A few weeks ago I got the urge to binge recent episodes of The Pen Addict podcast. It had been several years since my last listen. When I got divorced in 2015, I sold off most of my fountain pen collection, and pretty much got out of both the hobby and of using the pens.

I really don’t know what inspired me to listen to the show. But it’s reignited my love of pens. I got out a couple of favorites and inked them up, and found the 5-Year Journal I bought last year and only used for a week. I’ve been keeping it up for 11 days now, as well as writing in a normal journal and taking notes on things. They’re lovely pens. I’m glad to be using them again.

My first favorite is a Lamy 2000 I received as a birthday gift. It’s a modern pen, all black with an extra-fine nib. The nib is still a touch too wide for me. I’m a big fan of Japanese fine nibs for fountain pens, and 0.4mm or 0.5mm tips for gel pens or rollerballs. But I’m going to my first pen show in a few weeks, and I’m going to get the Lamy nib ground to a needlepoint. The main thing I love about this pen is that it fits perfectly in my hand, and I can write for an hour with it easily. Too many pens don’t feel quite right, or aren’t balanced the way I need them to be.

Black pen with silver trim.

The other fave is a vintage Parker 45 Flighter. I’ve been a fan of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre ever since Dad introduced me to his work when I was in fourth grade. (Yes, my family’s weird.) It occurred to me to see what kind of pens Sartre wrote with, because he hand-wrote all his work (usually while chain-smoking in a cafe in Monmartre, Paris). I did some digging, and in the 1960’s and 70’s he was using the 45 Flighter. I found one in great condition for a very reasonable price, and I love it.

Aluminum pen with a black grip section.

I was surprised by how much I like the Flighter. When I was learning about vintage pens, I got a Parker 51 and hated it. Apparently hooded nibs and I don’t get along. I can never tell which was to hold the pen. The Flighter has a similar body style, but the nib is visible. It writes like a dream and never gives me hand cramps, even though it’s a millimeter narrower than my preferred body diameter.

For inks I prefer water-resistant ones. I am clumsy, and I’m always afraid I’m going to spill something on my pages. (This hasn’t happened yet, but you never know what the future holds.) I used Noodler’s brand inks for a long time, but found out the business owner is an antisemitic bigot. No more of that! The Flighter is currently inked with Parker Quink blue-black, which is water-resistant. (I love a good blue-black.) The Lamy has Diamine “Writer’s Blood”, because I love the name and the color. Yeah, it’s gimmicky. But it’s my kind of gimmick. It’s not waterproof, but it’s just so cool!

The third pen I use regularly isn’t a fountain pen. It’s a gel multi-pen, a Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 1000 body with four slots. Colors are violet, blue-black, blue, and brown.

Black pen with silver trim.

Recent fave pencil is a Rotring 800, though I really want a Kuru Toga Dive when they become available. The Kuru Togas are awesome, but I like something a little fancier. The Dive sounds promising.

For paper I’m liking the Elan Publishing Field Books, which are Field Notes size but with much better paper (and cheaper). I have two in a handmade Traveler’s Notebook style cover I got off ToadShadeHill on Etsy a few years ago. (It’s covered in 1930s Halloween fabric and I adore it.)

Small notebook covered in fabric.  It has pumpkins, cats, and witch on it.

I’ve also started sketching, to learn how to draw, and I found a 4-pack of cheap Labuk sketchbooks (Amazon link) that are high-enough quality for fountain pen ink. This plus the TN-style notebooks go with me everywhere these days.

(If you’re curious about where I buy my gear: pens are usually off eBay, especially the vintage ones. Everything else mentioned came from Goulet Pens or JetPens, unless I’ve linked to something specific.)

I plan to talk more about stationery soon. Stay tuned!


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