I had seen this from Ana at The Well-Appointed Desk a few weeks back and partially completed it. Well guess what? I found the notebook where the first third had been written and decided to finish the job. Here goes…something.

1: What is the pen they’ll have to pry out of your cold dead hands?

The Parker 45 that belonged to my mom and now belongs to me. The pen and its nib are what ultimately brought me to where I’m even looking at these questions on the internet in the first place.

2: What’s your guilty pleasure pen?

Don’t have one in the sense the question means. The only guilt I tend to feel related to pens is from not using them enough. Anything about pens that brings pleasure has no connection to guilt in my mind.

3: What’s the pen you wish existed?

A Pilot Metropolitan with shiny classic woven carbon fiber over the normal brass, a textured aluminum grip, an articulated clip like the E95S, and a gold nib. Everything else about the pen (size, shape, weight, filling, etc.) would be the same as it normally is. Could be tricky to construct carbon fiber that way but it would be such a nice look.

4: What pen would you give to a new enthusiast?

Pilot Metropolitan. It’s very well made and reliable, easy to use, has good nib options, and is simple to clean/maintain. It has a nice style that can be plain or kind of flashy depending on the color. It feels like quality in your hand. Gotta be the best $25 you could spend on a pen.

5: What pen do you want to get along with but it just never clicked?

Kaweco Liliput. I’m fine with small pens but the Liliput is too small for me to use comfortably. Also, pens with caps that screw to post and aren’t useable unless posted test my patience.

6: What pen do you only keep only because it’s pretty?

If being pretty is the only thing a pen has going for it then I’m ultimately not keeping it. A pen that was pretty but didn’t work well, or was non-functional due to age, would need true sentimental value to hang on to.

7: What pen (or stationery product) did you buy because everyone else did?

I tried a few samples of shimmer inks when they started to blow up on social media. They aren’t my thing. Looks cool but not a property that I value in an ink.

8: What pen (or stationery product) is over your head or just baffles you?

The Hobonichi Techo setups that are inches thick with all manner of stamps and ephemera in them. A lot of the spreads look great and I can appreciate the work that goes into it but that’s a fundamentally different wavelength than I run on for using notebooks.

9: What pen (or stationery product) surprised you?

The Kilk Orient in orange surprised me with how much it surpassed my expectations. I was very enamored with its looks in pictures and videos online. In person it was even better than I thought it would be. The design consideration and quality of manufacture is top notch. I can hold the Orient and stare at it for minutes at a time to take it all in.

10: What pen doesn’t really work for you but you keep it because it’s a collectible?

Not a pen, but Blackwing pencils are like that for me. They aren’t my preferred pencil to carry or write with but I keep some because of the cool barrel designs. Might use them here and there. This would seem to run afoul of the declaration in answer #6. I don’t claim to be perfect.

11: What is your favorite sparkly pen (or ink)?

Sparkly isn’t my cup of tea for pens or inks. That said, I did like the look of Diamine Shimmering Seas ink when I tried a sample.

12: Which nib do you love — but hate the pen (or vice versa)?

I recently got a Sailor Pro Gear Slim with a music nib. I’d never used a gold Sailor music nib and wanted to see what it was like. Thought it might be like the steel music nib I have on a Taccia. Nope, not close. Hate is much too strong a word but I knew quickly the Sailor music nib is not a match for me and my writing style. Luckily, it’s got so much tipping that I can have a nibmeister turn it into just about any other kind of nib I might want, which is what I plan to do soon. The Pro Gear Slim body is right up my street so when the nib is right that pen will be a frequent flier for me.

13: What pen (or stationery product) gives you the willies?

The willies? Maybe scented inks. I suppose I prefer ink to smell like ink rather than be artificially made to resemble something else, even if that something is a nicer” smell.

14: What’s your favorite pen for long form writing?

Parker 45. Fits like the proverbial glove.

15: What pen (or stationery product) do you love in theory but not in practice?

Standard Field Notes. I dig Draplin’s aesthetics. I appreciate the design and what goes into the product line but Field Notes just don’t work for me as notebook I want to write in.

16: What pen (or stationery product) would you never let someone else use?

It’s hard to think of anything that would be completely off limits, assuming the someone else in question wouldn’t be careless or clueless enough to damage it.

17: What pen (or stationery product) would you never use for yourself?

The pens that are a note for note copy of another established design. I don’t begrudge anyone for using them. I tried a few Parker 51 clones. They worked fine but, in the end, they weren’t for me. You could go down a long road of what about X?” and other equivocations on this point but I’ll just say if I want something that looks like a Pelikan M800 or a Lamy 2000 I would get the real article or live without it.

18: What pen (or stationery product) could you NOT bring yourself to buy?

So far, it’s a Visconti Homo Sapiens. I’ve tried a couple and I like many things about the model but there’s something that keeps me from taking the plunge. I have a feeling that one day I’ll find a good used example at a show and feel much better spending $400-500 instead of $700+ for what might be a dice roll on a new one.

19: What’s your favorite vintage pen?

I should say the Parker 45 since it was already the answer to questions 1 and 14. But I want to pick another Parker — the Vacumatic. A stacked celluloid Vacumatic is the best-looking pen I’ve ever seen. I have one that I enjoy very much. The 45, as great as it is, can’t beat the Vacumatic on looks and panache. Contradictory? Oh well.

20: What is your favorite EDC/pocket pen?

Pilot Decimo is the ultimate EDC pen because it has bullet proof instantaneous function. Click and write, every time, no exceptions.

21: What’s the pen (or stationery product) that got away?

Maybe Montblanc UNICEF ink. Bottles are hard to find and overpriced but I love that color. Then again, there’s bound to be another MB ink that looks the same under a different name sooner or later. 😉

There you have it. 21 questions with 21 (reasonably coherent?) answers. Try the list for yourself if you haven’t already. Some questions I thought might be slam dunks turned out differently when I had to formulate the answer. It was a fun exercise.

Thoughts, comments? linevariation at gmail

21 June 2023