pens: genus and species

My friends have teased me about my Small Spiral Notebooks for ages, but I've never gotten around to showing some of you the little treasure that my notebook contains. I'd watched my friends rave about their fountain pens and decided that I'd look into saving up the money to get a good one for myself as well.

I'm addicted. Horribly addicted.

I did a lot of research to figure out what would work for me. I'm a heavy, quick writer, with a pretty florid writing style, so it seemed like a broad-nibbed 'wet' writer was just the ticket. After spending some time playing in Artlite (the only fountain pen shop I know of within driving distance) I found a pen that I was ready to adopt. I got a surprisingly good deal on it; someone had returned it because they couldn't handle the very characteristics that made me seek it out in the first place.

My baby is a Pelikan Souverän M1000, and let me tell you, it's a blowsy spendthrift of a pen; it all but throws ink out of the nib. This pen will outlive cockroaches. Actually, this pen may outlive all ink. It's an absolute tank. It's the largest of the Souverän line and it's designed to eat smaller pens for lunch without pausing for refills.

But the better story is the second pen. While I love, adore, and baby my Souverän to near senselessness, I recognize that it's not good for all things. That nib is militantly broad, and it's not gonna tone itself down come hell, high water, or Republicans, nosiree. I wanted a very different pen -- a fine-nibbed, delicate filly -- for things like forms and precision work.

Enter Joyce, who piped up one day and said, "You know, I have a pen from my exchange student days in France. If you'll give it a good home, I'll give it to you. I hate thinking it's just lying there in a drawer."

I took it home, tried it out, and realized it would work very well. It was a school pen, lightweight, fine-nibbed, intended to be a very legible classroom workhorse...and it was malfunctioning like crazy. Ink blots the size of Christmas trees.

Back to Artlite, who looked at it, identified it as a Waterman of unknown origin, and handed me a box to mail it in.

A couple of days ago I got a call from Waterman. They were curious to know how I'd gotten a pen -- the Waterman Allure -- that was only manufactured in France. I gave them the story of Joyce. They told me a little about the history of the pen, and said that they'd shipped it to France for repairs, because nobody in the States knew how to fix it, and the total repair bill would be $30 and could they charge my credit card?


As soon as she's back from her globe-trotting, I'll introduce her to all of you.

(Yes, thank you, I've joined the ranks of the addicted. Wait until I start babbling about ink.)


How utterly nifty! I'm glad you'll be able to get some use out of that pen after all. I knew it was a good one, too good for the likes of me, who can only bear to type these days. :-)

Uh...and you gave them the WHOLE "story of Joyce?" Uh-oh. ;-)

[...] noises when anyone asks to borrow it.  (Side note: I prefer blue ink for everyday writing.) ('Pens: genus and species,' [...]