Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What I write with

Fountain pens are archaic and messy and expensive and kind of a pain, which is maybe why I love them.

Christmas before last, I received my first fountain pen as a gift from a writer friend. It was a disposable one that came with a lovely notebook - and I promptly threw it in a drawer and forgot about it. At the time, I was really into gel pens. But, for whatever reason, me and gel pens don't play well together -- unless gel pens are supposed to explode/break/leak/stop writing after they've been used twice. And while gel pens are not expensive, the price for them adds up when you have to replace them all the d@mn time.

So when the last gel pen in a pack of gel pens self-destructed, and I was forced to fish the disposable fountain pen out of its drawer. And I loved it. It wrote such a beautiful, clear, legible line. And it did not smear. I decided that I needed to buy a non-disposable one. So I went online and that's where the trouble started...

You can spend a lot for a fountain pen -- and by a lot I mean more than I would spend on a car. I went a different direction. I bought a few really cheap ones. They wrote beautifully. Then it seemed silly not to get a few more -- until somehow I found myself with two mugs worth of fountain pens of all different shapes and styles. And once I had that many fountain pens, it was absolutely necessary that I start buying lots of different colors of bottled ink with names like Dragon's Napalm, Baystate Blue, Vert Empire, Squeteague, Fuyu-Gaki, and Dark Matter. And my fountain pens need to be cleaned and maintained and positioned correctly so they start well. I love it. It's just so much more fun than gel pens.

And I get to walk around with ink all over my hands, which makes me feel all clever and writerly.

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