Sunday Notes and Links – September 25, 2016

A couple new pens should be turning up here soon. This week I received the Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche (2016 LE) and just inked it up. I debated the purchase but the first impression is favorable. More this week.

Then Shawn Newton emailed me that he’s beginning to work on my pen. It’s a little earlier than expected but seeing the pictures of the work in progress has me excited.

As usual, starting with pen shows…

The Commonwealth Pen Show (Boston) is today (25th) from 9am to 5pm. Unfortunately I can’t attend this year but I’m hoping lots of people do so that a two day show is justified for next year.

The Colorado Pen Showis a couple weeks away, running from October 7th through 9th.

All US pen shows (at least that I know of) are listed here along with a schedule.

What’s Being Used & How

Best Fountain Pen Inks for Editing and Annotation — The Gentleman Stationer // I agree whole-heartily with his first choice. I have reservations about his second choice preferring a Montblanc ink, but I’m coming around. Yup, I left out colors and ink names. Read the article, good info.

A Pen by Ryan Krusac | Inkdependence! // This makes me want to ink up my own Ryan Krusac fountain pen

Unboxing Hobonichi 2017 | East…West…Everywhere // I’ve decided to take a break from the Hobonichi in 2017. I’m still using it this year, but it’s overkill for how I use it.

Brief Update On The Pilot Metropolitan | An Inkophile’s Blog // Change is good

Currently Inked: Loadout for Weekend in Philly — Pendora’s Box

Resources (on this site)

Index of my Ink Notes

Nib Workers, Pen Restorers and Fountain Pen Makers (recently updated)

Fountain Pen Clubs & Meetups

Sunday Notes and Links – September 18, 2016

Not much time this weekend so I’ll get right to the links…

Starting with pen shows…

Two pen shows this coming weekend. The Commonwealth Pen Show (Boston) is on Sunday the 25th and the Dallas Pen Show is on the 24th & 25th.

The Colorado Pen Showis also less than a month away, running from October 7th through 9th.

All US pen shows (at least that I know of) are listed here along with a schedule.

Meetups

The 2016 Pelikan Hubs were this past Friday. Gourmet Pens wrote about the Pelikan Hub in Amsterdam. The Gentleman Stationer wrote about the Nashville Hub.

What’s Being Used & How

Why I don’t organise my notebooks. — The Ink Smudge // I don’t organize my notebooks either and do even less, just dating each page. I used to be good and remembering about when things happened and then finding it in the notebook. I’ve gotten less good lately but I need to go back less and less.

Currently Inked #13 | 15 September 2016 – Pen Habit // Video, with a guest this time

Pen Restoration: 1930’s Sheaffer’s Balance Premier Oversize Plunger Filler — Gorgeous.Ink // I love the look of these pens, and have a couple different colors. I’d love to be able to restore them.

Hobonichi Techo (2016 Edition) Review – Pens! Paper! Pencils!// I’m still using my 2016 Tech, but just barely. I decided not to get one for 2017. I love the paper and the size, but it’s just not for me.

Ink Review: Akkerman #28 (Hofkwartier Groen) — The Gentleman Stationer // While Akkerman inks have a cult following my reaction to the couple that I tried were mostly “meh”. This is the only Akkerman ink I’ve used that has elevated to “I like it” status, although it seems to prefer wider nibs. So it will be awhile before I empty the bottle.

Another Viewpoint: The Kaweco Sport Squeezable Converter | From the Pen Cup // Mary has a good experience with the new Kaweco squeeze converter.

Huy Hoang Dao Oblique Holder | The Passionate Penman // This would be a complete waste in my hand. But it’s cool.

Goulet Pens Blog: FP101: How To Write With A Flex Nib // Speaking of a complete waste in my hand, but fun to watch

Sunday Notes and Links – September 11, 2016

At the end of this week’s Pen Addict podcast one of the AskTPA questions was about using a board or other had surface to write on in a chair. At the time I was sitting on the patio doing some writing on my Levenger Lap Desk. I think that’s what they called it. I checked Levenger’s website and it seems this specific design is no longer available. This one has a cushion attached to the bottom and rests on my lap while the current ones are bigger but must rest on the arms of the chair. It’s not the most stable writing surface so I wouldn’t use it for letters or anything that needed to look it’s best. I lost the elastic straps long ago, but otherwise it’s held up well over the years.

I mentioned it last week, but we’re two weeks (or less) away from two pen shows. The Commonwealth Pen Show (Boston) is on the 25th and the Dallas Pen Show is the 24th & 25th.

The Colorado Pen Showis also less than a month away, running from October 7th through 9th.

Joe Szanto posted a long recap of the 2016 San Francisco pen show: The 2016 San Francisco Pen Show: a personal perspective

I’ve added a pen show page to my resources (see 2017 shows already on the schedule), along with a page for pen clubs. These join pages for pen/nib workers long with a listing of other sites that I like to read.

What Others Are Using

Currently Inked #12 | 8 September 2016 – Pen Habit

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil Mini Series — The Finer Point

What Others Are Reviewing

Dip Pens were popular this week: Review: Kaweco Special Dip Pen – The Well-Appointed Desk and Pen Review: Kaweco Special Dip Pen — the desk of lori

Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog: A Review — The Pen Addict // It’s becoming harder and harder to resist this pen.

Other Links of Interest

How to ask the right questions — The Ink Smudge

Time management Monday: What to write in your planner? – Quo Vadis Blog

Field Notes DIY: Changing Staples and Innards — Three Staples

Vintage Pen News: eBay and the Great Disintermediation

Letter gets there by hand-drawn map – BBC News

Sunday Notes and Links – September 04, 2016

It’s been nearly four months, but with the unofficial end of summer here in the States I decided to resume Sunday Notes and Links, although it will be less notes and more links. And it may not even be every Sunday. It’s been awhile so some of these links are old but well worth reading if you missed them.

The Commonwealth Pen Show (aka Boston Pen Show) is later this month, It’s a Sunday only show that’s runs from 9am to 5pm on September 25, 2016. It’s a small show but is to be growing. There’s 23 exhibiters listed for this year and all the available tables are sold out. I’m hoping the show grows big enough to justify two days since Saturdays generally works better for me. Still, I am hoping to make it there sometime Sunday.

The Dallas Pen Show is September 23–24.

You can find European Pen Shows here. There’s a couple coming up Sept. 24th and 25th.

Speaking of pen shows…

My 2016 D.C. Pen Show Haul — The Gentleman Stationer

SF Pen Show: Day 3 and Wrap-Up – The Well-Appointed Desk (Day2) and Day 1

Reflections of a Fountain Pen Initiate — Gorgeous.Ink

In addition to shows there are clubs…

Appleton Wisconsin (Sept 15th): Appleton Pen Club – Vintage – Anderson PensAnderson Pens

Fountain Pens Australia (Facebook Group & monthly meetings): One Year of Fountain Pens Australia! — Pen Economics

What Others Are Using

Currently Inked: September 2016 — Pendora’s Box

Video: Currently Inked #11 | 2 September 2016 – Pen Habit

Monthly Load Out: September 2016 – Gorgeous.Ink

I like reading reviews for pens that have (or haven’t) stood the test of time. This time around two people revisited the same fountain pen,

Revisited: Pilot Vanishing Point — Alt. Haven and Review Redux – Four Years with the Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen – edjelley.com – Fountain Pen, Ink, and Stationery Reviews

Misc Links

Notebooks designed to get you organized — Original Content Books via The Cramped

A Hobby: Fountain Pens | The Maddog Rag

Montblanc’s Augmented Paper digitizes rich people’s handwriting – The Verge

What Not To Do | From the Pen Cup

The “Metal” Stamp You Probably Don’t Know About « The Pelikan’s Perch

Introducing journal guides! | Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb.

Profile of John Twiss | United Inkdom // There’s a related giveaway but you’ll have to browse the site for it. The giveaway ends Sept. 10th.

I missed the Pilot Pen Clinic, but… – On Fountain Pens

Lastly, thanks to automation, most of what I read gets pushed out to Fountain Pen Links as a link even if it’s not in this post, so if you want a firehose of links you’ll find it there.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 28, 2016

Currently Inked - July 2016

Look familiar? All the pens I started the month with are still inked up.

It’s been a slow month as far as fountain pen usage goes. All the pens I started the month with still have ink. Only the Visconti was written dry and that was immediately refilled. A couple pens are close to empty but they’ll probably survive the month.

The Washington DC Pen Show is next week and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been three years since I attended the show.

Non-Negotiable: Eleven Days of Morning Pages | From the Pen Cup

I gave this a try earlier this month and I could see immediate benefits. Despite this I just didn’t stick with it and only lasted about a week. I’m not a morning person so it didn’t take much of a speed bump to break the habit. I did enjoy it and I used my pens a lot.

I’ll probably try to get going again, although not as a daily habit. I find that a “daily goal” like this can become mechanical and I just go through the motions the reach the physical goal. Rather than enjoying the writing I was concentrating on getting to three pages on the last couple of days.

One Book July 2016 — The Purl Bug and One Book July: Halfway Point – The Well-Appointed Desk

I realize that this is a thing, just not for me.

KWZ Inks: A New Favorite — The Gentleman Stationer

It seems like there’s always a hard to get boutique fountain pen ink that’s the latest rage in the FP community. KWZ Ink, from Poland, is the latest of these. I have more than enough ink and I tend to avoid these inks during the initial feeding frenzy but may pick up a bottle as the fad fades. I did pick up a bottle of KWZ IG Blue-Black which I like. My motivation was mainly that it was an iron gall ink and a blue-black. KWZ does have non-IG inks and a wide range of colors. Joe makes a good case as to why he likes them. I tell myself I have enough ink but I expect I’ll buy a bottle from Vanness pens at the DC show next week.

A Shinobi creeps in – And All Other Tasks

A favorite vintage nib found a new home in a modern pen. I love that Shawn Newton does this. Others do it too, but since I have a pen on order with Shawn I’ve noticed his work more.

Ink Review: Waterproof, Permanent Inks – The Well-Appointed Desk

I’ve had a heightened interest in iron gall and other waterproof inks most of this year. Although the appeal of IG extends beyond its waterproof properties it did lead me to look at other waterproof inks. Among Ana’s recommendations is the Platinum Carbon Desk Pen with Platinum Carbon ink. This combination has been on my desk since February. I use it when water resistance is my primary goal bit it’s also good for general use.

A Good Pen Matters – crane reaction

That One Pen is now Crane Reaction. Well, both exist, but only Crane Reaction will get new content from Todd. He’ll still write about pens, just not exclusively.

From Parker to Montblanc: the appeal of the fountain pen | The Week Portfolio

A bit of a puff piece, but its nice to see a fountain pen article in a non-stationery setting.

Zen and the Art of Fountain Pen Maintenance — The Pen Addict

Good info. I like that no fountain pens are disassembled simply to make cleaning easier. Especially since it’s not necessary.

My Personal Fountain Pen Collection | Hey there! SBREBrown

Stephen Brown shares his pen collection.

Aurora, Cross and Omas ink tests | FOUNTAIN PEN INKS & BLEACH

This sites new to me but it’s been around a few years. Interesting stuff worth checking out.

The Value of a Pen — Pen Economics

Some interesting thoughts in this post. The Blue Hour Skeleton isn’t for my aesthetic tastes and I immediately move on when seeing this price. But it’s interesting to read about the thought process from a fountain pen user. I always consider pens of this price to be more jewelry purchase rather than a writing instrument purchase so it’s nice to see it considered as a writing instrument.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 29, 2016

Visconti Dreamtouch 3 pen case full with SheaffersThe Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log is a replacement of sorts for my Sunday Notes and Links. I’m hoping to make it a regular feature although I’m not willing to commit to a publication frequency.

The month of June was mostly standard fountain pen usage for me. I used the pens to take notes at work, draft my posts, and for other miscellaneous writing. As I mention below, I rarely use a non-fountain pen. It’s main competition is the computer or iPad. I did write several pens dry during the month but the ones that remain still hold a lot of ink.

I did give in and ink up my Sheaffer Balance IIs and have been using them a lot now that they have a case to protect them.

I could brag that I continue to use my Hobonichi every day. But the truth is it’s usually just a short entry in the morning. The current weather and how well I slept are standard fare.

I have been better about writing in my Seven Seas Writer most evenings although I did miss a few entries this month. For awhile I wrote at least a page a night but in the last week I’m down to about half a page. I’ve been trying to maintain the habit of writing nightly and not get too concerned about quantity. (I was never concerned about quality.)

Thought Provoking Links

The Handwritten Draft // Pete Denison

Pete Denison recently wrote about how his posts start off as handwritten drafts. This is something I’ve been doing since I started this blog as it gave me a reason to use my pens. Happily, I’ve found I like writing this way and much of my other writing also starts as a handwritten draft. Although to be honest I have to admit that I’m most consistent with this blog, I use this process for many of the reasons Pete mentions.

I generally draft all my posts in the same notebook until it’s full. It’s not dedicated to posts but this way I always know where to find them. My current notebook is a Maruman Septcouleur. I may have more than one post going at a time. I don’t leave blank pages. If a post isn’t done, I simply continue on at the next blank page if I pick it up again. Sometimes an incomplete post just fades into oblivion.

I don’t do a lot of editing when writing the draft. I may use an arrow to show a paragraph makes more sense in a different spot, but that’s about it. If I need to look something up I’m more likely to make a note about it rather than stopping and looking it up.

Once the written draft is done I transcribe it into ByWord for this blog or Ulysses for some of my other writing. I do edit and rewrite sections during this process and look up anything I made a note of. Sometimes this editing will be very extensive.

Once it’s transcribed I like to let it sit overnight but have to admit I often move right on to the next step which is reading it aloud. I find reading it aloud lets me catch more errors and I’m even more likely to catch them if I waited until the next day. This way I read the actual words rather than what my brain remembers me writing.

If I’m really conscientious I use text to speech as a final review to have the words read to me. But I admit I often skip this step in the interest of time.

This process doesn’t apply to my Sunday Notes and Links or Currently Inked posts, but every other post on this site started this way. I may hand write any blurbs or comments for the Sunday Links or Currently Inked posts but since they are so link or copy/paste heavy I rarely do.

On the surface this seems to be doubling the work but I’m not convinced that’s true since this seems to be a nice streamlined flow from start to finish. Even if it is true, I get to enjoy using my pens.

Namisu Nexus Minimal fine nib writing sample

A written draft

Fad or Function? Using what you enjoy…and makes sense // The Clicky Post

In this post Mike Dudek makes two main points. First, use what you enjoy which I agree with wholeheartedly. Second, fountain pens may not be ideal for many situation to which I say balderdash! If a fountain pen can’t be used then it’s not worth writing!

OK, a little extreme I know. I do think his first point trumps all others. If you don’t enjoy the pen, no matter what the type or what the community says, then don’t use it. If you enjoy rollerballs then use them.

In my case, my attempts to use non-fountain pens have left me wanting more. I like Retro 51 rollerballs, mainly for their look. They do write nice, thanks to the refill and I always have one with me. But it gets used more by other people (can I borrow your pen?) than by myself. I also like the idea of mechanical pencils and carried one for about a month but never used it. Likewise I still have some nice wood cased pencils sitting unused in my desk drawer.

I’m lucky in that my nib of choice is thin and I like well behaved inks. This lets me use a wide range of papers without too much trouble. Unlike Mike, I wouldn’t say “you need to use the right paper or they usually suck”. I don’t mind the Field Notes paper or even cheap copy paper. Sure, I prefer nice paper but I rarely come across paper that completely sucks.

I also admit I’m used to compromise. I’ve had a long career in technology, usually other people providing the keyboards or requiring me to switch keyboards a lot. I have my preference but other keyboards don’t make me nuts and I adjust. Likewise, I like my AeroPress coffee but office coffee has always been free and right at hand, so I dealt with it, at least as much as possible (tough at times). The same goes for inks and paper, show-through doesn’t bother me if I’m just doing notes or even the first draft of an article. With my thin nibs it’s rarely a problem for me. I’d rather use a fountain pen and live with it’s foibles than use something else. Let’s face it, it’s not like my handwriting is so good that a little show-through or feathering ruins what is otherwise perfect.

But it gets back to his first point, use what you enjoy. For me that means using a fountain pen 99% of the time.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Montblanc Ink Bottle

A pen and ink I really enjoy.

Top 7 Pens to Take on a Summer Outing // Anderson Pens Podcast #195

I’m way behind on my podcast listening. A few weeks ago Brian and Lisa Anderson selected their choices for summer pens. The definition of “outing” was a bit murky and could probably apply to winter outings too. I can’t argue with their choices but if I was to pick from the pens I own these are the ones I’d pick.

  1. Kaweco Brass Sport – a little pricy if I was concerned about losing it but I already carry it everyday as it is.
  2. KarasKustoms Ink – a tank of a pen. The red one would be easy to find if dropped. It’s a little heavy for a shirt pocket and the stiff clip may not hold the pen securely since summer shirts are usually thin.
  3. Lamy Safari or AL-Star – inexpensive and durable.
  4. Pilot Vanishing Point with XXXF nib There was a bit of a chuckle when Lisa picked the Vanishing Point and she showed the Cherry Bamboo. It’s more expensive than the metal bodies and more likely to be damaged since it’s wood. But it’s my favorite and would be my choice unless I was extra concerned about loss or damage.
  5. Retro 51 or KarasKustoms Ink Rollerball – for when my non-pen companions want to borrow one.

Pen Show Frictions, Part 1: retail shoppers vs traders // Vintage Pen News
Pen Show Frictions, Part 2: the Generation Gap // Vintage Pen News

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about various factions at pen shows. I especially enjoyed part 1 which approached this in a way I hadn’t seen discussed before, but immediately recognized. Without thinking to much about it at the time, I did see the two different types at pen shows. Personally, I prefer the retailer. I tended to just avoid those without prices marked (the traders). The exception being if I know a bit about the pen.

Other Links

Visconti Homo Sapiens – Florentine Hills // Calligraphy Nut

I’m having a hard time resisting this pen. I love my Bronze Age and this is gorgeous. I’m saving my pen money for the DC show which has helped me resist. I’ve also read that each of these pens is slightly different so I’d want to see it.

Art Supply Posse

Ana, from the Well-Appointed Desk, along with Heather Rivard have started a podcast about art supplies. I admit that I haven’t listened to it – I’m behind on my podcasts and this isn’t a topic I get excited about. But I suspect many others will enjoy it.

Montblanc Inks // United Inkdom

It’s from May, but it’s my favorite ink brand so here it is.

Pen Shows

The Miami Pen Show will be July 15–17.

The Washington DC Pen Show is August 4–7.

Triangle Pen Show 2016 // Inkdependence – The Triangle Pen Show has been over nearly a month, but here’s a photo heavy recap to get you in the pen show mood.

Sunday Notes and Links – May 15, 2016

What I Used

It was another week without a clear favorite among my inked up fountain pens. In fact, I’ve been yearning to ink up several pens from the pen case. I suspect I’ll do just that by the end of today.

I am really enjoying the Lamy Safari with the new Lamy Dark Lilac ink, even though the pen has a medium nib. I really like the color and the wider nib helps show it off. Still, it’s a little wide for me to use as a daily writer.

What Others Are Using

Currently Inked: Trio of Franklin-Christoph Eye-Dropper Pens — Pendora’s Box // I know the F-C clear acrylics are hugely popular. I’m in the minority and while I love the F-C pens, their clear acrylics just down’t appeal to me, especially when I’ve had to clean them.

Video: Travelers Notebook Everyday Use — The Finer Point

Pen Shows & Other News

The Triangle Pen Show (Raleigh, NC) is June 2nd through 5th. You’ll need a weekend registration to attend Thursday or before 1PM on Friday.

The next European pen show is the Nuremberg Pen Show on May 21st.

Sunday Notes and Links Changes

The timing of the Sunday Notes has become a problem for me. I’m a creature of habit and I like the consistent time, but the posts both this week and last were thrown together at the last minute which I don’t like doing. I’ve been thinking about how to change things but I haven’t decided anything and will play it by ear to see what works. Because of my schedule I can pretty much guarantee that there won’t be a post this time on Sunday. Maybe later, maybe earlier, maybe I’ll take a week off to think about the changes. Things may be inconsistent through the next few months no matter what.