My Fountain Pens (by request)

I’ve mentioned my fountain pens several times recently in various places and have been asked more about them. I am not a true collector. True collectors know more about them, and generally have pens that cost much more than mine.

dragon penThis would be an easy thing to get addicted to with pens that look like this dragon pen that was rereleased to celebrate what would have been Bruce Lee’s 70th birthday.  “Prices for “The Dragon 2010 Bruce Lee” limited edition series range from $4,675 to $102,200 with the ultra-rare, three-piece set retailing at $290,550.” Montegrappa makes some pretty pens.

chaos penHere is a roller ball pen–Montegrappa Chaos Limited Edition 18K Gold Rollerball Pen–you can buy on Amazon. Seriously, click that link and go buy it. I am not sure, but I might get a tiny percentage of the sale. I think it’s a worthy experience.

At a mere $69,350.00, what the heck. Go ahead and buy two.

I’ll just wait here while you all go buy one and I’ll let you know later if it worked!

Now, for those of us who are stingy-guts (my late mother-in-law’s term for thrifty people, of which she was one), I offer my pen, the Lamy Safari.

Compared to your Office Depot Bic, it’s expensive. Compared to even the more reasonably priced fountain pens, it’s a bargain. Especially so because it writes really well. I use the EF [extra fine] nib because I have a messy scrawl that is hard to read, and the thicker the line, the harder it is. I was actually quite pleased to read that advice when I first started investigating fountain pen nibs, because I’d never made that connection before. The bolder the stroke, the more careful I’d have to be to write legibly.

Whether you want something like this fun yellow:

lamy_safari_fountain_pen_yellowor something more classic like this CHARCOAL:


I recommend the Lamy Safari for a pen from just under $20 to around $30, depending on where you buy it and what color you get. I have linked to Amazon Prime links for those of you who wouldn’t have to pay postage. When I’ve chosen colors where I couldn’t use Amazon Prime I bought from Daly’s Pen Shop. At that time they had the best prices and were great to work with, though it has been a few years.

While we’re at it, you can use these as cartridge pens and just put a new cartridge in every time you need to. This is certainly the easiest way to do it, but also the most expensive. I buy the cartridges so that I can refill with ink myself and choose my own colors. Messier, but fun. I like choosing colors.

noodler's redNote: For blood red marking on my editing work [for myself] I prefer Noodler’s Red. I tried other shades but this one is deep, bright and bloody.

Hey, I have to make it fun or editing would be way too much like work. [Okay, it’s work, bloody work. Which is why I choose red. That, and to get in touch with my inner Snape, who would be ruthless when editing.]

If you’ve never used a fountain pen, here is what you need to know. When you get it, sit down with a piece of paper and write a page or two to break the pen in. Copy something straight out of a book if you want. I’ve done that before just so I don’t have to actually think while I’m doing it. That generally will break the nib in so it writes as smooth as possible, though the more you use it, the smoother it will get. The Lamy Safari was recommended to me because it has a smooth-writing nib for the price, and I’d have to agree. For awhile I did get into collecting some inexpensive but pretty pens that were imported from various places known for inexpensive stuff. And though some were very pretty, I just couldn’t bring myself to use them that often because they were scratchy to write with and that bothered me.

Do you use fountain pens? Do you remember using fountain pens? Or do you look at a fountain pen like I would look at a quill and think, holy cow, somebody still uses those things?

Meet Cecil. Available at Amazon and Book View Cafe!

Meet Cecil. Available at Amazon and Book View Cafe!

Update on Open Letter to Amazon coming Tuesday. A few interesting things to report. And for the record, as I said before, I like Amazon. I use Amazon. I think the fact that they make it so easy for the ‘little guys’ to sell things through their site, and easy for customers like me to find the ‘little guys,’ puts them light-years ahead of WalMart and others who sell cheap and make it a point to put all their competition out of business. I understand if you disagree.




Filed under amazon, Fountain Pens

3 responses to “My Fountain Pens (by request)

  1. denise

    We have one fountain pen, but didn’t realize you had to break it in. the ink is probably all dried up by now.

    I have a vintage, perhaps antique, ink well holder with a place to hold the ink and the pen. dark stain, in oak–I think. I keep it on top of my antique (quarter-sawn oak) drop front desk with a similar stain. [ My grandfather salvaged the desk from a house that he was helping tear down. It’s a tiny desk, but I love it because my grandpa wanted me to have it. He’s the only one who had a nickname for me–Sissy. As in the Southern use for ” little sister”, not because he thought I was a “sissy”. ]

    I also have some old , vintage bottles of ink for fountain pens.

    Amazon sent me a survey about the Kindle, but it didn’t have a place for personal comments.

    • My ink was dried up in a pen I used to sign contracts (ahem) a couple of weeks ago, but I dipped it in a drop of water and there was enough dried ink in the nib to sign. I think I dipped it twice, once for each signature. I don’t know about old ink, but most ink today is water-soluble. It sounds like a beautiful desk and ink well, and with special meaning, too. I have an old school desk that was in my grandparents’ school when they grew up in a small town in Mississippi. My grandfather claimed he remembered sitting in that actual desk–he remembered one of the carvings as his!

      I don’t know if it’s an old Southern thing or an old Texas thing, but I can remember older men calling girls ‘sister,’ as in, ‘Now listen here, sister, you get into my watermelons one more time and…’

      Not that I was ever called sister that way. Ahem.

  2. Denise

    Helpful info on the ink–thanks.

    My mom has a school desk from the one-room school she attended in the late 40’s and early 50’s in rural Lancaster County, PA. She’s certain it was her desk. She was able to tag it before they were removed.

Hit me with it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s