Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen in Light Blue

Kaweco AL-Sport Light Blue

Light Blue is the newest color in the Kaweco AL-Sport lineup. The AL-Sport is one of my favorite pens, blue is my favorite color and so I couldn’t resist.

Kaweco AL-Sport Light Blue

It’s an ice blue that looks silvery in some lights. The look is extra sleek. The finish feels textured or powdered. But the Light Blue sparkles and dazzles in the light.

Kaweco AL-Sports

So, I have four AL-Sports now: the Stonewashed in black, the Grey, the Light Blue and the raw aluminum.

The AL-Sport has my favorite steel nib (by a mile), comfortable weight and size, and a look I love. But it’s also my Green Eggs and Ham pen: it took me forever to try an AL-Sport, because the aluminum models are pricier than the plastic Sports, and I had heard bad things about metal pens. Silly rumors, so wrong.

Kaweco AL-Sport Light Blue

Now that I have four, I have an urge to rank mine.

1. Raw Aluminum. Pure form. Shiny. And it proudly shows the scuffs and marks of use.

2. Light Blue. Chic, ice blue, textured, gorgeous.

3. Black Stonewashed. The one that looks so cool, non-pen people ask about it.

4. Grey. Understated, smooth and restrained. And mine has a great medium nib.

Kaweco AL-Sports

In Medias Res: New Sailor Inks, Plus the Peche to Sakura-Mori Comparison

Sailor inks

It does look like an Easter basket just threw up on me, doesn’t it?

But thankfully not. It’s just that I just got three more of the new Sailor Four Seasons inks. Up there are Sailor Waka-Uguisu, Sakura-Mori and Yuki-Akari.

Candidly, I am not a pastel person. But I have been happily surprised by these three inks. In fact the final ink of the trio, the one I only grudgingly added to the shopping cart,  because I absolutely loathed the color of the online swabs, turns out to be my favorite of all. Go figure.

But first things first. Here is a comparison of Sakura-Mori, the new Sailor pink, with the old Sailor pink, Peche.

Sailor Sakura-Mori and Sailor Jentle Peche comparisons

That’s perhaps sad news for Peche devotees. Sakura-Mori is a warmer color, and isn’t really very much like Peche.

But Sakura-Mori is lovely, nonetheless, if you like pale pink inks. It’s a delicate pink with a blush of orange, I believe. Now, a light pink ink is not be the most versatile, useful color, for sure, but I have a soft spot for the barely legible ink category, so I like this one.

Pen of the Day: Nemosine Singularity with Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-Matsu

Nemosine Singularity with Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu

Nemosine Singularity with stub nib. It feels like forever since I’ve done a Pen of the Day, so here’s a reasonably-priced pen that’s new-to-me, the Nemosine Singularity.

I bought one with a stub nib, and I’m happy with it so far. The nib has a bit of feedback, which I like, but it’s a smooth writer with nice line variation and moderate to wet ink flow. It’s a medium stub, comparable to a Safari 1.1 mm nib, so good for everyday writing.

The nib itself is very large in size and has attractive stamping.

Nemosine Singularity with Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu

I’ve got my Nemosine Singularity inked with Sailor Jentle Four Seasons Tokiwa-Matsu, a nice evergreen ink with shading and sheen.

The Singularity design is pretty utilitarian, but the pen is a good size. The weight is light, but balanced, and the section is comfortable. The Singularity works for me unposted or posted. It comes with a converter, or you can use standard international cartridges. It also can be used as an eye-dropper. I think it’s a nice deal for under $20.

For a better idea of size, here are a Kaweco Classic Sport, a Lamy Vista, the Nemosine Singularity and a J. Herbin fountain pen.

Nemosine Singularity size comparison

Nobel Prize in Awesome

This is so cool: Bob Dylan was just awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Wow.

Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota (a freezing cold, very small city on the shores of Lake Superior), and raised in the Iron Range of Minnesota. Only a year of college at the University of Minnesota before he moved to New York City. Singer-songwriter. Nobel Prize in Literature winner for 2016.

I think this is fantastic, energizing, out-of-the-box thinking by the Nobel committee, who picked the perfect recipient if they were going to pick a musician. Dylan is a genius at what he does, and he’s always forged his own path as musician and lyricist. Ironically he’s been a huge influence on other artists, but many times he’s had to drag the befuddled and protesting audience behind him.

Look up what happened when Dylan “went electric”: the “don’t change things on me” folk crowd went ballistic. Or when he made his (great) country-influenced album. The rock crowd groaned. Dylan didn’t care. He just went on making some of the greatest and most influential popular music of the 20th Century.

Now the complainers are fuddy-duddy “serious literature” snobs who somehow have missed one true thing that’s all around them. Popular music is an art form. And over the last six decades it has mattered as much to worldwide culture as traditional literature.

So, yes, I think the Dylan choice is right and deserved. But it’s also a shot across the bow and a wake-up call. Like literature itself can be.

And I bet more people will talk about the Nobel Prize for Literature today than they did in years past, when the winner was the brilliant J.M. Coetzee or the sublime Alice Munro or even the wonderful Gabriel García Márquez.

By all means go read one of those. Or your favorite Nobelist. Or your favorite non-Nobelist: I nominate the great Jorge Luis Borges. Or  even a future Nobel candidate: I like Murakami.

But this is also great.

Scribbles and Scratches

Sailor Kin-Mokusei writing sample

Of course you can’t read that, but that scribble is meant to say “Sailor Kin-Mokusei,” and it’s on the edge of a scrap of paper I found this weekend as I started to put together a review of Kin-Mokusei ink. I dug out a little photo, blew up the relevant part, and here it is.

The orange Kin-Moksei is one of the eight Sailor Jentle Four Seasons inks that are soon to arrive in stores outside Japan. The brown-green ink you can glimpse just above Kin-Mokusei is Rikyu-Cha, which is another.

I know it’s not a proper photo, but that’s okay for me, because this scrap of image shows why I love Kin-Mokusei.  It’s a bright and shiny yellow-orange with lovely shading. It looks happy and exuberant, but also organic. For a bright ink, it’s actually subtle.

I will write a proper review with proper photographs and perhaps words that make sense. It’s just that those take time. And we had the Cubs. The cross country meet. The sun coming out for two whole days in a row. So much good.

But this scrap reminds me of something good, too. To take the time to enjoy the little things you come across unexpectedly — the scraps and scribbles, the unplanned encounters, the song you hear on the radio, the wrong turns leading somewhere interesting. Anything that makes you smile, or gives you an “aha” moment.

Even if it’s just a little scribble of ink. After all, that’s why we love this silly stuff.