I think I may have used this title a few times before. I always have several pens in use at any one time. Right now I have my Swan 1060 with blue-black, my Swan SF230/61 filled with a brown ink (not sure which one!) and a cheap Jinhao filled with Noodlers Black Swan in Australian Roses. With regard to the latter: I’m not usually fond of red inks but this one gets me.

My Platinum 3776 is in the wrap along with a good Chinese pen called The Crocodile. It’s heavier than my Swans, though not too heavy. Also, there’s a slim 80s Pilot with an EF nib. All of those have one blue-black or another.

Sometimes a pen will run out in the middle of an article or letter. I grab the next pen and for a paragraph or two my writing is absolutely awful. Then it improves and soon it’s back to normal. It’s not the fault of the pen. It’s just my hand adjusting to a different pen.

Each pen lays down ink in its own way. You may think you are in control of the pen but it forces you to grip it in a certain way, angle it to suit the grind of the tip and so on. There are pens that make my writing the best it can be and others I can’t write with at all.

Though there are exceptions, most Conway Stewarts don’t suit my hand. I have one, an 85, that I will always keep because it was a gift from a dear friend. I did some work on it, changed the tip until I was more comfortable with it and I can use it now.

I spend a lot of time either at the computer desk or the workbench. I feel the need to get away from that rather formal way of working, and I do my drafts for these articles and any other written work with a notebook on my knee. The angle seems to suit me better than writing at a desk like I was still in school. For that I need hard-cover, spiral-back A5 plain notebooks. Tiger notebooks are perfect. I always have several in stock. I hope Amazon doesn’t stop supplying them as they do with so many things!

6 thoughts on “Rambling

  1. Since somewhat retiring in July I have been hard pressed to find uses for my pens. I used to write every paycheque using a different pen and ink just cause I could. Lately I taken to really making the effort to write the recommendation letters and first drafts of articles by hand yes indeed the pen type and nib make that whole draft experience very different. As it is a longer writing experience it is also helping sort out which pens no longer work very well with my hand and thus should really be moved along.

    1. The longer writing jobs do sort the sheep from the goats. I wrote today’s effort with the Crocodile I mentioned. Lovely, reliable pen but I think the section is too narrow and it must go! Enjoy your retirement. Gordon retired five years ago but puts in longer hours now, fixing pens and writing articles.

  2. I have a number of pens inked up in my pen jar. I try to use each of them daily by transcribing from an online poetry site. And as you say, each pen is different, some just come naturally to hand while others require effort to get to write “nicely.” There are some I should just let go, but I just can’t make may self do it. I have become attached to them even with their faults.

  3. Deb…I love the bit about the pen / nib ‘forcing you to use it a certain way’

    I used to think I was a bit weird, cos I thought that using a vintage (?!) …ok old, pen the way the nib demanded ( and they certainly do !!) was like channeling its previous owner/ user.
    One has to hold the pen pretty much exactly the way it was ‘worn in,’ and in many cases write exactly how the previous owner wrote …possibly even down to the style they used.
    And when you hit the sweet spot, I imagine it’s old owner looking on and smiling …..

    Hopeless romantic ?, ……too many drugs in the 60s ? ….I enjoy it , so …meh !


    1. I think many of us may feel this way. There are degrees of this thing, from the personalisation which leads to a known previous owner all the way to the inheritance of a writing style in a well-used old pen.

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