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Blog

Pens - How I Let Things Flow

Fr. Kyle Sanders

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For two years or so, I have gone from full on digital guru amongst my friends to the largest proponent of analog gear. It started with my first fountain pen, then a second, then a third. My equipment continued to grow so much so that is seemed obvious for me to begin sharing my experience of these writing tools. 

It seems appropriate that, before I continue with other topics like reviews or other creative endeavors, I share should with you how I use my pens paper, and ink on a daily basis. Today, I will start with my fountain scribal workflow. 

1) My Daily Carry

This has different connotations in different areas of the internet world. For me, it is the two pens that are always with me, sitting in my breast pocket ready to be used at a moment's notice. 

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Around the time I started in regular ministry as a priest two years ago, I started carrying around a fountain pen in my pocket. For about a year that was just one pen, the Monteverde Jewelria Mini, with a fine nib. I lost one and purchased another and lost it as well. It still is one of my favorite pens, but I couldn't stand losing another so I haven't purchased a third. For nearly a year now, I have been rotating my daily carry fountain pen. 

I have a few requirements for this particular pen in my scribal workflow. First, it must have a fine nib because my normal handwriting is small, and the fine nib works well on all assortment of paper, qualities good and bad. Second, it needs to be durable. I don't want a pen in my pocket that can't handle an accidental fall. Thirdly, it needs to be insulated. What I mean by that is in the South and due to my body heat a pen close to my chest can evaporate into the cap the water component of the ink, leaving the dye alone in the feed, which make things difficult to clean. Pens with cartridge converters or sacs are preferred over piston fillers. Finally, it can't be too large because some the clerical shirt manufacturers make shallow breast pockets making it difficult to hold something like a TWSBI VAC 700.

About eight months ago, I was convicted by someone (I don't remember who) that fountain pens are not the best in all situations. So I began carrying either a ballpoint, rollerball, or gel ink pen in my shirt pocket as well. This leaves me with two pens on me at anytime for any occasion. 

Currently using - Lamy AL Star Fine Nib  with Lamy Choral and Retro 51 Tornado Eisenhower

2) Homily Prep

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I have one pen that is never rotated and is always in use. That is my Sheaffer Triumph Desk Pen. I purchased it on eBay for a steal of $30. It has a gold nib and write a fine somewhat boxy line. I use it as my main creative instrument as I'm preparing my homilies. It takes down all my thoughts and seems to organize them in a cogent pattern. It is definitely one of my favorite pens, and so is always in use. 

3) Desk Pen

This describes not a species of pen, as above, but rather its use. This pen rotates as ink is used up (I don't like to waste ink.) It's role in my scribal workflow (sorry, I love that phrase!) is to man all normal pen duties at my desk: signing checks, free-writing, Bullet Journaling, brainstorming, note taking, letter writing. 

Currently using - Edison Collier Medium Nib with P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

4) Thank You Pen

I am very grateful to have generous parishioners, and so I find myself regularly writing thank you notes. That regularity seemed to warrant a dedicated pen. This role requires a stub or italic nib for pretty characters. 

Currently Using - Online Calligraphy Pen .8 mm Stub with J. Herbin Perle Noir
From left to right: Edison Nouveau Premier, Bülow X-30, Edison Collier, Online Calligraphy

From left to right: Edison Nouveau Premier, Bülow X-30, Edison Collier, Online Calligraphy

5) Meeting Pen

As in any office, I have meetings. I like the idea of assigning a separate pen to take notices within a meeting. This separates and highlights the notes within my Bullet Journal and of course it gives me the opportunity to ink up another pen. 

Currently Using - Edison Nouveau Premiere 2014 Summer Edition Fine Nib with J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen

6) Delivery Pen

As a priest, I'm preaching often. I have found that handwriting my homilies helps me to remember the flow of the homily as well as helping my internalize how I want to say each sentence. I usually deliver the homily from a full written text, as opposed to an outline. One of the important things in that regard is readability, so I write larger characters than I normally would. To help make those characters pop out I use a broad or sub nib. Because of this, one of the most important things I do end up looking the best with those big, bold lines. 

Currently using - Bülow X-30 Fine Nib with Franklin-Christoph Black Magic (yeah, I know, a fine nib, but that FC ink spreads so wide it turns the fine nib to a broad.)

7) Computer/Phone Pen

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I'm blessed to have two desk in my office. One is dedicated to normal everyday work and the other hold the later technology, the phone and my laptop with its accessories. I have a notebook dedicated to my notes from phone messages and notes take from whatever I'm doing on my computer, and a notebook always needs a pen. For over a year, my Carbonesque Pilot Vanishing Point stayed here, that is until I let a bride use it without proper caution and the nib wasn't the same (yes, that's the pen I had Mr. Masuyama work on at the Dallas Pen Show). Now I rotate when ink runs out.

Currently using: Yellow Vanishing Point Fine Nib with Aurora Black
The Visconti is to the right of the G-2

The Visconti is to the right of the G-2

8) Home Office Pen

Most of my fountain pens remain in my work office, but I assign a pen a month at a time to reign as my home fountain pen. It is used all over the house, but sits at my desk. 

Currently using: Visconti Rembrandt Medium Nib with Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9) School Pens

I have a third office at the high school where I have been assigned as chaplain. Last year, I dedicated two pens each with one of the school colors (yellow and green) to that office. 

Pelikan M215 Green Demonstrator Fine Nib and Mandarin Parker Urban 125th Anniversary Medium Nib

Written with:

Esterbrook J 9556 Nib with Sheaffer #42 Washable Blue

Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen Medium Italic with Sheaffer Blue/Black

Waterford Eclipse Medium Nib with Mix of Sailor Jentle Blue and Chesterfield Ruby

Zebra Sarasa Clip .3mm Red