Saturday, April 10, 2010
The Joy of a Fountain Pen
Everything I write for journals, articles, sermons, etc. is first written out in longhand with this ancient but alluring piece instrument. Oh, sure, eventually it all makes its way to a word processor (WordPerfect - I have used this since 1982, in its various versions, and detest things Microsoft). There I do the necessary editing and save several versions until I feel it is ready to hit print. But the first draft is made on paper with ink flowing through a nib that I lightly press upon the page. It is a wonderful thing and such a shame that we do so little cursive writing and that we settle for something as clearly banal and utilitarian as a ball point pen. I think we know this is pedestrian and have invented the gel pen to try and make a mass produced pen that mimics the fountain pen without some of its quirks. But it is merely a sham. If you really enjoy writing, get yourself a decent fountain pen (I might suggest a new Cross for a beginning or an old Parker or Shaeffer -- you can find NIB (new in box) still available on eBay. And then you can progress to a Waterman or, if flush with funds, a Mont Blanc. I must admit 30-40 mostly vintage instruments. It all began with a Parker 75 given to my Dad who wrote with that pen (and wore down its finish and dented it) for more than 40 years and then returned it to me -- it remains one of my most precious possessions -- dents and all.
Give it a ride and your writing will improve. I am certain of it.