Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Writerly Gifts, Week Two

Last week, I gave away a journal in which to write your brilliant ideas, plots, character arcs and stories.  Now you need something with which to write those wonderful bits.  And so, behold: a set of disposable fountain pens.

51f+OBb5nmL._SL500_AA300_I love these pens.  They have the feel of a fine fountain pen, yet you don't have to keep stopping to refill them.  They don't blot as regular fountain pens sometimes do.  They make a grand subtle scratching noise as you write, reminding you that you are, indeed, writing.  Since they are disposable, you don't have to worry about misplacing them, as I always do when using one of my good fountain pens. And, perhaps best of all, they come in colors.  There's nothing I love better in the world than pens in different colors (except maybe my new grandson.)

What I write with is as important as what I write on.  No garden variety ball point pens for me.  My pens have to feel right when I hold them, with a good heft in the hand (but not be too bulky, which makes them awkward to hold).  And the ink has to flow smoothly and well.  Which is why I tend to favor gel ink or fountain pens.

Eons ago, I read Natalie Goldberg's seminal book, Writing Down the Bones, and, at least in my memory, she mentioned disposable fountain pens.  Back in those days, you could buy them individually at the grocery store.  And I did, by the dozens.  But then my source disappeared and I was  bereft.  Suffering withdrawal symptoms, I was forced to put up with less elegant everyday pens. So I was  thrilled when I found this set of disposable fountain pens a couple of years ago at the University of Oregon bookstore, when visiting friends in Eugene.  (Another reason the memory of finding those pens is so dear to me is that the friend I visited took her own life a year later.  Such is the power of emotion in our lives.)

And so now I offer a set to you.  Well, to one of you.  All you have to do is answer one of these questions in the comments section: is what you write with important to you?  If so, what is your favorite pen? (I'm always in the market for more selections.)

PS:  Last week's winner was Nicole Wolverton.  Nicole, email me so I can get your address.

PPS: I announce good things like this contest as well as classes and so forth on my newsletter.  To sign up for it, just fill out the form on the right.  You'll also get a copy of my super-duper Ebook about creating a vision board for your book or writing project.

Oh, and a final note:  I'm not in any way affiliated with the Pilot Pen company, I just like their products.  Except if they wanted to sponsor me so I could give away tons of their pens, I would not complain at all.

0 thoughts on “Writerly Gifts, Week Two

  1. Zan Marie

    Oh yes, what I write is important and I have always used Pilot’s precise grip bold. I’ve never tried the Varsity Pilot. Hmmm. Maybe there’s a new pen in my future. ; )

    Hope that grandson is still grand, Charlotte…like he could be anything else. ; )

  2. J.D. Frost

    Nicole’s address is c/o J.D., Gates to Hell Boulevard, Lost Beach, 34567. Oh, I’ll be needing some pens for the journal.

  3. Charlotte Dixon

    Zan Marie, Love that you have a certain specific pen you use all the time. Maybe you’ll win the contest and get to try out these different ones. And thanks for the good thoughts on Henry. I’m pretty sure he’s the most beautiful baby ever born. I’m totally in love with him.

    J.D., I can see your devious mystery writer’s mind at work! Clever, clever man, but so far its not working. Maybe your luck will extend to the next random drawing.

  4. Amanda Makepeace

    I personally love Zebra pens because of the way the ink flows seamlessly onto the paper. I’ve never used a disposable fountain pen. Sounds like an adventure!

  5. Charlotte Dixon

    Amanda, I love those Zebra pens, too, but have a hard time finding them. Maybe I need to look for a source online.

  6. J.D. Frost

    Hey! I see an ad for “Christmas is a Season! 2008” on the right column of your blog. I am proud to say I am in the 2009 edition.

  7. Charlotte Dixon

    J.D., I still love those anthologies, wish she’d do another edition.

  8. Jessica Baverstock

    I have only recently been able to buy a real fountain pen. They are so expensive in Australia that it was completely out of the question there (we’re talking easily $80-$100 for the lower end). Once I got to China I was suddenly presented with fountain pens for 10 RMB (about $1.60). I bought myself a burgundy one. It’s lovely, but it doesn’t write as nicely as a more up-market variety. Still, at $1.60 how can you complain?

    I also love my Uniball Signo which has gel ink and a beautiful soft gel grip. When I was using it all the time, I almost completely lost my writer’s callus. However, I made the mistake of taking it in my bag one day when I was walking through sub zero temperatures (I’m a newbie to cold) and the ink has never been the same. The refills also gummed up when I went on holidays and they were left in the freezing house. So writing with that pen has become somewhat of an ordeal now. Lesson learned.

    But at the moment I’m loving my mechanical pencil (is that the right word?). I’ve always loved writing with pencils but I hate sharpening them. I’ve finally come across a mechanical pencil that sits nicely in my hand and doesn’t hurt. Now my problem is if I want to go back to my notes in a couple of years’ time, they’ll have probably disappeared. Break out the hairspray!

    Eek! Another long comment. I love talking about stationery – can you tell?

  9. Charlotte Dixon

    Jessica, You gotta love a place where you can buy fountain pens for $1.60! And here’s another tip on them: they do not take to flying well if they are full. Make sure you empty the ink cartridge or remove it before you take it on an airplane. I love pencils, too, but I’m a gimp when it comes to sharpening them. We have an old-fashioned wall mounted sharpener left by the previous owners in our basement, and when I go at it the points of the pencil just break. I think I need to switch to mechanical pencils. As you can see, I love talking about stationary, too.

  10. Jessica Baverstock

    Oh, good to know! Thank you. Now where can I file that information away so I’ll remember? I hope it’s not one of those things that I’ll only learn by experience.

    Mind you, aren’t writers (and their stuff) supposed to be ink-stained…or am I living in the wrong century?

  11. Charlotte Dixon

    Jessica, I learned the lesson about fountain pens on airplanes the hard way, believe me. And I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had people comment on my ink-stained hands, which I kind of like.

  12. Sue Mitchell

    Charlotte, I am 100% with you on the pens. They must flow nicely, and having different colors available really enhances my thinking process. When I was a prolific writer as a kid, I used to use colored paper, too. Purple was a favorite. I swore I wrote my best stories on that purple paper!

    I just bought a big set of colored gel pens for myself and my son for Christmas, but I would love to give these Pilots a try!

  13. Carole Jane Treggett

    Ooh,nice pens! I’m pretty feline with my choice of writing accoutrements too (that would be finicky lol). I’ve always got my ears perked up for stationery recommendations from writers I admire and trust 🙂

    I’m a leftie and refuse to distort my writing hand into a petrified curvature as I’ve seen fellow southpaws do to avoid smearing the words on the page. So I usually use a quick-drying gel pen. But I seriously wouldn’t mind getting an inky pinky knuckle using the lovelies you’ve showcased in your post,Charlotte!

  14. Charlotte Dixon

    Sue, true confession: purple ink is still my favorite (in case you can’t guess from the design of this blog, its also my favorite color). I’ll have to give purple paper a try. 🙂

    Carole Jane, ah, a leftie! I’ve never thought of it, but using a fountain pen might be a bit difficult in that situation. I think the ink in these pens dries quite quickly, so hopefully you’ll get a chance to find out.

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