The Pens of AcWriMo, Week 1

As I already mentioned, November is a big writing month for me, though now as an academic rather than as an inspiring novelist. With the week mostly over and some of my writing goals met, I wanted to reflect on the pens that I've reached for.


AcWriMo got off to a great start, and I owe at least part of it to my Edison Menlo Sweet Honey with a Franklin-Christoph Medium SIG Nib (review forthcoming). It's currently inked with Sailor Shikori Yamadori.

When I first tried Sailor inks, I was immediately put off by the smell. I flushed that converter ASAP and gave up for a good while. But then I tried them again and realized that the smell does fade pretty quickly. I also just don't find it as offensive as I used to. That being said, Yamadori is more muted than I expected. At first, I was a bit disappointed, but now it's grown on me. Particularly as I've realized that it actually doesn't just replicate one of the many blue or teal inks I own.

The F-C SIG nibs are some of my absolute favorite nibs; I have three: broad, medium, and fine. The Edison nib that came with the Menlo was fine. Nothing wrong with it at all, but it also just wasn't special. And for a pen this spectacular, it deserved an equally stunning nib. Now, it is an amazing writing experience. To echo what Matt from the Pen Habit said in his review: words just flow out of this pen. It is one of the best formed pens I've ever owned.

I was surprised to find myself also using this pen for note-taking. I usually rely on snap cap pens for that. However, the Menlo uncaps so quickly and smoothly that it really wasn't that much slower to deploy.


Not much writing done today. Part of that is just my writing habits; I tend to have an on/off day schedule. Part of it though was my struggles with the Fountain K's titanium nib. I love this pen, I really do. And I adore the titanium nib. But it has ink starvation worse than any other pen I own. I don't mind a bit of skipping every now and then, but I mind very much when a pen just quits writing altogether. It can normally write for a page or two before the ink completely runs out. Clearly it could write with the ink in the feed but couldn't get ink from the converter. And it wasn't the feed's fault because I tried 2 or 3 different feeds.

I worked on this pen on and off all week, and I think I've finally fixed it. I found a post by Pen Chalet that said to look to see if there's a gap between the nib and feed. And of course, THEN I remembered a Currently Inked episode in which Matt said to test and see if paper can fit between the nib and feed. And boy, could it. I probably could have fit a few sheets in there. This also immediately clicked with my experience. The most reliable way I'd found to get ink flowing again was to flip the pen over and do a bit of reverse writing - which was, by the way, a miserable experience. But that was putting the feed back in contact with the nib.

I ended up having to press pretty darn hard to close the gap, but now it looks right. I also learned how to properly use my loupe, courtesy of Goulet Pens, and fixed some slight misalignment.

Quick disclaimer: I blame neither Bock nor Karas Pens for this nib problem. I'd be willing to bet that I caused all of these problems by trying to put the feed in a housing where it didn't fit. And then probably exacerbated it by ripping it out of Bock housings a few times. This is really a lesson in humility: I am not really equipped to solve all of my nib problems.

Anyway, in light of this frustration, what pens did I actually use? My Surface Pen. There's simply no pen that can do what it can do.


Two co-stars this day: My blue Kaco Edge with an EF nib, and my Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Marrieta in Antique Green with a Fine SIG nib. This fine SIG nib is perfect, absolutely perfect. It complements my handwriting so very wonderfully. And the F-C Model 20 is my usual workhorse pen - it's equally equipped for long writing sessions and note-taking sessions. But suddenly the cap and clip weren't cooperating. The clip was sliding out of the pen loop on my Galen Leather notebook cover, and so when I'd go to cap the pen, the whole thing just slipped and slid. It became such a chore. Plus suddenly it just didn't feel right.

Enter the blue Kaco Edge. I use this pen for my planner, but it's also great for other uses. And it stepped up. Of course, it's clip is completely useless, except as a roll stop, but that doesn't bother me as much as a pen I expect to be able to click. There's not much to write about the Edge; it does its job consistently and unobtrusively.


Another chance for the Fountain K, and it stepped up to the plate admirably. I wrote and rewrote and expanded my outline with this, and it was super fun.

But then, my Pelikan M200 Pastel-Green came! (Yes, I gave into the FOMO.) It is every bit as lovely as I hoped. I did smooth the nib a bit. It was nice, very nice indeed when I got it. But there was something about this pen that called out for a super buttery smooth writing experience. I didn't smooth all the feedback out, but I did get pretty close.

I have used my pocket pen to take super quick notes, but I have written exclusively with this pen otherwise. Three days in, and I've pretty much written it dry.


See the last paragraph on Thursday. The M200 Pastel-Green has no serious competition.