Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – April 10, 2022

My fountain pen usage was up this past week. I ended up writing 23 pages in my journal during the week. This included eight pages on Friday as I tried to write the Pilot Elite dry. The pen seemed nearly dry when I started, only a drop or two visible in the cartridge. I figured it would die on the first or second page. When it didn’t go dry it became a battle or wills. I wasn’t going to stop writing and it wasn’t going to go dry. That took up a nearly two hours of my morning. Eventually it went dry and I moved on to my Friday tasks, and another fountain pen.

I picked these seven pens for the week ahead, out of 16 inked up pens. The nibs/inks from L->R are Fine/Montblanc (MB) Racing Green, Extra-Fine/Pilot Blue-Black, Fine/MB Bordeaux, Oblique Fine/Herbin Bleu Myosotis, Needlepoint/Waterman Mysterious Blue, Journaler/MB Bordeaux, Scribe/MB Bordeaux

I don’t like having so many pens inked up, sixteen at the moment. I may start transcribing again, as a way to use ink. So far, stream on conscious journaling is working well. But, even with more writing than usual, I only wrote one pen dry. So I picked seven fountain pens for my pen wrap and will concentrate on using them this week. There’s a nice variety of nibs, and some of the pens were purposely given short fills of ink, which means they should go dry soon. This past week I managed to keep any pen from going seven days without being used, but just barely.

My fountain pen status as of Saturday evening.

In my Atlanta Pen Show Trail Log I mentioned that I was having terrible ink flow issues with my new Opus 88. My apologies to Opus 88. My faith in Montblanc ink was misplaced. I was in a rush to replace Sheaffer Red at the show. I liked the color when swatched, and I like Montblanc ink, so I bought it. I switched to Pilot Blue-Black, a nice, well-behaved ink I’m very familiar with. The pen wrote great. I found reviews of Montblanc Modena Red which called the ink one of the worst. I didn’t hate the color when swabbed. But, from the nib, when it did flow, it was completely washed out. Not an ink for thin nibs. Actually, not an ink for any nibs. I’ve enjoyed almost every Montblanc ink that I’ve used, and have not found any to be truly bad. I didn’t like Montblanc Golden Yellow, but it wasn’t terrible. Montblanc Modena Red is a truly terrible ink with no redeeming qualities. I ended up dumping the ink down the drain. I would never use it again, and I wouldn’t inflict it on anyone else.

I couple of weeks ago I wrote about when a pen qualifies as _used_. I shouldn’t have done that. Naturally there’s been a change. It’s small, but I keep the TWSBI Swipe in a Nock Co. Sapelo Penvelope (2017 Kickstarter) along with four pockets notebooks that I use to keep track of various things throughout the day. The Swipe, or whatever pen is in the Sapelo gets credit for being used if I’ve taken notes with it during the day. The volume of ink used rarely equals a full size page, but keeping track, and moving the pen around seemed pointless. If I use those notebooks then the pen qualifies are used.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Read: The Escape by David Baldacci. This is volume 3 of his Puller series. This is typical Baldacci. A sprawling crime story, where everyone except Puller is a potential criminal, and most eventually are. This one features Puller’s brother, who’s already been convicted of espionage. It’s not much of a spoiler to say the escape refers to his brother. I debated between three and four stars. I decided the three stars was more because I’m tired of Baldacci at the moment. So I gave 4 out of 5 stars.

Reading: Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. Recommended, and seemingly popular at my library, but I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m enjoying it so far. It’s set in Harlem in the 60’s. The main character is Carney, a furniture salesman. Also a reluctant crook, who’s only slightly bent. It’s not really a compelling story, and not a rally a crime/mystery novel. It’s more a story about the characters lives.

Listening: Babylon’s Ashes by S.A. Corey. The sixth book in the Expanse series. I took a short break and have now returned to my re-listen of the Expanse series. Only three volumes left before I listen to the ninth and final installment for the first time.



Out of Rotation

  1. The Opus 88 Demo Red (EF) was flushed early. As I mentioned in the Atlanta Pen show trail log, the pen was a poor performer. Well, after checking reviews for Montblanc Modena Red it seemed by trust in Montblanc Inks was misplaced. I’ve never had a Montblanc, or any other ink, that was this bad. I wasn’t the only one. So I flushed the ink to try another ink in the pen.
  2. The Fisher of Pens Hermes (Needlepoint) was also flushed early. It was making my fingers inky every time I used it. I wanted to give it a good cleaning. I’ll also try it with a ink I’m familiar with. The Anderillium Spirula Green ink is free flowing. I suspect I made a mess inking it up and got ink in the cap. It might be that a little ink is dripping into the cap and getting on the section when it’s not being used.
  3. The Pilot Elite Steel Lined Pocket Pen (F) was inked up way back on January 7th. It put up a gallant fight, but finally ran out of ink on Friday. I want to ink it up again soon, but I have too many pens inked.

Into Rotation

  1. The Opus 88 Demo Red (EF) was partially filled with Pilot Blue-Black. I put in one eyedropper’s worth of ink, far less than its capacity. I picked this ink because I know it well, and like it, and it’s well behaved. I knew that if the previous problems persisted with this ink, it’s certainly because of the pen. Performance improved to the point of “great”, so the rest of the Montblanc Modena Red went down the drain.


Lessons from Saturday’s in-person pen group meetup — mnmlscholar

My Col-o-ring Is Full! – Adventures in Ink Swatching – Chicana Writes

Vintage Vs. Modern: Why Go Old School? — The Pen Addict

Comfortable Shoes Studio

Ink-choice-by-group-consent … or, the peer pressure palette — mnmlscholar

Safety Caps and Pens – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

Aquarian April – Pam Alison Knits

Pen Case Review: Lochby Quattro Four-Pen Case — The Gentleman Stationer

Use Case: Field Notes Signs of Spring (Not a Review) – Chicana Writes

2022 Atlanta Pen Show Recap and Report Card — The Pen Addict

Diplomat Aero | dapprman

The three line progress tracker — mnmlscholar

When You Find a Specific Pen You Like: Atlanta Pen Show 2022 — The Gentleman Stationer

The New M800 Black-Red’s Surprising ‘Old’ Look « The Pelikan’s Perch