Another week of low fountain pen usage. I’m also low on inspiration for topics to write about, so this is more of a link post than a recap.
My journaling is nearly non-existent. This i mainly because I’ve been reading, rather than journaling, as I finish my morning coffee. It doesn’t help that any evening journaling is always rushed.
It should come as no surprise that the Lamy Aion Dark Green (EF) with Lamy Green ink was my favorite pen of the week.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Reading:The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. MacDonald. Last week I mentioned that I read this series as a kid. This example of 1964 pulp fiction did not age well, or maybe I didn’t age well. It was enjoyable enough to finish, but I now understand why there’s not any other books in the series available on Libby, none at my local library, and only a smattering at libraries in the area. I give it a middle of the road three out of 5 stars. Reading10 LB. Penalty by Dick Francis. Another author I read a lot of when I was younger. He was an accomplished jockey and almost all his fiction books have a horse racing tie-in, although superficial at times. The main character in this one is a 17 year old kid (as the book begins) who seems a little too knowledgable for his age, which is my main complaint. While attempted murder and arson are serious crimes, the results in the book are relatively inconsequential for the characters. Unlike his typical book, this one takes place over the course of years. I enjoyed the story, but I never worried about who done it?. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. ReadingA Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. I wanted to get back to history, so searched for a WWII themed book. I came across this one, which is a biography of Virginia Hall. She’s an American, although she started spying for Britain early in the war when America was still neutral. She fought sexism, and a leg amputation due to a hunting accident. I was quickly engrossed in the book and put off plans to alternate reading this one and a fiction title. I didn’t know anything about her going in, so it’s as much of a thriller as any work of fiction. There is a bit of a spoiler in the introduction as it’s mentioned she retired from the CIA in the 60’s.
My fountain pen usage was very low during the past week. It picked up a little near the end of the week. But, at the rate I’m going, I won’t empty any June pens by the end of the month. My most used pen this week was the Sheaffer 300 Matte Green. My favorite pen/ink combo was the Kanilea Kona Cherry (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux.
After a multi-day break in journaling I started again on Wednesday. But the entries are short, barely two pages for the 5 days. But my goal is to pull out the journal and a pen every day. One reason the entries are shorter is that I haven’t been doing the entries in the morning. I’ve been doing them at the end of the day. It’s not uncommon for me to just want to get it over with.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Two weeks, and a holiday weekend, worth of books.
Listening:The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I gave up on this book, about 2 hours into the ~6 hour audiobook. I suppose all the depressing medical stories are setting up a reason for checklists that will surface later in the book. He just related one medical checklist to a success. But, I couldn’t take it anymore. I already use checklists, especially for mundane, repetitive tasks since those are what I usually screw-up, or forget where I am in the process. I think that was one point he might eventually try to make. I returned it to the library; early and unfinished. So that’s a rating of zero stars.
Listening:The Now Habit by Neil Fiore, Ph.D. I picked this one up because it was going to be discussed on the Bookworms podcast. My intent was to finish the book before listening to the podcast. I gave up on the book and listened to the podcast. They started off with a lot of the same complaints that I had, but unlike me, they stuck with it. I don’t see it as being very helpful for me and probably won’t finish it before the loan is up.
Read:Memory Man by David Balducci. I enjoyed this one a lot. Not one where I stayed up late to finish reading it. But I filled any spare time I had with the book. I plan to read the additional books in the series, although not immediately. I also consider other books by the author. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Reading:Double Booked for Death by Ali Brando. Another mystery. I’m not sure how this made it to my reading list. It’s a cozy mystery, a term I never heard before this book. The amateur sleuth is a woman who inherited a bookstore, with along with a black cat. It took a long time for the body to drop, and by then I was already bored with the characters. Are cozies supposed to take time to develop the atmosphere? The Rayland 3-book set became available, so I put this one aside for that one. Other books I had on hold are also available now, so I doubt I’ll finish this one before I have to return it.
Read:Elmore Leonard Raylan Givens 3-book Collection by Elmore Leonard. The three Leonard stories that had Raylan Givens as a main character. All three pre-dated the Justified TV series. I read them many years ago, possibly before the series was on TV. I still enjoyed them this time. The first two; Pronto & Riding the Rap are based on the same story thread, with many of the same characters so are best read in order. Pronto wasn’t told in the TV series, although the last scene in the book is the inspiration for the opening scene in the TV series.
The last book, Fire in the Hole is a collection of short stories, previously published as When the Woman Come Out to Dance and renamed for a Justified tie-in. It’s a collection of short stories, two of which are long enough to be called novellas. One Novella, Fire in the Hole, is the only Raylan Givens story and formed the basis for the first episode of the TV series. It introduces Boyd and fills in the Raylan/Boyd backstory. It formed the opening episode in the TV series, although with some significant differences.
I enjoy Leonard’s writing and give the first two books 5 out of 5 stars. The collection of short stories was uneven, so I’d only give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Reading: The Deep Blue Goodbye by John D. MacDonald. Another book I read long ago. The first entry in his Travis McGee series. The story is that each title had a color in it so readers could remember which books they already read, when they were at the airport bookstore buying a book to read on a plane. (No tablets or ebooks in 1964) I’ll open this one up later today. (FYI: The color scheme didn’t work for me. I had to keep a list.)
Lamy 2000 (OM): inked up with Montblanc Bordeaux.
Out of Rotation
Lamy Safari Green (F) w/ the factory supplied ink cartridge.
Lamy Safari Savannah (M) w/ the factory supplied ink cartridge.
Lamy Safari Terra (OM) w/ Pilot-Blue Black. I was not enjoying this nib/ink combination.
TWSBI GO Smoke (Predator Extreme) w/ Waterman Intense Black. Flushed a bit early since I was cleaning pens and this one had been inked up since November,
After being deeply disappointed in the Lamy 14k gold extra-fine nib that was on my Safari, and replacing it on the pen, the Diplomat Aero Volute became my primary writer for the week. It has an oblique fine nib and Montblanc Spider Web Grey ink. The ink matches the pen really well, especially when wet. The Kanilea Kona Cherry also saw increased use this week. It has my favorite ink, Montblanc Bordeaux and well-tuned extra-fine nib. Every once in a while I get it in my head that the Cherry Kona & Montblanc Bordeaux ink are too precious to use. Then I have to remind myself that I can either not use the ink so it stays in the bottles, or not use it when I run out. It’s much enjoyable to use it until it runs out. And the Kanilea pen isn’t any more fragile than most of my other pens.
The Sailor 1911 Ringless Epinard joined the Diplomat Aero Volute and Kanilea Kona Cherry in my Nock Co Sinclair as my three primary pens for the week.
The 1911 Ringless doesn’t get much use due to it’s wide zoom nib. But I like using it, with Sailor Shikiori Yodaki ink, for headings and some doodling. I also used the Sailor 300 as my primary writer for one day. I really like that pen.
I skipped a day of journalling, and only wrote roughly three journal pages all week. My fountain pen usage has been consistent with recent weeks, which means low.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Listening:Riding the Rap by Elmore Leonard. A library loan (Libby) that was available as I was browsing. A Raylan Givens novel, so an instant borrow and only available as an audio book. I ended up returning this one before I finished it. Nothing wrong with the book, I just couldn’t concentrate on the audiobook. My lack of focus wasn’t helped by it’s similarity to a Justified episode, which allowed my mind to wander. I found that it’s available as an ebook, as part of a Raylan Givens 3 book collection, so I put a hold on that ebook and will read it, rather than listen.
Reading:Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Finished it off in a week. So, I guess I liked it. The last few chapters didn’t pull me in. I had no problem putting the book aside when it was time for me to do other things. I didn’t stay awake at night wondering what would happen next. Still, an enjoyable story for the most part. I give it a 3 out of 5 stars. I don’t feel that I wasted my time, but I’m not eager to read the sequel. Which, being released so long after the original, could just be a money grab.
ListeningThe Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. A library audiobook (Libby) I use checklists all the time, although the practice has faded recently. So maybe reading this will get me back on track. It’s short (6 hours), so I can listen during my walks, and have it returned in plenty of time.
Out of Rotation
I removed the 14k extra-fine nib from the Lamy Safari Terra. I didn’t like the way it performed. My only solid complaint was that it was way too wide for an extra-fine. My more squishy complaint is that I didn’t like the way it felt on paper. I’ll put it on another pen and play around with it, but I needed to cleanse my palate from the bad taste that the nib left.
I swapped the Lamy 14k EF nib with a Lamy 14k Oblique-Medium nib on my Lamy Safari Terra. The nib is new and unused. Hopefully it won’t disappoint like the extra-fine did, but perform like the first 14k OM nib. I used it for a few lines and the performance felt and looked good. I didn’t use it much since I wanted thin nibs.