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I’m Writing a Novel, these are my tools.

It begins. I’m starting a novel. These are my tools: 4”x6” index cards — For my notes. The plastic box is a dumping ground for scene sketches, setting and character details, and random tidbits I don’t want to lose. I started filling the box before I had time to get real about starting a draft…. Read more »

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Bic and Beyond: 5 Alternatives to Fountain Pens

As much as love writing with a fountain pen, it’s not always the right tool for the job. For jotting random notes, you’re better off with something you don’t have to uncap. Obviously the Pilot Vanishing Point  can do that, but its price kind of rules it out as the pocket pen that might end… Read more »

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Pen Review: Lamy 2000

Spending some time back in the States, I’ve been reunited with my Lamy 2000. Don’t ask me why I didn’t travel with it in the first place–I must have been on a cartridge kick, trying to pack light or something–but I won’t make that mistake again. From now on, this functional, stylish, piston-filler never leaves… Read more »

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UNICEF Fountain Pen–the Children Deserve Better

This pen is a human rights violation.   On my last day in Spain, I went to the post office to send postcards to new subscribers. Waiting in line for stamps, I noticed a cup of fountain pens for sale on the counter. They were €7 and the proceeds went to UNICEF. I picked out the blue… Read more »

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Pen Review: Kaweco AL Sport

Kaweco is the Swatch of fountain pens. This week, I’m breaking away from budget pens to bring you a splurge option: the Kaweco AL Sport. “Al” stands for aluminum–as you may remember from the periodic table–and that’s what it’s made of. Other than the material, everything abut it is identical to the plastic Kaweco Classic Sport. But… Read more »

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Kaweco Sport Followup: one Issue

My fountain pen reviews have found an audience on Reddit where they’ve prompted a discussion that has been extremely educational for me. It blows my mind how much there is to know about pens and how civil pen people are talking about them online. In response to my review of the Kaweco Sport, one Redditor (/U/oyogen) pointed out an issue… Read more »

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Pen Review: Platinum Preppy–the FREE Pen

That’s right, FREE. Noodler’s gives away the Platinum Preppy with their inks. Alternatively, you can buy the Preppy on its own for $4.50 or a seven pack, in all the colors of the rainbow, for $16. As for my review, it’d be tempting to say “what do you want? it’s a free pen.” But the fact is,… Read more »

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Pen Review: Pilot Varsity

The Pilot Varsity is a disposable fountain pen. I have to keep reminding myself of that fact as I review it. It’s a disposable fountain pen, I don’t need to go too in-depth… It’s a disposable fountain pen, maybe I should hold it to a different standard… It’s a disposable fountain pen, isn’t that an… Read more »

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Pen Review: Pilot Metropolitan

This week I’m checking out the Pilot Metropolitan: the number one fountain pen on Amazon and arguably the best beginner’s fountain pen ever made. This is the Honda Civic of pens. Like a Honda Civic, it delivers unrivaled quality for it’s price ($13) and it lasts forever even if you mistreat it. The Writing Experience I wanted… Read more »

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Pen Review: Kaweco Classic Sport

  This week, I drafted my first short story in 2 years (more on that soon.) I wrote it with a new fountain pen, which I bought to mark the occasion: the Kaweco Classic Sport . (Pronounced ka-vay-co.) I had moved away from short stories in favor of more profitable but less fulfilling work, and I… Read more »