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06 November 2015 @ 12:44 pm
Happy Fountain Pen Day!  
I got into fountain pens about a year ago.  I started out with the Pilot Varsity, a disposable fountain pen, and if anyone ends up interested in fountain pens as a result of reading this, I highly recommend you start with the Varsity, too.  Writing with fountain pens is very different from writing with ballpoints or gel pens or even felt tips.  They don't require pressure to write - I used to get hand cramps if I wrote too long, and I don't have that problem anymore since I write almost exclusively with fountain pens.

My collection!  Actually, I'm missing one that I left at work.  Most of these were in the $15-20 range, which maybe sounds expensive if you're used to buying ten ballpoint pens for two bucks, but they're definitely on the low end as far as fountain pens are concerned.  I use different pens for different sorts of writings, depending on the nib size, what kind of paper I'm working on, what kind of ink I'm using, etc.  As you can see in the lower-lefthand pic, fountain pen ink does this really cool thing called shading, where more ink gets laid down on certain parts of letters, so you get lighter and darker colors as you write.  Not all ink shades, not all paper shades, but it's one of my favorite parts of the experience.

This is from a display I did at work (though my sister did the Edgar Allan Poe paper cut-out).  I used my Pilot Parallel pen - it's the long skinny silver one with the orange cap, they run about ten bucks on Amazon.  If you like calligraphy, I would definitely recommend the Parallel.  I'm still learning how to best use it, but it was a lot easier writing this than times I'd done calligraphy back in school with a quote-unquote calligraphy pen.

(The ink blots you see here and there are me literally dropping ink on the paper with a syringe, the big ones to cover up mistakes HAHA.)

If you write by hand at all it's totally fun to have at least one or two fountain pens in your arsenal!  They're not super expensive, there are a ton of resources online if you run into issues, you can use all sorts of fun and sparkly inks (like this!), and let's face it, they look pretty boss.
vjs2259: writer bluevjs2259 on November 6th, 2015 09:33 pm (UTC)
I love pens, although I do most of my writing on the computer. I buy them at cons occasionally, and my SIL makes pens, turning wood or working acrylic blanks on a lathe. She's getting to be quite well known. My favorite pens from here are ones where I gave her the wood--from the crape myrtle outside my house, or a dogwood tree in WV.
Used to be into calligraphy in high school, but I have no idea where my pens ended up. My problem with flowing ink pens is that I'm left-handed and tend to drag my hand thru drying ink and smudge it. Is the ink quick-drying these days?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 9th, 2015 11:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I mostly just type prose, but I've gotten into the habit of having an extra notebook around for when I can't work at the computer (mostly when I'm out and about), and I'd say I've written probably 5000 words since August. Not a ton, but it's better than nothing. I do write my screenplays longhand, though.

I'd really love to get a hand-turned wooden pen. They are really, really beautiful, as well as unique.

Is the ink quick-drying these days?

Haha. Ha. HAHAHAHA. Um, no, I sit and blow on my papers like they're hot soup before I turn the page, and I always forget to wait when I go back to the top of the page to edit something and smudge what I've just written. One of the fountain pen forums I read, the lefties talk about all the shit they have to do in order to use fountain pens and it sounds like a huge pain.
Martinela_loony on November 6th, 2015 10:04 pm (UTC)
Those pens look great! I love the bigger ones that are more for calligraphic writing. I always wanted one like that in school, but since they are more expensive I never got one and then I forgot.
I used to have a regular pen like that for years of school before I switched (more ot less voluntarily, I had a wonderful pen but it broke and then I had to get something new) to a ballpoint pen (still with ink like in the other pens though, so there was still no pressure needed to write).
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 9th, 2015 11:27 pm (UTC)
I'd like to do more calligraphy, but it's definitely one of those things where you have to do tons of practice, and I just don't have the time anymore for stuff like that. Le sigh.