Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – April 24, 2022

I’ll be taking a hiatus from posting to this blog, so this will be the last post for a indeterminant period of time. There are various reasons, including time management. Also, it’s been nearly six months since I’ve done a non-Trail Log Sunday post, except for a currently inked post related to the Atlanta Pen Show. I seem to be in a rut, and I feel like I’m about to just phone in the trail log posts. I’ve had a couple articles pending, but they don’t get very far. So I think it’s time for me to take a break.

I have no real desire to accumulate new fountain pens, but I’m really enjoying the ones I do have. Even the new Opus 88 from the Atlanta hasn’t forced me to use it all the time. It’s an enjoyable pen, and I do like using it. But, it’s not one I reach for instead of other pens. I have reached over it to pick up another pen.

I’ve been using fountain pens far longer than this blog has existed, and I’ll continue to use them. I just won’t be writing about them.They’ll settle in as a useful tool. A tool that I’ll enjoy using.

I may revive the blog in the future, or have intermittent posts as the mood strikes me. The first real deadline isn’t until November 2022 when my WordPress plan needs to be renewed. If I don’t renew it the content will stay online (I think) but using the WordPress free plan, which will break some (many?) things, and will no doubt make the site messy and all but unusable. The blog will have existed for ten full years at the end of August, so I may get nostalgic around then.

Thanks to all of you who read, commented, and linked. I’ve truly enjoyed and appreciated it.

Back to the usual programming:

My total pages written, at least for notebooks where I count pages written, was exactly the same as the previous week, with 27 pages filled each week. The mix was a little different, with fewer journal pages (A5), and more pages in my Oasis Light (B5) this week compared to last.

Inked Fountain Pen Status Saturday Evening

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Listened: Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey. The seventh Expanse volume. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars. I debated between 4 and 5, but considering how quickly I devoured it (despite a slow start), even though it’s a second reading, I went with 5. The story transitions to what is obviously moving toward the end of the story, although there are two full books left.

Listened: Tiamat’s Wrath by James S.A. Corey. The eighth and penultimate volume in the Expanse series. The POV changes were all among the major characters, unlike some previous books, and all made sense. Yet, I found some of them jarring and I had to pause and think about them in order to place them in the right time-frame. I had the rewind and re-listen to the beginning of several chapters. It’ not a time-travel book, but things happen fast in places and the POV changes were jarring, at least for me, as the same events were retold. The story is darker in this one, and I didn’t like several of the events and character arcs. That’s more an emotional response, not a criticism of the story, so I rated this one a solid 5 out of 5 stars.

Listening Next: Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey. I’ll be starting the ninth and final Expanse book later today.

Reading: Manhatten Noir by multiple authors. A collection of Noir short stories, edited by Lawrence Block, set in New York City. I’ve only read one so far and enjoyed it. My plan is to read one a night, before going to sleep.


I did a rather big sell-off this past week. I used Reddit Pen_Swap and priced the pens to sell. So, the following pens and nibs have left my accumulation:

  1. Lamy Safari Dark Lilac
  2. Lamy Safari Petrol
  3. Lamy Safari Mango
  4. Lamy Safari Green
  5. Lamy 14K Gold Extra Fine Nib
  6. Lamy 14K Gold Oblique Medium Nib
  7. Sheaffer Crest Nova Green
  8. Sailor Full Size Realo
  9. Esterbrook Estie Evergreen

Out of Rotation

  1. The Diplomat Aero Volute with a custom (Mark Bacas) oblique fine nib was inked with Waterman Mysterious Blue and went dry last Sunday.
  2. The Pilot Custom 823 (Fine) was inked up with Montblanc Bordeaux back on December 19th.
  3. The Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized Seaglass (Needlepoint) was inked up with Waterman Mysterious Blue back on April 1st. It was only a partial fill. It’s not quit dry, but there’s no free-flowing ink in the converter. I’m going to clean and refill it with an ink I haven’t decided on yet.

Into Rotation



With the upcoming hiatus I wanted to included a trio of sites which provided links every week:

Sunday Reading – The Gentleman Stationer

Link Love – The Well-Appointed Desk // Every Wednesday

Misfill — The Pen Addict. In addition, the Member newsletter provides weekly links (and more) every Saturday.

And now the usual links:

A Waverley Nib – Goodwriterspens’s Blog and Just a Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // My favorite vintage pen blog.

My analog task migration system, for when life lives outside of my plans — mnmlscholar and New earth tone inks and finding efficiency in spring — mnmlscholar // One of my favorite What I’m using and why blogs._

Keeping a Notebook PERFECTLY | Comfortable Shoes Studio

special occasions: sheaffer imperial

Heat Setting an Ebonite Feed Without Burning Down the House – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

Woody Guthrie’s Notebooks – Notebook Stories

World Stationery Day 2022 – Pam Alison Knits

Fawning Over Flora — Penquisition

JetPens View Corona 52 gsm Paper Review — The Pen Addict

Video: Steph’s Top 5 Green Inks! | Anderson Pens Blog

Emotional Support Pens, Stationery, and the Return to Campus – Chicana Writes

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – April 17, 2022

The eight pens I've picked to use first as the week begins.
The first eight pens for the week ahead

My fountain pen usage was up a bit this week when compared to the previous week. I wrote 24 journal pages two weeks ago, and only 22 this week. But, I did a lot of non-journal writing compared to two weeks ago, and wrote another five full pages, in addition to the usual lists and notes.

I decided to reduce the number of inked pens and concentrated on using the ones that had the least ink. I was able to write four pens dry. That got me down to a less-anxiety producing dozen pens. I spent Saturday rotating through the inked pens, picking the ones used least recently.

I also went through and wrote with all the inked fountain pens on Saturday morning. My intent was to remove any pen that had a hard start or wrote poorly. Despite many being unused for over a week, all of them wrote immediately and just fine. Even the Sailor 1911 Ringless wrote well after siting idle for 10 days. This was the pen that failed to write at the Atlanta Pen show, a mere day after being inked and tested.

But, I couldn’t leave it there. The Atlanta Pen show was two weeks ago, and there’s still two nib grinds that I haven’t inked up yet. So I filled them up Saturday afternoon.

List of inked pens from Fountain Pen Companion
Currently Inked as of Saturday afternoon

I also finished off a Seven Seas Writer, which I used as my journal. The first entry was in January 2021, so it has been around awhile. It’s been replaced by… A Seven Seas Writer.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Read: Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. Recommended to me, and seemingly popular at my library, but I didn’t really know what to expect. 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 in Harlem. I rated in 3 out of 4 stars.

Listened: Babylon’s Ashes by S.A. Corey. The sixth book in the Expanse series. I increased my listening time and finished this one off in short order. I rated this one 4 out of 5 stars, and that’s when rounding up. It gets off to a slow start. Parts of the story is retold from the point-of-view of minor characters. It would be a much tighter story by sticking to the POV of the major characters.

Listening: Persepolis Rising by S.A. Corey. The seventh book in the Expanse series. Another slow start. Another 20 hour audiobook.

Watched: Suddenly 1954 Noir movie staring Frank Sinatra as the villain. I’ve been watching a lot of old movies lately, and don’t usually bother to mention them here. And it’s not the movies that’s worth mentioning, rather the viewing experience. I watched it on IMDBtv which is free to watch with ads. It’s not the ads that were annoying, they were very reasonable. Rather, whenever a characters cigarette would go to their mouth the area around their mouth would be blurred. The cigarette would be very visible right until it reached their lips. This was made and set in the 50’s – there was a lot of smoking. It’s a film about assassinating the President,six people are killed and several others are shot, yet it’s the smoking that gets blurred. Most of the smoking is by the bad guys. I found it bizarre. FYI – I watched this in preparation for listening to an Incomparable podcast episode.

Out of Rotation

  1. The Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized, Maraschino (Journaler) was inked with Montblanc Bordeaux back on March 30th. Going empty so soon isn’t all that impressive. I gave it a short fill.
  2. The Diplomat Aero, Green (14kt Fine) was inked with Montblanc Racing Green back on March 30th, also given a short fill.
  3. The Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized, Scarlet (Scribe) was inked with Montblanc Bordeaux on March 30th. also given a short fill.
  4. The TWSBI Swipe, Prussian Blue (Extra Fine) was inked with Sheaffer Red way back on December 19, 2022. It was the last of the Sheaffer Red.
Pens drying out after a bath.
Friday night cleaning

Into Rotation

I couldn’t wait any longer. I inked up my two remaining Atlanta Pen Show nib grinds.

  1. The **Sheaffer Balance Lifetime Oversize, Marine Green (14K Oblique Fine)* was inked with Montblanc Bordeaux.
  2. The Sheaffer Balance Oversize Lifetime, Grey Pearl (14K Oblique Fine) was inked with Montblanc Bordeaux.


Guest Post: Two Writer’s Boxes, A Cautionary Tale via The Gentleman Stationer

The Fountain Pen Mystery Theatre Presents, Mystery Behind the Blue Diamond – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

Advice from a Reformed Ink Hoarder | Anderson Pens Blog

The unusual suspects — mnmlscholar

Why It’s Time to Stop Reflexively Avoiding Gold Trim: The Caran d’Ache 849 “Gold Bar” and Others — The Gentleman Stationer

News: M605 Tortoiseshell-Black Special Edition « The Pelikan’s Perch

Pen Nibs, More than Just A Type, its Geometry – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

Video Lisa’s Top 5 Rebel Pens! | Anderson Pens Blog

ScriBo Inks | dapprman

Pennonia Cheerio Waterbus Ink Review — The Pen Addict

Another Forward Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

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

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – Atlanta Pen Show Edition

Spurred on by the Atlanta pen show running this weekend, I had a fountain pen heavy week. Not necessarily using them, but much of what I did was fountain pen centered. In fact, while they got daily use, my fountain pen usage was down from the previous week.

Some vintage Sheaffer that caught my attention when reviewing pens.The first and last one got nib work done at the show.

On Tuesday I spent the day cleaning the pens leaving the rotation, and inspecting my vintage Sheaffer pens. I water tested all the Sheaffers and found three that wouldn’t take in water. I already had two pens in the queue for new sacs, so I resaced those two. Seven that caught my attention are in the photo up top.

On Wednesday I tested the newly repaired pens, after letting them sit overnight to make sure the shellac is really dry. Then I moved on to inking up the pens I want in the rotation. I got caught up in playing with pens, and inked up more than expected. I wrote about my pen selections here.

Inked fountain pens – post show

I’m not a heavy watcher of videos, but I did watch the Pen Addict Twitch Live Stream on Wednesday. Well, watch may be a bit strong, I listened to it in the background. This week’s streams had a pen show theme.

Thursday was spent packing for the pen show and getting ready. Plus, doing the non-pen stuff that I had been putting off so I could have more pen time.

While it wasn’t my plan, having my hands on so many pens close to the show helped suppress my urge to buy every pen that caught my eye at the show.

The Atlanta Pen Show

I’ve been a nomad since mid-January, and was able to plan a stay that was local to the Atlanta Pen show. For reference, my past pens shows have been Long Island and The Commonwealth Pen Show (Boston), both of which are smaller shows. I’ve also been to the Washington DC show, which is huge. The Atlanta show website had 47 vendors listed on the vendor page.

I arrived at the hotel a little after 8am on Friday. I bought my weekend pass and then headed next door to have breakfast at Waffle House. I was back shortly after 9am, when the show floor officially opened for weekend pass holders.

I’ve never been to the Atlanta show in the past, so I can’t compare it to past shows. While larger than Long Island, it’s still a small show. I was surprised by the number of nib workers that were here. I was also surprised to see three of them from Colorado and California. I counted five, plus Pendleton Brown who’s a niche nib worker these days. Several vendors had what I would consider a significant trip. From my memory, Anderson Pens (Wisconsin) was the only non-local vendor I saw at the Long Island show. In this case, I define local as within a three hour drive.

Foot traffic seemed light on Friday. Talking to a couple vendors they said Friday was slower than past shows. One attributed it to the local offices being closed or having fewer people working in them. Saturday morning also seemed slow to me, although I left before lunch.

This show had a much bigger social aspect than the other shows that I attended. Washington had far more people and vendor volume which helps make that one social. But for a small show Atlanta was very friendly and social.

The show puts on a Friday evening cookout for weekend pass holders and vendors. This was a good time and I got to meet and talk with several folks. Later that evening a bunch of folks hung out around the bar and lounge, having drinks,talking about, and sharing pens.

The show itself was spread across three rooms, with Yafa having a table stretched out the length of the entrance hallway. My bad guess would be about 10 Yafa tables along that hallway. It seemed like this could get congested if it got crowded. Between folks looking at Yafa pens and people moving between the three rooms along that hallway in both directions, there wasn’t a lot of extra space, One of the rooms was small and cramped, and seemed to get a little warm as Friday went on. The other two rooms were much less cramped, making it easy to get around. It’s worth pointing out that many of those 47 vendors had multiple tables.

There were also three seminars on the schedule, although I did not attend any. They were: Fountain Pens 101, American Cursive Handwriting, and Copperplate Script.

I would certainly consider traveling to Atlanta for a future show. Although the last time I tried to budget for travel to several pen shows, including Atlanta, the pandemic hit.

Now on to the material aspects of the show.


Going into the show I knew that my primary focus would be getting nib grinds. By the time I left late Saturday morning I had four nib grinds done, and purchased a new nib which I consider the fifth grind. Several nib workers had an option of making appointments through email, although I decided not to do this and wing it, despite want to get several done.

Vendors were sparse Friday morning, but Mike Masuyama was grinding away, so I got on his list and had my first nib grind done a short time later. I had him thin one of my Lamy factory oblique medium gold nib down to an oblique fine, but with the same oblique angle.

My second nib grind was done by Damien Alomar on Friday afternoon. I’d never come across him before. I think he said that he is from Delaware, but my memory could be faulty. I had a fine nib ground to a needlepoint. The result was a nib that put down a thin line and was a lot smoother than I expected. By their nature, I expect needlepoint nibs to have more feedback (or catch on paper fibers) than a wider nib. This one was nice and smooth. I may notice more feedback as I use it on different types of paper, but kudos on the smoothness. According to his website, Damien has also done events at Betram’s inkwell in Rockville, MD. So it seems possible to have him do nib work without going to a pen show or sending him pens through the mail.

While not a grind I had done there, the Esterbrook _Needlepoint _ nib arrived late Friday afternoon and I picked one up. They are a bit expensive, but I wanted one to keep up with the Esterbrook nib collaborations. They’re $90, and also available on their website. If you figure a typical nib unit cost is $25, that leaves $65 for the grind. The needlepoint nib is done by Kirk Speer, who was also at the Atlanta show. Kirk lists a $50 price for a custom Needlepoint grind. This isn’t a complaint, just an observation. I imagine it has to do with limiting nib-only purchases (like I did) so that they are available to sell with pens. Plus, I’m sure it’s a pain in the butt stocking and tracking the nib. Generally, when included in the pen sale, the collab nibs have had a price bump in line with the cost of a custom grind, roughly $50. Direct from Kenro may be slightly more since they don’t want to undercut their retailers.

That was it for my nib work on Friday.

I headed down to the show floor early Saturday morning to get on a couple of lists for nib work. My timing was right and Matthew Chen was able to do the work right away. I had him put a left oblique on my vintage Sheaffer Marine Green Oversize Balance. I showed him my Diplomat Oblique as an example that I really liked. The result was nice and smooth, with just enough angle, which I like. I haven’t inked up this pen (or the next) because I simply have too many inked, so it’s only been dip tested.

My final nib work was done by Kirk Speer of Pen Realm and it was also for a left oblique on a vintage Grey Marble Sheaffer Balance Oversize. I showed him the same Diplomat Aero example. While I haven’t inked this one up either, it feels smooth and cut at the right angle.

I brought along the Diplomat as an example because it’s one I really like, but it has a rather shallow angle. Obliques can be open to interpretation. I like the nib because of the way it sits naturally in my hand. I’ve found that I’m a very visual person when writing with a fountain pen, and use the nib to orient the pen. I tend to naturally rotate the nib slightly. I’m not using an oblique as a way to get a lot of line variation, so more obliqueness is not better for me.

I haven’t inked up either of the vintage pens. But they are in the queue to be inked and I look forward to a comparison between them.

Pendleton Brown was there also, but his BLS nib just isn’t a nib for me.

Mark Bacas was there also. I actually added myself to his list, but then soon crossed my name off. He’s done all my pandemic nibs, so I have several examples of his work. He does great work, but I wanted to try some new (at least to me) nib grinders.

I think that covers all the nib workers that were at the show. I now have examples of all their work, except for Pendleton Brown, who’s BLS nib is not my jam.

The Pens

One unexpected benefit of bringing so many pens to the show with me is that it as easier to avoid buying new pens. If I was tempted by a pen I could open my pen case and ask Which one would this replace? But as Friday rolled on I decided I wanted an Atlanta Pen Show pen.

I ended up picking up an Opus 88 Demo Red from Droomgle’s. It’s a translucent red body with black end caps and clip. I generally don’t like translucent colors, but this one wasn’t too translucent. It didn’t look cheap, with is my main complaint with translucent colors. It was a toss up between this one and a clear version.

Opus 88 Demo Red fountain pen

This pen didn’t make a good first impression when I inked it up. It’s a Japanese-style eyedropper filler, meaning it has a valve that can be closed to seal the pen. My particular copy doesn’t seem to require the valve to seal it shut. I filled about 1/2 the barrel and put the section back onto the body and the ink is slow to reach the feed (as in hours, with some assistance). The slit between the tines seems a little too narrow, but I’ll do some other troubleshooting steps first. I did the obvious first step if flushing/cleaning the section, but the rest will have to wait until later in the week. My lesson learned (or re-learned) is that even new pens need to be checked, especially when in such an easy environment to do so. Instead I waited until I left the show.

I also got a TWSBI Swipe in Pear. This isn’t so much a new pen, as it is a replacement for my current Swipe since it’s green. I haven’t inked it up yet. I’ll write my current Swipe dry first since it’s almost empty.

The Inks

I had wanted some Sheaffer Red and Waterman Mysterious Blue (Blue-Black) bottles. I also wanted a wider variety of ink cartridges. With my traveling, bottles are inconvenient and a potential mess if one breaks. I don’t have a lot of variety among international cartridges.

But, I only got two boxes of cartridges, Kaweco Sunrise Orange and Herbin Lierre Sauvage (They dropped the “J” from the labels.)

I ended up with 5 bottles of ink, 4 of which are new to me. Maybe all 5 are new to me. I wanted to see the new Sheaffer bottle and intended to get Sheaffer Red. When that wasn’t at the show (new or old ink) I got Sheaffer Very Verde. Sheaffer, now owned by Cross, is slowly rolling out new Sheaffer inks and packaging. The packaging doesn’t call it “Strip” anymore and I’ve seen websites that call it “reformulated.” The bottle is smaller (now 30ml, was 50ml) and the new bottle is a couple of bucks more.

When I couldn’t find Sheaffer Red I went looking for a replacement. Something along the lines of fire engine red. As is my way, I couldn’t decide and ended up with two, Montblanc Modena Red and Diplomat Red. Based upon online ink tools (easier for me than flipping through swabs), both are close to the red that I want.

I haven’t used the Diplomat yet. The Modena Red is in the problem Opus 88, so I’m withholding judgement.

I also got Herbin Bleu Mysosotis, which is a lovely purple and I’m enjoying with my oblique fine Lamy nib in the Savannah Safari.

I also got another green ink. It’s a boutique ink made by Karen Anderson under the Anderillium Inks name. I picked up a nice bright green called Spirula Green. I matched it with my green Fisher of Pens Hermes. It’s nice and bright, even with the new needlepoint nib.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: The Escape by David Baldacci. This is volume 3 of his Puller series. For some reason, the second volume had over 30 holds at my library (for two copies) so I skipped it and took volume 3 which was available immediately. It’s been slow progress on this one. There have been days I haven’t touched it. It’s time for me to take a Baldacci break and switch to another author after I finish this book.

Out of Rotation

  1. The Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized, Scarlet (Scribe) was inked up back on January 7, 2022 with Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrün. It’s already inked back up.
  2. The *Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized, Maraschino (Steel Journaler) was inked up back on January 7, 2022 with Sheaffer Red ink. It’s already inked back up.

Into Rotation

See my currently inked post for a full list of my inked pens. Here are the pens inked or changed at the Atlanta Show.

  1. Lamy Petrol Safari (oblique fine) and Herbin Bleu Myosotis ink
  2. Fisher of Pens Hermes (needlepoint) and Anderillium Spiral Green
  3. Esterbrook (Kenro) Estie Oversized Seaglass (Needlepoint) and Waterman Mysterious Blue
  4. Opus 88 Red Demo and Montblanc Modena Red ink

I now have 18 inked pens. Although, to be honest I need to verify that. I’ve been lax in recording my ink and pen pairings during the pen show. This means I have to use three a day if I want to have each pen used at least once a week. I get anxious so many inked pens I want to write some dry This causes an internal argument: Use many pens a day to see ink moving, or use a pen until it’s dry in order to make room in the pen roll. This unnecessary, self-inflicted angst is why I don’t like having more than six or seven pens inked.


See this earlier links post for most of this week’s links. Like I said in that post, I was tired and making mistakes. Here are couple more links that should have been included.

Enough is Too Many is Just Right — The Pen Addict // I hyperventilate just looking at this. I tried a few active notebooks at once and it drove me nuts. Now I have a journal, which is deskbound 98% of the times and a catch-all notebook for everything else.

An exciting new start for | UK fountain pens // Good to see that the old posts will remain online and there will be new posts in the future.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 27, 2022

My fountain pen usage felt like it was lower this week than last. I don’t keep track enough to be sure. I suppose I could go back and count pages, but then that would make it more like work. My habit of writing in the morning has become ingrained. I had a busy Saturday and want to get an early start to beat the crowds, and I woke later than usual. So I was going to skip the morning journal entry, but I couldn’t do it. I had to write one page before setting out. Then I wrote another page when I got back. So while it feels lower, it still a daily habit which makes me happy.

A better indicator of my lower writing output is that my average “last used” has gone from a high of 1 day ago last week, to a median of 3.5 days ago this week.

My inked fountain pens as listed in Fountain Pen Companion.
My inked fountain pen status as of Saturday afternoon using fountain pen companion.

Atlanta Pen Show

I will be attending the Atlanta Pen Show this coming Friday and Saturday. Even though I’m only about 45 minutes away I decided to make a reservation for Friday night. This will give me an opportunity to socialize Friday night and not have to worry about a drive home. This can also be worded as the bar is not off-limits. I do plan to get a weekend pass, so I can return on Sunday if I want to. Or, less likely, extend the reservation.

I don’t have many specific plans.

I’ll try to get appointments for a couple of nib grinds. I have a Lamy Oblique Medium that’s even wetter than my original Lamy Oblique Medium. I want to get that one ground down to an oblique fine. I also want to get a needlepoint nib, although the pen is undecided. I have to avoid the urge to get multiple nibs done. Often, when I can’t decide on pens, nibs, inks, or many other things, I often say “I’ll take one of each, please.”

I’ll see what’s available with the new Esterbrook needlepoint nib. Although, I don’t really want another pen. I do see that Esterbrook sells just the nib on their website, but I’m more likely to get one of my two Esterbrook extra-fines ground to a needlepoint if I get a chance at the show.

I know I just wrote I don’t really want another pen, I could be tempted by the new Pear Green TWSBI Swipe. At about $27 it doesn’t really count, does it?

Finally, I’ll look around for some ink cartridges. I don’t have enough color choices for my standard international cartridges, especially when compared to the number of pens that can use them. This will be even more true if Faber-Castell cartridges give me more problems.

It’ll be interesting to see what else catches my eye.

My last in-person pen show was the Long Island Pen Show in March 2020, just as pandemic shutdowns were about to begin. I have to admit, I’m a little hesitant to join a crowd, even at this point, but barring bad news, that is the plan.

Housekeeping/Scheduling Update

Since I’ll be attending the Atlanta Pen Show next weekend the Trail Log may be delayed. I may also just post links on Sunday morning, and then do a more detailed followup later on Sunday or Monday. I usually do most of the Trail Log on Saturday afternoon, so there will be an impact for sure. I won’t be traveling to the show with my computer, and using my phone will result in even more typos than usual.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Listening: Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey. Book five of The Expanse. Thanks to a lot of driving, I was able to finish this one off. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Stopped Reading: Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen. A biography of Audrey Hepburn during the five years of the Nazi Occupation. Last Sunday I said this book was mediocre so far, about 25% through it, but that I’d keep going. That became a lie by the end of Sunday. After enjoying a David Baldacci novel Saturday night and Sunday, finishing it off in two days, I decided to return Dutch Girl. I’m in no frame of mind to read about war atrocities. I may borrow the book again, when I’m in a suitable frame of mind. Yes, Baldacci novels have bad people doing bad things, but it’s fiction and my brain knows that.

Read: Zero Day by David Baldacci. Yes, another Baldacci novel. This is volume one in his Puller series. I was in the proper frame of mind to read a book last weekend (mostly Sunday) and I completed this one in two days. I’ll give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reading: The Escape by David Baldacci. This is volume 3 of his Puller series. For some reason, the second volume had over 30 holds at my library (for only two copies) so skipped it and took volume 3 which was available immediately. I did borrow volume 2 as an audio book and will listen once this one is done. Two Puller books at the same time would confuse the heck out of me, even if they’re in different formats.

New Arrivals






Out of Rotation

  1. Diplomat Aero, Green, 14kt Fine was inked with a Montblanc Emerald Green cartridge back on January 19, 2022. It finally went dry this week.
  2. Spoke Design Icon, British Racing Green / Brass, (Extra-Fine) was inked with a Montblanc Petit Prince Red Fox cartridge back on January 7, 2022. I have three other pens that were inked that same day and they’re still going strong.

Into Rotation

  1. I attempted to have the Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic, Gemstone, (Extra-Fine) join the rotation, but the Faber-Castell Moss Green cartridge flowed through the nib into the cap, make quite a mess when I wrote. The pen hadn’t been jostled or carried nib down. While I hesitate to blame a brand, this is not the first Faber-Castell cartridge that has had this issue. I’ll clean it out and try a different brans of ink. This happened the morning I was setting out for a day of traveling, so I just cleaned it up as fast ass possible. I’ll inspect the pen more closely of course, but I don’t expect to see any visible problems.
  2. Pilot Vanishing Point, Cherry Bamboo, XXF was inked with a Pilot Blue-Black cartridge. Immediately after using it I had to question myself as to why it’s been five months since this pen had ink loaded.
  3. Sailor Professional Gear, Regency Stripe, Extra Fine was inked with a Sailor Shikiori Chu-Shu – cartridge.


Today I Got To:__________ | From the Pen Cup

How I end a journaling notebook — mnmlscholar

Icon, maker or lux? | UK fountain pens

currently inked i – ink between the teeth

Going the full sentimental — mnmlscholar

Country of Origin – Chronicles of a Fountain Pen

Vintage Pen News: John Holland and aluminum

On Keeping a Commonplace Book – Notebook Stories

Crumbled – Pam Alison Knits

The More Things Change, The More They’re The Same: The Visconti Homo Sapiens Revisited — The Gentleman Stationer

Early thoughts on the Delike New Moon bent nib fude pen. | Fountain pen blog

A Telescopic Eyedropper Filler – Goodwriterspens’s Blog