Just a quick entry today. There’s been nice weather this weekend, so I’ve was out and about all day Saturday. I had almost no fountain pen usage last Sunday and Monday, but things picked up after that, until yesterday (Saturday) where again, I didn’t used my pens. Well, okay, I wrote a few notes each days (probably), but not enough to be recorded in Fountain Pen Companion. Despite this, my pens did all get used relatively recently.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Listening:Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey. Book four of The Expanse. A 20 hour audiobook, so it may take awhile to get through it. I’m about 75% through it.
Reading:Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandell. Civilization is destroyed by a virus. This is the story of a small group of survivors, about 20 years later. The story does jump between pre- and post-apocalypse. Written in 2014, so not COVID-19 inspired. I gave up after getting about halfway through the book. It was a different take on a post-apocalyptic story which was refreshing. Yet the story kept jumping back and forth in time. While I don’t mind flashbacks, this seemed chaotic to me, and just made it hard for me to follow. Plus, I didn’t really care about the characters.
Reading:One Good Day by David Baldacci. This is book one of his Archer series, which is currently three books. I’m about 75% through the book. Archer is an ex-con, who really was innocent, and a WWI army infantry veteran. I’m enjoying this one. I guess I’m in the mood for mysteries these days. Like Baldacci’s other books, the story grows from a seemingly simple crime, to a web of crimes.
TranscribingBilly Summers by Stephen King. After bailing on Station Eleven I considered switching the The Stand by Stephen King, but I didn’t want to tackle such a long book. So I went with this one instead. So far I’ve just been transcribing it. I’ll start reading it once One Good Day is done.
Out of Rotation
Esterbrook OS Estie Seaglass (EF) – It ran dry.I haven’t cleaned it yet, but once I do it will sit out for a little bit to give another pen some time.
My fountain pen usage was up this past week. I did a lot of transcribing, completing at least three pages each day, and writing six on my best day. I even managed to finish off one 50 sheet Doane Paper Large Writing Pad. That would be even more impressive if I remembered when I started using it. It was probably in mid-January, so not impressive at all.
I’ve been rotating through my inked fountain pens at a rapid pace. Even my less-loved pens get used twice at least every third day. I’m still switching pens after every page of transcription. One nice thing about using my pens frequently is that a few rise to the top over time. In this case, three pens have found a permanent (for now) place in my Nock Co Lookout Three Pen Holster.
Esterbrook OS Estie Seaglass (EF): It’s a gorgeous pen with a basic JoWo extra-fine nib that performs well. It made the Lookout mainly because it’s the pen I picked to write dry by using it daily. I’ve been using it to transcribe one page every day. I’m out of the Sheaffer Emerald Green ink, so there will be an ink change when the pen goes dry. The pen may not return to the Lookout right away. But I certainly haven’t regretted having it there. It’s fits perfectly in my hand and is a joy to use.
Spoke Icon BRG/Brass (EF): I like this pen more each time I use it. It made the case because of that. Unlike the Estie, I don’t plan to us it daily, but since it’s always nearby it will get used more than the ones in my pen wrap.
Pilot Elite Steel Lined Pocket Pen (18K F). Another pen that’s grown on me over time. I’ve always been in love with its looks, but I also enjoy using it. It’s little thin for me to use in extended, multi-page writing sessions. It made the lookout because it had a traditional blue-black ink.
I should also mention, the ink did factor into my choices, I wanted three distinct colors. I also leaned heavily towards thin nibs and ignored the three pens with wider nibs. I don’t classify these as Top Three, but the three I like having handy, at least until my mood changes.
Baron Fig Does Books!
I was listening to the Bookworm podcast where they talked about the book Personal Socrates by Marc Champagne. I was struck when I heard that it was published by Baron Fig. It sounds like they put as much thought into the book design as they do their other products. That makes the hardcover relatively expensive. This does seem like a book I’d get a lot out of, at least a few journaling prompts.
I haven’t bought the book yet, but that’s because I can’t decide what format to buy. I did eliminate the audiobook as the wrong format for this book. The Kindle version is far cheaper than the hardcover (I couldn’t find any other ebook formats). The hardcover seems really nice, but I sold/donated all my books and stick to library or ebooks/audiobooks these days. The Kindle version has the content, which is what’s important, but I’m looking for an excuse to buy the hardcover. Notes in the book? They seem to have allowed space for it. I’ll decide soon.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Listened:Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey. Book three of The Expanse. I started this one as soon as I finished book two. I finished this off early in the week. It’s not my favorite Expanse book, so it gets 3 out of 5 stars. Certainly worth reading as part of the series. It’s not bad, It just feels like a long way to go, just to get to the big event at the end. On the plus side, Holden was less annoying. Goodreads has it at 4.25 stars over 100k ratings. So, I’m again in the minority.
Read:Walk the Wire by David Balducci The sixth (and latest) installment in the Amos Decker (aka Memory Man) series. I finished this one off rather quickly once I moved from transcribing to reading. The memory man series books have a loose formula that’s a bit far-fetched, at least to happen so many times. But it’s not completely unbelievable with a view limited to that one story, so I enjoyed the books. This one has a convoluted story that can be hard to follow at times. It’s not helped by the fact that the crime they were called to investigate ends up having little to do with most of the story. Still, I reluctantly gave it 4 out of 5 stars since I did enjoy it and read it quickly. This is the last available Memory Man book, although at least one more is planned. I’ll try another Balducci book to see if the formula changes.
Listening:Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey. Book four of The Expanse. A 20 hour audiobook, so it may take awhile to get through it. I’m about 25% through it.
Reading:Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandell. Civilization is destroyed by a virus. This is the story of a small group of survivors, about 20 years later. The story does jump between pre- and post-apocalypse. I’m about 50% through it, and while I like it, it’s disappointing because of all the great reviews and recommendations. I’ll finish it, because I’m supposed to love it, and maybe I will in the end. Plus, the sooner I finish it the sooner I can move to my next book. Written in 2014, so not COVID-19 inspired.
My fountain pen usage was down a little this week, mainly because my transcription was way down. Unlike last week, not all my pens were used. I used 7 of my 11 fountain pens over the course of the week.
I journaled six days this past week. But, the ink filled less than two A5 pages. I don’t have a problem with short daily entries. In fact, I’d prefer to journal six days and filling less than two pages over journalling two days and filling six pages.
I’m back to feeling an urge to write a pen dry. So, I decided to check my pens to see which was closest to empty. This led to a minor (could have been major) accident. When I opened up my Esterbrook OS Estie Seaglass the converter fell out and onto the floor. Luckily it was a wood floor and a well-mannered ink. Helped by the spilled ink, that Estie, along with my Pilot pocket pen, are tapped to stay in my three pen case (daily drivers) until they are dry.
New Pocket Notebooks
I needed some pocket notebooks. Since I’m traveling delivery is a problem, and local brick & mortar stores are unknown to me and absent from a Google search. So I headed to Amazon and ordered some TWONE softcover pocket notebooks. They have 30 sheets (60 pages) and are stitch bound. The covers are no-nonsense kraft paper without any printing or logos. A good value, in my opinion, at six for $10. So far they handle my extra-fine fountain pens well. There’s minor show through, but nothing that keeps my from using both sides on the page. Writing and reading remain easy. Even thicker nibs do well. Although I haven’t written more than a test line with anything wider than an extra-fine, I don’t foresee any problems. At least not up to the equivalent of a medium nib (OM, Scribe, Journaler).
I finally found a use for my Nock Co Sapelo case (from the 2017 Kickstarter). It holds four of these A6 notebooks. It’s a tight squeeze, but it works. As it happens, I have four notebooks in use. Perfect!
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Read:The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. Book 1 of the Wayfarer Series. A Sci-fi book which I’m enjoying. This is my first book by this author, although she’s been recommended multiple times. While I’m enjoying the book my progress is slow, I’ve been grabbing 10 or 15 minutes whenever I get a chance. It can be read on multiple levels, just a fun character-driven science fiction book, or a commentary on prejudice and sexuality.
My main complaints, and why I dropped a couple of stars, are that the main characters are just too nice, and there’s little change during the book. Well, one character changed a bit during the story, but it was the token grump. The first time you meet a character you know exactly what they are like, and they stay that way. Not my typical sci-fi with big space battles and bad guys everywhere, so a nice change. The second book in the series was a Hugo nominee. I started with this one with plans to read book two. I will read book two of course. I gave this one 3 out of 5 stars, which is an “I Like It”. It was a bit boring, which contributed to my lack of extended reading sessions. I did enjoy it, just in small chunks. I just couldn’t go to the fourth star. It’s not a book I’ll re-read. Goodreads has a 4.1 average rating.
Listening:Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey. Book three of The Expanse. I started this one as soon as I finished book two. I made a lot of progress this week, listening to over 8 hours this week, blowing past the half-way mark. I have about 7 hours left.
Reading:Walk the Wire by David Balducci The sixth (and latest) installment in the Amos Decker (aka Memory Man) series. I’m still just transcribing this one. Now that I finished The Long Way… I’ll be reading this. Transcribing has an interesting side-effect on an eReader. Kobo tells me I have an estimated 114.2 hours left in the book.
Out of Rotation
I again limited myself to one link per site, so be sure to browse other recent posts at these sites.
20 Refills Without Cleaning My Pen! | An Inkophile’s Blog // I’m not too surprised. If the ink is uncomplicated, not changed, and the pen is used daily, our nearly daily, I would expect this. There was a time that the same pen was used daily and it rarely got cleaned. I once went 18 months without cleaning out a pen. (F-C Model 66 eyedropper w/ R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink). Of course, it’s not luck cleaning isn’t needed these days, so…
My fountain pen usage was up a lot this past week. I’ve resumed transcribing a book as a way to use my pens. On Monday and Tuesday I focused on using all my inked pens to write at least one 8 1/2 X 11 inch page with each pen before moving on to the next one. I also started writing a review, but that’s been slow going, so it didn’t account for much ink on paper. I may be using the transcription as a way to procrastinate writing the review. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve done a full fountain pen review.
As I did transcriptions in November and December I was focused on using a fountain pen until I wrote it dry. Now, rotating through all 11 inked pens as the week began was the opposite of that. Even though my original intent was just to give each of my pens some exercise, I continued to swap pens after each page or session. For transcriptions, I swap pens after each page, and don’t repeat until they’ve all been used.
When I was working on the review, I used the pen that was being reviewed. But like I said, I had a hard time working on that review, so it barely reached a page in length.
I continue to use only the Kanilea Kona Cherry with Montblanc Bordeaux for my journal entries.
The pen I pick for other tasks, like the pen sitting on my desk for notes and lists, tends to last the day. But this pen doesn’t put down a lot of ink during the day. It doesn’t write the equivalent of a full page. This pen choice surprised me a bit. It’s the Spoke Icon that fills this role most days. Since it got so little use I didn’t swap it daily. Logically, the Icon seems like a bad choice. While there are flat surfaces that help inhibit the pen from rolling, it’s mostly round and the pen can still roll when I put it down. Plus, there’s no clip to prevent rolling. Yet, it’s been a frequent choice as a pen I pick up and put down a lot. The screw cap doesn’t bother me, since I can soft cap or just give it a slight twist.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Read:Up Country by Nelson DeMille. The third installment of his Paul Brenner series. I finished this one off. My least favorite of DeMille’s Paul Brenner series. Not a typical DeMille book. I gave it 2 out of 5 stars, but debated giving it three. If Goodreads did half stars I’d give it 2.5 stars. I did finish it, and enjoyed the character development. Some of Brenner decisions seemed to defy logic. Especially since Brenner, and the reader, knew nothing that Brenner did would be a secret. If you read it, just enjoy the characters and don’t expect a logical story. Or action. Or Mystery. Nearly 18K Goodreads members disagree with me as the book has a 4.04 star average.
Reading:The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. Book 1 of the Wayfarer Series. A Sci-fi book which I’m enjoying. This is my first book by this author, although she’s been recommended multiple time. I’m about 40% through the book, and it’s shaping up to be a fun book.
Listening:Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey. Book three of The Expanse. I started this one as soon as I finished book two. Minimal progress this week. This week I’ve moved from just under 3 hours into it, to just over 3 hours into the audiobook (out of 18 hours). If memory serves (and it may not), this was my least favorite of the series.