own Wishes for this Community — The Gentleman Stationer

It’s a new month, what’s in your pen cup? – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

A State of Reflection | Comfortable Shoes Studio