Fountain Pen Favorites for January 2017

calendar image

January is over? How did that happen? Well, swiftly, I guess. In terms of pens and inks, January wasn’t particularly notable for me. But if I dredge, I can dig up some highlights.

1. Ink Dips. I liked the first two, Sailor Something Something and Pelikan Edelstein Onyx. Oh, yes, Sailor Oku-Yama. Details … poof. The mind is the first thing to go. Or maybe vision. Possibly hearing. What was I saying?

2. Yellow Journalism. I wrote in my new journal pretty consistently. Not every day, but almost. So it’s becoming a habit, which is nice. Unfortunately, I have written 96 pages since Christmas, which is going to be financially ruinous; these things are costly. I’m going back to a Rhodia Webnotebook when I fill my Nanami Writer, to see if the type of journal makes a difference or not.

3.  Hmm, a Rant. Yeah, um, well, hard to think of a third highlight, to be honest. I liked the inks I used this month. Pens were pretty calm for me — there is not much happening here in pens. Actually, I dislike something. I am not in favor of the newly announced 2017 Lamy Safari color, which is “Petrol,” which is the German word for “Teal.” I can’t even pretend to care about this Safari. Especially when the 2017 Al-Star is already an aquamarine called Pacific.

It seems I’ve gone off Lamy. After so many years of the neons and the greens and the greenish yellows, now in 2107 we’re getting not one, but two, blue greens. That’s not what I’d call progress.

I’ve lost faith in Lamy, or interest, or both. I don’t know if the string of similar colors is due to lack of imagination, cost-consciousness or trying to profit off an influx of newbie buyers with no apparent discernment (given the prices they’ll pay for counterfeits). But whatever the cause, I don’t care. I’m bored with the result. It seems cheap and cynical, and worst of all dull, by Lamy.

Yes, I am now completely unexcited about Lamy Safaris. And I used to be their biggest fan.


Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

The Journal Report


“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”

~ Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

The first week of doing my journal is over, and it went well. I really appreciate all the help and advice that’s poured in, too.

I did a lot of learning about writing a journal. The best and most consistently repeated rule I came across — whether on the blog, by email or in books people told me about — was to “set aside the same time every day to write, and then write every day.”

That seem so true.

Right now, I probably can’t follow the “set aside the same time every day” part, due to a schedule that’s just too hectic and at the whim of everyone else. But that’s okay. Someday I’ll be able to do that. For now, I’ll grab time when I can. But I will try to write every day. And this week, I did write every day.

The other consistently repeated advice I came across was “write in the morning when you are fresh.” I think that’s probably true. But I will definitely not be able to follow that.

I’m just not a morning person. I wake up at the last possible minute. Actually, ten minutes after that. Then I need about 24 ounces of coffee before I’m capable of voice or thought. Conversations in our house in the morning are usually only “ugh,” or “uhh” or “mmm.”

Writing first thing in the morning? You might as well ask me to take the MCATs. Being fresh first thing in the morning?  Mmm, ugh, uhh, not me.

But you know what? One nice thing about getting older is you realize that some things about yourself cannot be changed. I may someday learn to knit. I will never be the kind of person who rises at 5 a.m. to get a jump on the journal.

But that’s okay. I’ve been writing at every time of day except first thing in the morning, and that’s worked out fine.

The best advice I got was from a friend. I’m paraphrasing, but it was that “the journal exists to serve you; you are not there to serve the journal.”

I love that. Not just because that’s the opposite of practically every other relationship in my life. But mostly because what he’s saying is, the journal is just a tool. Like a pen or ink.

To write in my journals doesn’t have to be a task I have to do. It doesn’t have to provide some transcendent experience. The journal isn’t there to reread if I don’t want to. It isn’t there to amaze or enlighten. It isn’t talismanic. It isn’t to make me a better writer, or a more conscious and evolved human being, or to help process my thoughts. It’s just a notebook to write things down in.

It’s a room for words. My room, for my words.

Some Journal Inspiration

“Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do — the actual act of writing — turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.”

~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, sent along by a friend.

On Journaling, and Crowd Sourcing Some Help With That

Nanami Paper The Writer Journal

I am bad at journals. It’s just not a natural fit with my personality. Or my schedule. As a result, despite giving it the occasional college try, I’ve only journaled occasionally over the years.

But I’m kicking off a new, more dedicated journal phase. Because I’m working on a project involving journals and fountain pens. And I will soon get to use my new, beautiful Seven Seas journal.

Yet, despite that little kick-start, I foresee reaching the same stumbling block as always: me being bad at journals. So I could really use some help, if not to turn into a master journal writer, then at least to make my fountain pen and journals project better.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

First Impressions: Nanami Paper Seven Seas Writer Journal

Nanami Paper The Writer Journal

So this is the Writer from Nanami Paper, which is going to be a journal for me.

After Christmas, of course.

Now, I am far from a journal expert. I’m not even a real journal writer. The Writer made it onto my Christmas list because I’m doing a project involving journals, and I need to learn something about them. But the Writer is very appealing.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

A Christmas Present That the Fountain Pens Will Enjoy

Nanami Paper The Writer Journal

Before I let made my husband wrap my fountain-pen related Christmas present, I leafed through it, and I took a few photos. Because I get the mail first.

Nanami Paper The Writer Journal

This is paper, which isn’t something I usually consider a gift. But I’m doing a project on journals and I thought I could get a good one, or at least a premium one, to see what that’s all about.

Nanami Paper The Writer Journal

It’s pretty good looking, I have to say.