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Filtering by Category: Ink

NANOWRIMO Materials, 2015

Fr. Kyle Sanders

Hey, everyone (if there's anyone left). It has been nearly five months since my last full post, which is way too long. I apologize. I don't do thee justice. Nevertheless, there is always time for renewal and starting afresh in this earthly life of ours. So I come to you again two days before the start of NANOWRIMO.

I have been participating in National Novel Writing Month three years running. My total number of words I wrote, over the three year period, didn't reach the coveted number of 50,000. I have tried short stories, a novel, and non-fiction. The intention of NANOWRIMO is to get us writers to write, to do away with our inner editor and just put down what's in our minds, as incoherent and ungrammatica asl it may be. It condenses a small novel (50k of words might be 3 chapters to George R.R. Martin) into a frantic period of writing, to stir creativity, since we have been trained by numerous teachers and college professors to produce our written work by a deadline. Deadlines direct and focus the writer, which is partly why you haven't read much from me as of late (shrug); I lost my writing rhythm and couldn't find the beat. So now I decide to step onto the empty dance floor to go all Kevin James in Hitch doing my thing without a care for what people think. 

Psychologically this is quite overwhelming. Fifty thousand words (putting numerals into words always helps) is quite a bit to write, especially when I'm used to writing in blog post and homily sized bits. Developing an idea or story over such a long span of writing seems insurmountable. I know it's not because I personally know people who have conquered it. But there are still lingering doubts. 

With all this in mind, I decided to slightly bend the traditional NANOWRIMO rules, which usually call you to write on one project. I chose to continue my current, or rather more comfortable, mode of writing, in short chunks. So I will switch between projects I'm working on, rotating through them. They are: this blog, my other blog, my homilies, and the non-fiction book I started last year on the theology of alcohol; 1,667 words per day on each subjext. Some days this might be more, other days it might be less. That length, however, isn't any longer than a long blog post. I think that is doable in my mind. I'm really excited about this and am looking forward to finally reaching that 50,00 word mark. 

Being that I am a stationary snob and certified pen addict (Brad Dowdy how is this not a thing). My long journey in words will take place on paper as opposed to screen. It starts with the instrument. I saw an add from Conklin a few weeks ago in the latest edition of Pen World about three new pens the company produced recalling models the company made in its heyday nearly a century ago. One of the pens in particular caught my eye. Although it is gimmicky, I fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. A piston-filler, modern Conklin's first, the Word-Counter is, to my knowledge, unique among currently produced pens. It has, etched on the misty-yellow demonstrator barrel, levels to show how many words the pen has written through measuring the level of ink. This gives the writer some semi-scientific indication to the length of his writing. It seemed perfect for the NANOWRIMO endeavor. It says it holds approximately 5,000 words worth of ink, which would mean I'd be inking up the pen at the alarming rate of every three days. That's quite a bit of inking. 

I figured I would mark every filling with a different ink. This way variety can aid in inspiration. In monotony, I find difficulty. I chose nine inks to handle this, the whole course moving from dark and dull to bright and vibrant. I start the first three days with Aurora Black, a solid base on which to stand. Moving slightly off color, I will then turn to Private Reserve Ebony Purple, a self explanatory color, really. This will be followed by Diamine's Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue. These first nine days will cover a solid base of writing and gives me confidence to continue on. 

The next nine days starts with Sailor Jentle Epinard, which, although being a dark greeen, gives some sheen in comparison to the three previous matte colors. I will then enter the most difficult time in the NANOWRIMO month. I have chosen an ink to mirror the start of the dulling of my perception and the small ways in which, after approximately twenty thousand words, reality starts to waver, delirium not yet set in, but certainly walking up the street like a self-righteous proselytizer who perceives my weakening mind and body, this being Montblanc Meisterstück 90th Anniversary Permanent Grey. After which, I will fill in the grey hole with a matte, bright color reminiscent of leaves falling elsewhere in the country, Organics Studio F. Scott Fitzgerald. 

The final three days will grow in brightness, joy, and vibrancy. It starts with one of my favorite inks, which I will need after such a somber mind-month. Lamy Turquoise will brighten up my paper and give my writing some nice shades. With Organics Studio Nitrogen jumping up the vibrancy of the blue, my words will pop off the page. Hopefully, it will help words pop forth from my slowly tiring brain as well. To give me energy like that last cup of coffee at three in the morning the dawn a paper is due, I have chosen the inimitable J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen. A pink that, hopefully, will bring me to the finish line. 

You might have noticed I only choose nine inks approximately leading to only 27 days of writing leaving three days unaccounted for. After my experience of pencils during Lent, earlier this year, I have incorporated them into my rotation declaring Fridays as pencil days, coloring them with graphite alone. Four of the thirty days will be ferruled by the pencil. The pencils used will vary from mechanical to woodcased, whichever is closest when writing. My tastes there are not yet sharpened. 

This year, I have done something I've never done in my previous three years, through the inspiration of Johnny Gamber, of Pencil Revolution. I sat down and mapped out a basic plan of the topics I would cover in the various projects, recording them in over 30 pages of a Field Notes Shenandoah, leaving 18 pages for notes and other things. This will be my companion through this scribal pilgrimage. It will be my map and my odometer. With it, I have three other notebooks, my Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, each already assigned a task and therefore ramping up their workload for the month. I will continue using the Zequenz 360º from last year to expound on alcohol in a theological manner. I have been using and will continue to use as my homily prep notebook the Nock Co. A5 notebook, which has been covered by stickers. Finally, to develop my thoughts for both blogs I've been using, since May, the burgundy soft-cover and lined Monsieur Notebook. 

With all these tools on hand and a plan somewhat sketched, I feel more ready than ever to mount the heights of the Zion of post-modern writing, a NANOWRIMO win. 

Are any of you embarking on this NANOWRIMO journey? Let me know in the comments, we certainly need mutual encouragement. If you are, are you going analog or digital? If analog, what tools are you using?

Atlanta Pen Show

Fr. Kyle Sanders

Here's a picture so you can mentally walk around with me from space to space. 

I planned on arriving at 10 AM, right at the beginning of the day, but as Myke Hurley, of the Pen Addict Podcast, and Jeff Bruckwicki, of Nock Co, found out, I'm not good at counting. I didn't factor in the time zone change, nor that there would be a traffic stopping accident on the interstate. So I arrived on the show floor just before noon. I missed some of the travelers who needed to get back for work the next morning. As my first interaction proved, this show was about the people, more than the pens. 

Obligatory selfie. 

Before I could even get to the show floor I ran into the Pen Addict himself, Brad Dowdy who was seated with his Nock Co. partner Jeff being interviewed by Pen World. I knew I was in the right place. They both gave me warm welcomes despite the obvious import of the interview for getting their little brand to the pen community that isn't on social media. I digress (it'll probably happen again). 

On finally arriving at the show, I see two people: my friend Andre, who lives in Atlanta and whom I helped ease into this hobby, and Myke, who was manning the table for Nock. After a few minutes conversation with Myke, Andre and I made our way over to Franklin-Christoph. As I said in the prep post, I was looking to replace my Model 29 Bellus that Erin now greatly enjoys. Come to find out, the model has been discontinued! What was a casual thought became a virtual necessity. When you are choosing from the end of stock of a discontinued pen, you don't have the luxury of options. All they had was the maroon body with the black clip-band. There was nothing more than for me to choose but the nib. I figured I shouldn't mess with what doesn't already work so I choose the same nib I gave away, a medium cursive italic ground by Mike Masuyama. The nib went over to Jim Rouse to be made sweet. I happened to get the final medium italic nib of the show (which came out of the tester pen.) While we were talking, we came upon the subject of pocket holy water dispensers. Parker, Esterbrook, and Sheaffer made models of holy water dispensers out of the popular pen models. Jim had found one at the Atlanta Pen show last year. I am currently on the lookout for any of those. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I got so caught up in conversations I didn't get a good scope of all the tables to see if one was there. Eventually, I will find one. 

Jim Rouse smoothing Andre's nib.

I went from there to introduce myself, in person, to Dan Bishop, the designer for Karas Kustoms. He had come to the show with his wife setting up a table with his machined wares. We joked around for a bit. (There was a Colonel Sanders look-a-like at the show.) I ended up completing my collection of his pens by picking up a Retrakt in two-tone, aluminum and grey.  

I quickly learned his table and the Nock table were the de facto meeting places for the Pen Addict community who had travelled to the show. I got to meet Jeff Abbot, Thomas Hall, and Leigh Reyes before they left to travel home. All three are people I wish I could've spent more time with, but it wasn't to be. I was struck that, in the 5 minutes we spent together how comfortable all three were despite having only online interaction. They greeted me as old friends. Although I was sad I missed the epic Nakaya party from the night before, their immediate hospitality assuaged me. It highlighted that this show was very different from Dallas. Dallas was about the pens. Atlanta was about the people. 

After saying hello/goodbye to them, I went into the second room to visit Lisa Vanness and her partner in crime, Wendy. Lisa has been busy most of the weekend because of her being the only American retailer that sells Sailor Bung Box and P.W. Akkerman inks. Lisa is an awesome woman. She has bubbly blonde curly hair and a warm personality that syncs well with her hair. What I like most is that she shoots things straight. If she likes something, she lets you know, if she doesn't, she lets you know that too. I find her honesty a delight in its somewhat incongruity with her bubbly personality. I guest I fear the falsity of bubbliness (Mean Girls). Okay, enough of Lisa's character study. It was great to see her.

 Like I said in the prep post I asked her to save two bottles of ink for me. They just started carrying two new-to-them lines of ink, the aforementioned Bung Box and an Italian brand named Califolio. I looked through their site and found two inks that I was ready purchase. For some reason I really like rusty inks and Califolio makes one called Itzamma. It comes in a triangular bottle like Diamine 150th Anniversary inks. The range of Bung Box is so vast that I had trouble settling on one (by choosing one I quelled the temptation to buy them all because that temptation is real). I ended up going with a green, Norwegian Wood. I like both the color and the Beatles reference. I am slowly amassing a collection of dark green so if you have any feel free to suggest. 

After Lisa and I caught up, she asked me about the Homo Sapiens Crystal I had purchased from her at the Dallas Pen Show. I had mentioned to her that the nib seemed scratchy, which wasn't what I remember from my experience of the Dreamtouch nib. I chalked it up (pun not intended) to the ink, but even with a new ink the pen didn't feel right. I brought it with me to the show hoping we could talk about it (I didn't tell her that ahead of time.) I wanted someone else to validate what I was experiencing, because I am still somewhat new to his (the blog is a prideful front of expertise). She wrote with it and agreed that is didn't feel right. So she decided to take it to the Visconti table. I watched over her table for a good 7-10 minutes. She arrived back with a brand new nib, and I subsequently turned into the wicked witch of the west when she lost her battle against water. Lisa had to do everything she could to keep me together so she didn't have to mop me up from the carpet. The nib now lives up to its name. I didn't think a writing experience could feel so good. I showed Brad the pen later on in the day, and he nearly got mad at me for adding another pen to his list. "Get this away from me,"  he said.

When I passed the Visconti table letter (at the behest of Lisa), I thanked them for the new nib. I found out there was a batch of nibs that had poor tipping. I was kind of disappointed at the slip in Visconti's quality control, but, on the same token, they didn't hide the mistake. They graciously replaced the nib (as a side note: I was also delighted to see the two Visconti reps, a guy and a girl, were around my age). 

 I also had to say hi to Ryan Krusac, the scrimshander and pen maker, and his partner in crime Brandon Lee, the Modern Choclatier. I got to briefly meet Ryan's wife at the end of the show. His children were playing around his table and his wife was complaing because one of them bought a few pens that were in need of restoration. It was great to hear the unbridled desire of a child to be like their father, and, on the other side, to see the parent look at the difficult reality of a very detail oriented hobby. I'm excited for the kid. The pens will be much more useful that a model airplane (admitted hobby bias). 

I moved on to the Cursive Logic table.  Linda had sent me an email asking to review her program before the Kickstarter ended, but I balked. I think a lot was going on, and I couldn't really do it justice. She showed me how the program works. It takes some of the concepts of calligraphy in letter creation and organization of strokes and applies them to regular handwriting. It focuses on four basic shapes, and from those shapes you can write the whole lowercase cursive alphabet. I got a book from her and hope to share it around with parents in my parish. 

 I walked around the room simply looking and staring at pens. I stopped a table filled with restored Parkers and Sheaffers. The guy behind the table, Nathaniel, asked me what I was looking for. I told him that truth: vintage pens scare me. I can't tell what is quality and what is not. He proceeded to give me a 20 minute lesson on different vintage pens and a few things to look for in seeing if there are cracks in the material or degradation of a filling system. I feel more confident now and will probably spend more time in vintage the next show I attend. (These thoughts will spurn a whole separate post because this thins is already long and if you're still reading thank you). 

I returned to the Karas table to watch Ana Reinert, of the Well Appointed Desk, and Kasey Kagawa (@punkey0 on Twitter) play with new inks. Ana is one cool cat (I'm pretty sure she's okay with me calling her that). Her interests aren't just in the stationary realm. We ended up talking soccer. I found out she's a part of US soccer history. I'll let her tell the story if you're interested. Kasey is one of those guys that knows not just a little bit about some things but a lot about a lot of things. He had information on far ranging topics from grooming, to beer, to food, to gamma ray saftey (maybe not so comic book-y but the science language was beyond me). I wish I would have had more time to spend with them just to hear them share their stories. 

One thing I must say, both Ana and Myke were left-handed. I had never seen a left hander use a fountain pen and know what to do. It was one of those things where I was both uncomfortable and fascinated in a brand new experience. Because of the nature of left-handedness, one can be scared at lending a fountain pen, but I had no qualms with either person. I would entrust all my pens to them before lending one to a newbie. It was little experiences like that that set this day and a half apart. 

As the show was packing up, I got some notebooks and a gift for a friend from Nock. My last purchase of the day though was of utmost importance. Since I had seen one on IG and then heard Myke talk about it on the podcast, I had to get the Retro 51 Swoosh which is a Tornado wrapped in basketball rubber with the pimples and black recessed lines. I've been a basketball fan for most of my life and to have a pen like that is pretty cool. It added to my growing collection of Retro 51's.  

I ended the show with some nib work by Mike Masuyama. There was a possibility because of my late arrival that I would not be able to get anything done, but due to Mike's incredible work rate I was able to get things in. Over the course of the year, I had found the nib that came on the Krusac pen I had gotten in Dallas had hard starts. I'm pretty sure it was baby's bottom. Mike smoothed it out and turned it into a much more enjoyable pen. It's now both good look at and nice to write with. Then, I asked him to grind the nib of my Giuliano Mazzuoli Moka Chiarracsuro in a needlepoint. It's such a small pen and the nib was subpar to the beauty and was way to wide. It didn't feel right. So now the line fits the size of the pen. I couldn't be happier. 

That night we talked pens but most of all we just talked. I knew they would be somewhat tired after full pen enthusiasm for over 48 hours. I enjoyed getting to know everyone. Pens brought us together, but growing friendship kept us together. Pens were the gateway, but friendship was the end. 

Kevin and I. I'm short. 

The party continued the next day where Myke, Kasey, and myself joined Jeff at the Nock shop. The three of us were free labor for a day helping just gather inventory from what was left after the show. I'm surprised Jeff trusted me to count after listening to me count poorly the day before. If you ordered something from Nock only be subsequently informed they were out of stock don't blame Jeff. It's probably my fault. While we were there, I picked up Nock's collaboration with Ti2 Design a tri-camo Techliner. I love the sound of the click of the magnet. Kevin Penley, of the Gear Compass, joined us for lunch from Hankook, which had this awesome calamari taco. 

The tiredness I had next two days was worth the time I get to meet and spend with these awesome people. So much so I totally forgot to take pictures. I'm looking forward to a full weekend next year. 

The whole loot minus the Swoosh (he didn't get the photo shoot memo)

Diamine Matador Review

Fr. Kyle Sanders

Being that this is my first ink review. My review style and how I look at things might change. I am assuming, though, that with experience comes wisdom.

Look

This isn't your normal red. It doesn't jump out on the page like the red ink of English term paper. It's much more subtle and reminiscent of red brick. It has a definite dusty feel to it. The color sits better I think for those who aren't fans of red inks. It has the slightest of orange hues which aid the subdued nature of the ink. I think,though, that Diamine misnamed the ink. When I think of a matador (considering I've never attended a bull fight) I think a deeper brighter red like that of my favorite boyhood car, the Ferrari. 

What this ink brings that some other reds don't is some good shading. Reds are often saturated to capture that vibrant color. Matador can shade from smokey pink tones to the darker red brick tones as well. I noticed when taking pictures that when it pools from wet nibs it leaves the slightest of sheens.

Behavior

The Sheaffer was running out of ink and began to fuss. 

The ink is a little bit on the dry side. The first time I used it; it was in a dry pen, the Stipula Speed. Talk about a nightmare. It lacks a great flow in dry pens especially when the ink level is nearing its end, but it shines in we pens like this Retro 51. It doesn't have the lubrication of an Iroshizuku, but it isn't so dry as to be unusable. If you don't want to worry about flow, this is not the ink for you.

Cleaning

The ink is a no hassle clean though. It doesn't clog. It leaves not stain, and, come to think of it, would look great in the Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic.

Similar Inks

In the Field

It leaves barely any bleedthrough on the Field Notes Cold Horizon, which I have found to be very unkind to fountain pens. It feathers very little on the Cold Horizon paper and make Stipula's Medium nib look as thin as Pelikan's fine is. The Speed was that super dry pen, so take the previous comments with that in mind.  

You can see it looks great and rich in a medium italic nib on Leuchtturm1917 paper. It has a some ghosting, but it's slight and normal with that paper and just about any ink

Pens: Sheaffer Prelude Fine Nib, Retro 51 Tornado Medium Nib, Cleo Skribent Classic Broad Nib
Paper: Rhodia Dot Pad

Reverenced

Inks - My Recipe

Fr. Kyle Sanders

One of the most important aspects of fountain pens and what makes them so entirely awesome is that one pen can put out any color you put into it. A ballpoint is enslaved to its refill good, bad, or horrible. A gel pen only goes as far as its producer. A fountain pen can connect brands and colors neither manufacturer even imagined. The designer of the Pilot Capless certainly wasn't thinking about Noodler's super shading inks like Apache Sunset. Nor did the Nakata family imagine seeing  their beautiful Platinum or Nakaya creations filled with Pelikan highlighter ink. Ink offers so many new combinations for pens and makes that pen ever new. 

How we use ink is nearly as personal as our handwriting. Some people in the pen community try to pair inks with pens, looking for the perfect color combination that just seems to them to be the pinnacle pairing of pen and ink, never to be changed. Others like certain inks and like certain pens and so put those favorites together in different combinations. Some just like one or two inks and stick with their mainstays. I am none of those people. I do find great pen and ink combinations. I do have favorite pens (really liking my new Pilot Custom 74) and favorite inks. Neither of these, though, guide my choice of ink. 

I'm of the firm opinion that if I bought it, I must use it, whether it's my favorite or not, whether it came free with a pen or I had it imported from overseas. To have 30ml of ink sitting around unused is detestable to me. I will sometimes lessen the quantity by giving samples away to friends, but I WILL USE ALL MY INK. So, in an attempt to give equal opportunity to all my inks, (which number somewhere in the 60 bottle range) I rotate through every single one of them. One after the next after the next, my only pause comes with certain inks (Noodler's Baystate Blue) and some of my more vintage pens (with which I'd rather not damage with dangerous formulations). So, I'm guided by what's next rather than what do I want next. This frees me from the agonizing decision of which of the 60 bottles of ink do I want to use in the next pen. This self-imposed determinism allows me to just move along. It quickens filling time and disallows me from overthinking things. It also brings about nice surprises when certain pen and ink combinations arise that I wouldn't have necessarily though of, say for instance my Edison Nouveau Premiere 2014 Summer Edition filled with J. Herbin Rose Cyclamin. It was a beautiful combination of bright colors. So I just go through my ink drawer bottle by bottle inking up the next pen in rotation. 

I have two exceptions. All my ink stays in my office at work (it's a block away from home) so I bring one bottle of ink home. I rotate that bottle every month. The bottle this month is Organics Studio Laboratory Series #14. 

On the whole I like to use converters. I don't mind the less ink capacity because I also have another pens around if I run out of ink. There will be times, though, that I will choose a cartridge just to free up some storage space in my bulging accessories case. Here is where the second exception comes in. Certain pens only take cartridges. I have both empty cartridges which I can syringe fill and many full cartridges. It is a little less determined whether I fill and use a full one. I choose that on whim. If I do fill the cartridge it's from the next bottle. 

 

Currently Inked

 

Monterverde Artista Crystal - Organics Studio Laboratory Series #14

Monteverde Poquito Medium Nib - Monteverde Black Cartridge

Visconti Homo Sapiens Crystal Fine Nib - Papier Plume Midnight Blue

Pelikan M200 Italic Nib - Noodler's Golden Brown

Kaweco Sport Fine Nib - Kaweco Blue Cartridge

Lamy Joy 1.5 mm - Sailor Jentle Apricot

Sheaffer Desk Pen Fine Nib - Noodler's Apache Sunset

(not pictured)


Fountain Pen Day Giveaway!

Fr. Kyle Sanders

I am so grateful to have, two years ago, become a part of this wonderful community. I was judging a local cookoff last week and with the cookoff was a car show. I got to talking to one of the guys who had this purple pearlescent 30's sportster. It was a loud thing, and he was a big personality to boot. His father had built and rebuilt cars, so he had been going to car shows for a long time. They have their own community. He told me that a lot of times his friends don't understand why he continues to compete and go to car shows. They though him strange, but amongst "the guys" he's a little loud (I mean a bright purple and punk car!). I told him, "Dude, I understand. I collect fountain pen. My office staff tolerates my packages and giddiness. My family things it's strange." 

This community started with, and I guess remains unified by out mutual love of FOUNTAIN PENS, but is made up a fantastic persons. Person who generally care for each other, who, although we may enable each other, are often very gracious and generous. In the continued spirit of that generosity, I am hosting my first giveaway.

I attempted to go on a fall theme jumping from the color of the pen, but here it is.

If you win you get:

a Franklin-Christoph Model 29 Bellus Special Edition Radiant Red with a Mike Masuyama ground Medium Italic Nib

Samples of:

J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite

Noodler's Golden Brown

Noodler's Apache Sunset

Those three are probably my three favorite shading inks and together with the italic nib should be able to give the winner all of the colors of Autumn. 

Rules

This giveaway is going on both here and on my Instagram which is @colonel4God. So you have two possible chances to win. 

  1. Comment on the blog
  2. If you are on Instagram the rules will be explained there.
  3. This giveaway ends Sunday November 9 at 12 noon CST. After which I will choose someone at random using the Random Number Generator.
  4. I will post the winner here on the blog and on Instagram and he/she will have 1 week to respond before I choose another person at random.

GOOD LUCK. 

NANOWRIMO Materials

Fr. Kyle Sanders

For the past two years, I have taken part in a writing phenomenon called NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Started in San Francisco about 10 years ago, this event is intended to force the hand of the wanna-be novelist. The goal is to write 50,000 words during the span of the month of November. It is a whirlwind of creativity. That number, seemingly arbitrary, is about the length of a short novel. Although it might only be the prologue of a George R.R. Martin novel, writing that amount is quite a feat (one which I have failed at two years running).

Most take on this endeavor with word processor and keyboard, but, as a pen person, I can't pass up the opportunity to use my toys. The last two years I have dedicated a pen, pad, and ink to this particular end. My Lamy 2000 and TWSBI Vac 700, both in fine nibs, together wrote 30,000 words (mind you that's 70,000 short of what they should have written), 10k and 20k respectively. The two previous years I used large 8 1/2 x 11 notebooks from Moleskine and Leuchtturm 1917.

My lineup this year is heavy on my Dallas Pen Show purchases. As with the two previous pens, I wanted something with a large ink capacity and a small nib. My Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic with Masuyama Needlepoint fits the bill. I can fill it as an eye-dropper with Iroshizuku Kon-Peki, and it'll hopefully write for days without needing filling. It will be kept snug and safe in my Bas & Lokes "Reynolds" Leather pen case.

I decided to go with a smaller notebook this year because those large notebooks were too unwieldy for me and weren't a delight to write in. The Zequenz 360° lined notebook in A5 size is perfect. It can supposedly bend any which way, and it has 400 pages to take in all 50,000 words (hopefully). I've been using a pocket sized version of the notebook for the novel prep, and I've been enjoying the paper.

Now that I've gotten all my material you're probably wondering the topic of my novel. Well, I'm not writing a novel per se but a work of theology and philosophy of utmost seriousness. I hope to expound on the theology of alcohol. 

I do hope to incorporate my blog writing both here and elsewhere into the word count (a little bit of a cheater, but I'm still writing 50,000 words!), but my posting frequency might lessen some due to output elsewhere. 

Dallas Pen Show - Day 2

Fr. Kyle Sanders

 Me and Ms. Vanness hiding behind the Akkerman

Me and Ms. Vanness hiding behind the Akkerman

I didn't think it could get any better than day one, but now that I had scoped out everything. I made a game plan for day two. 

- visit the Edelstein's, whom I had met the night before

- get a Ryan Krusac pen. 

- bid on Retro 51's in the auction

- if the budget allows, get a Shawn Newton pen

I started the day with my Hawaiian shirted buddy. He had sold one of his nice pens and had already replaced it with a gorgeous Visconti Divina. He allowed me to test the nib and try out a pen, that for me at least, would be out of the question. It reminded me however of the day before. I had spotted another grail pen of mine, the Visconti Homo Sapiens Crystal. He and I got to talking about that pen, about Visconti Dreamtouch Nibs, and he let me know that our now mutual friend Lisa Vanness had one in stock at her store in Little Rock. The pen costed a bit more than the Dolce Vita, but I decided it would be worth the extra expense, because I probably wouldn't get one otherwise. After our conversation (he might have sold me on it) I was determined to get the Crystal. 

 Geha (right) Sheaffer (left)

Geha (right) Sheaffer (left)

On my way to Lisa, I stopped by the Edelstein's table. The elder took me through their bargain boxes and I found three pens for $60. One was for a friend (can't reveal that because he hasn't received it yet). One was an old Sheaffer Calligraphy pen, and the final was a lesser know German pen called Geha, who made neat little piston filler pens. All three pens were great little buys. The Geha is surprisingly smooth. The Edelstein's bread and butter, though, were vintage Parkers in good condition. I haven't reached that level of collector. 

dallasvisconticrystal

I moved from them to Ms. Vanness. The previous day was a good day for her, and overnight her husband had driven from Little Rock to deliver more ink. They are the only American retailer of P.W. Akkerman ink and people flock to her to get the bottles before they're sold out. She confirmed that she had the pen at the store and ... I bought it. I actually bought it. I never though I would go for such an expensive pen, but I found myself giving her my money. I got a bottle of Diamine Mediterranean Blue to compliment the pen. The ink would be the celebratory ink of a new stage in the fountain pen journey. I'm afraid this might have opened a door to getting a Nakaya. 

Unfortunately, that purchase ruled out the possibility of a getting one of Shawn Newton's pens. However, he had this really cool pen that was mostly black, with a marbled black and white grip that brought you a nice surprise when you uncapped the pen. I told him if he could get a yellow and black material I would buy that pen. So, hopefully, if you continue reading, you will eventually see that on the blog. 

I had already made up my mind to get a pen from Ryan Krusac. Ryan, from the Atlanta area, turns pens made of rare woods and of harvested naturally shed elk antler. The elk antler pens were especially beautiful due to the scrimshaw work in them. Over the two days, Ryan and I shared some things about our lives, and we even had a connection of a particular crater lake north of Lake Granada in Nicaragua, that for him held special significance. We have some good conversations about mission trips. The first day, there were three of his pens that stuck out to me. I told him I would sleep on it. The one I decided on was the scrimshaw one depicting a ship in a tempest, which reminded me of Scripture and the Sea of Galilee. It has a good weight to it due to the metalware but as I quickly found out it suffers the smudge of inky fingers, so I will have to be very careful with it. It is definitely a display pen, but I don't buy a pen that won't be used. 

KrusacDallas

Ryan came to the show accompanied by his best friend, who is a chocolatier. He paired some of his chocolates with some of Ryan's pens. Although I didn't go that route, he had some delicious flavors of chocolate: French Roast Coffee (which brought me back home in an instant), Irish Stout (it felt like biting into Guinness), and Mango with chili pepper. I definitely got some. 

I ended my floor purchasing at the Anderson's. I wanted some silicone grease to convert the Franklin-Christoph to an eyedropper. I had also eyed a notebook on their table I could use for NANOWRIMO this year that had nearly 400 pages. It's an Italian company called 360° and supposedly it can be bended every which way. I will definitely put it through the ringer in November. Finally, at the very beginning of the show, while the Anderson's were still setting up, I noticed one of the new pens from Pilot, the pocket pen E95. I love pocket pens and at the price with a gold Pilot nib I couldn't pass it up. 

You might notice there was one thing left on my original list, a special edition Retro 51. Retro didn't have any on display at their table, but they did donate two to the silent auction which benefited the Dallas Pen Club and the continuation of the show. One was an old Retro 51 Abbondanza. The appeal of this pen was its box which is made of bamboo and displays the pen nicely when opened. The other pen was a special edition of 200 pieces the Double 8. It has a gold trim and tortoiseshell celluloid with eight facets. It seems to me very Omas-like, and definitely fits Retro 51's slogan "Life is too short to carry an ugly pen." I was able, with some bid lurking, to win both pens. All in all, I felt my first show was a success. I got some pens, but more importantly I made some new friends.

 The whole quarry. The Abbondanza is on the left. The Double 8 is on the top. The E60 is on the bottom. 

The whole quarry. The Abbondanza is on the left. The Double 8 is on the top. The E60 is on the bottom. 

Petals and Puddles

Fr. Kyle Sanders

So as promised. This is a the first in series called Ink Haikus. Hope you enjoy

Petals1

Petals of an hibiscus

floating on ripples

reflecting a summer sky

petals2

Pen: Edison Nouveau Premiere 2014 Summer Edition Fine Nib

Ink: J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen

Paper: Doane Paper Flap Jotter