Monday, January 2, 2012

What's your favorite pen?

Are you particular about what you write with? I've discovered the world is divided into two kinds of people: Pen People and Other People. If you're like me, you're a pen person.

When I first began writing books, I did it the old-fashioned way by writing the words on the page. There's something so satisfying about forming the words with your hands. To this day, when I get stuck on a scene, I'll take pen and pad in hand and plunk down on the sunporch until I get it right.

Let's talk pens.

I like a pen that glides across a page. A good pen shouldn't require you to mash the point into the page to get a result. A good pen allows the ink to flow in a smooth manner, no globs or goobers. I had a few mistakes with felt tip pens when I stopped to think. I'd look down and there'd be a dark spot obliterating a key point I'd already conjured from the story ether.

A good pen is lightweight. Coming out of a quality assurance background where I had to sign my name hundreds of times a day, I learned that a heavy pen will wear you out. For me, lightweight is best.

I have small hands, so I like the shaft to be just right. Not too fat, not too skinny. And not too froufrou with feathers or bobble heads on top.

Medium point works best for me, because using a fine point means I need my reading glasses.

And I like a comfy grip. Not too squishy, but indented a little bit here and there.

I get bored with black ink too. I like a good blue and a red, and I've been known to sport a dark green or a deep purple as well. I prefer the contrast of darker inks.

So what's your fav? Gel pens? Sharpies? Pentels? Bics? Papermates?

Do you like the clip-on part? Do you care if the point is retractable? Inquiring minds want to know!!!

Maggie Toussaint
coming in March: Death, Island Style and Murder in the Buff

32 comments:

  1. Ahh, a favorite topic. I, too, have small hands, and a pen that's too fat doesn't feel right. Too thin, and I can't hold it very well.
    Hate ball points, hate thick lines.
    So, right now, I'm in love with Foray Stylemark, fine points, black, with one red one to write on my calendar--small blocks require a very fine line.I also like Uniball, but they have so many kinds I just get confused. It's better to have a few to choose from, in my opinion.
    And to update the topic--I did go through all my pens and threw several in the trash....but not where my dh can see them. He always wants to revive them, to get just a little more ink out....good grief.

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  2. Oh yeah, definitely a pen slut (along with book slut). I haven't found ones that I could permanently love, though the RSVP pens come close. Unfortunately they have a tendency to glop. Oh well, the line is pretty smooth and the barrel feels good in my hand.

    However, if it's got gel and/or sparkles to it...I'm IN! Hehe, hate plain ball-point pens. They're soooo dull, and usually the shaft (erm, barrel) is too skinny. Give me a big, thick...er, right, sorry, talking about pens. :P Sorry, mind wandered. I do like a well-rounded pen though.

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  3. You inspired me to write this post, Celia! I haven't tried Foray Stylemark, but I've got it on my horizon now. I love finding good pens.

    The absolute worst thing is to buy pens I like. Use them up. Go to replace them. And there is a different model now. Yikes. I hate that!

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  4. Hi Tory! Nice to meet another Pen Person! I think we may have tried some RSVP pens. I'll hunt around the various mugs of pens stashed in every room and see if I can find them. I think the Pentel Gel pens may be comparable.

    And oops. I guess barrel is a better word than shaft but I think once your brain goes in that other direction, it's all naughty...

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  5. I'm a fountain pen lover. Broad nibs all the way up to OBB and italic broads suit me fine. They're wet and fast and very ergonomic, which saves my hands since I write long hand, then transcribe.

    Sometimes switching the ink color helps inspire a new scene or point of view. Bottled ink provides literally thousands of colors and characteristics to choose from, so it's a form of art within an art.

    Best of all, at the end of the day my hand doesn't hurt, I have pages filled with beautiful color, and the words spill out of me without effort.

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  6. Hi Beth, I love your description of words on the page as an art form. You're a woman after my own heart. Fountain pens are ever popular!

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  7. Maggie,
    Fun post. :) I'm so a pen person as well. At times I'll write with a pen, because for me it taps into the core of my muse. Love it. And, speaking of fabulous pens, I found a new one today that's incredible! It's the Papermate Inkjoy. If you haven't tried it, you're in for a treat! Have a wonderful New Year! *Hugs*
    Love you and I'm so proud of you!!!

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  8. Yes, fun post. I like a nice black rolls easy not too wide Bic.

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  9. My favorite pen was discontinued a few years ago and I nearly cried!!! It's called the Sensa pen and it had a nice gel section that you could grip and it felt oh-so comfortable! I still have about 2 or 3 of those pens and when they discontinued them, I purchased a bunch of refills so that I could still use the pens. I've found that after a few years, and with continued use, the gel grip does eventually get a hole and gel leaks out. At that point, I throw the pen away.
    ~Cecelia Dowdy~

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  10. Diana, I've made a note of your pen recommendation as well - Papermate Inkjoy. Too bad my birthday doesn't come around again until December. Maybe I could persuade my husband to give me pens for Valentine's Day! Thanks for stopping in! Maggie

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  11. Hi Beth, Sounds like we have similar requirements in a pen. Thanks for stopping in!

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  12. Cecelia, I feel your pain! I hate it when something GREAT gets discontinued. Maybe we should start a petitition to get Sensa Pens back into production. I hope you found something else that you like. Thanks for the comment! Maggie

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  13. I love a good pen. Whenever I'm in Staples, or even better, an art store, I browse the section for a new one to try. The hubby keeps ball points all over the house, but I hate them. I use a metallic gel for book signings, and I do love a dark purple shade of ink.

    Great post, Maggie.
    L. j.

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  14. Any kind of fat, dark pen that flows.

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  15. I love soft pens where you don't have to press hard when you write.

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  16. I rarely write with a pen anymore--but my favorite was my old-fashioned Schaefer fountain pen (white, fine tip)! Took me through high school and college, and now it's retired. I keep a writing notebook with me all the time, as well as a variety of ballpoints--anything handy to jot down an observation, a bit of dialogue, describe a scene, and so on.

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  17. LJ, Yes! I too get that wait-a-minute feeling in Staples. I want to study the entire pen display, twice, just in case The Ultimate Pen is there. Of course I haven't met such a pen yet, but I'm sure I'll know it when I see it. a metallic gel would be fun - and special for signings. I'll have to see about getting something like that. Thanks for the tip! Maggie

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  18. Jackie, I admire your taste in pens; Mona, you and I are on the same sheet about a gliding pen.

    Hi Judy, I admire the way you are so efficient about keeping pen and paper handy for those special story snips that surface at will. Keep up the good work! Maggie

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  19. I like colorful pens! I buy them on sale and buy bunches. I also like blue instead of black.

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  20. Well having over 90 pen pals and writing each one with pen and paper I can relate to this subject. I like pens that write smooth..gels are nice but there are ball point pens that glide very nice too.Uni-ball by Signo are nice for gel pens. I had several from authors which I loved dearly but you can imagine I go through alot of pens in a month's time. It makes me so happy when I get swag from an author and she has included a pen or two as I know I will use it. I can use any pen as long as it doesn't start skipping on me. I have used very thin pens to heavy ones and can adjust to either one. Black or blue ink is what I use mostly. susan Leech garysue@dejazzd.com

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  21. Love this discussion. I thought I was the only one weird about pens. My favorite is a Zebra blue fine-point pen. I hate pens where the cap rubs my hand with the clip part. We have generic stick pens at work and I always bring my own pen. And I will spend time hunting for it if it disappears. People will cautiously ask if they can use it when the stick pens can't be found.

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  22. I have a new Sheaffer someone bought me for Christmas, a slim, neat little pen that travels well in my bag and writes smoothly! For writing notes, I much prefer disposable pencils with retractable lead and a rubber on the end! Can't stand all those crossings out as my thoughts tumble out and nudge others over. :) Like Kathy though, if I am using a particular pen and I lose it, I obsess until I find it again. I think pens almost become part of the writing process - ergo have to flow! Have a Happy and fruitful writing New Year, Maggie! :) xx

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  23. Great topic, Maggie. I, too, am a pen person. In fact, I just got all my antique fountain pens refurbished and I'm now having lots of fun going through and writing with each one. The ink tends to soak into the pad of paper I use for my everyday writing, so I'll switch to a ball point -- superfine -- every now and then. Linc, sold throughout Asia (but I've never seen them in Europe or the US) makes a great writing pen. I get a dozen every year when I visit in-laws in India. I get them in every color -- need color! Blue, black, pink, pale blue and purple!

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  24. Hi Mary,
    I applaud your taste in blue ink!

    Susan - wow! 90 pen pals. You take the prize. How do you keep up with so many people? I'm strained keeping up with my family on the phone. I admire your ability to reach out to so many people.

    Kathy, I hear you on the uncomfortable feeling of the cap and/or clip rubbing your hand. On some pens, I've been known to break the clip off. Now I favor retractable pens. If I have the other kind and the cap comes off, invariably I have a giant mess in my purse. That's no good!

    Hi Sheryl, I love your Christmas gift. It must have come from someone who knows you well! It's funny about pens. If someone borrows mine, I have this sixth sense about where it is and wanting it back. Wish I had that with my cell phone or car keys, LOL!

    Merry - another fountain pen lover! Don't we all have our particular favs? Maybe I'll have to travel to India to try one of these Linc pens. I'm something of a pen junkie, as you can tell. Thanks for stopping in!

    Maggie

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  25. My favorite pen is one I bought at Office Max for a dollar to support breast cancer. It's pink with black ink and rolls so smoothly that I'm taking it with me to purchase more so I make sure I get the exact type.

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  26. I am definitely a pen person. Almost all my writing is done by a pen first, butI do my editing on the computer once I've written and transcribed my work to the computer, but any creative writing must start on paper with a pen. I like a medium thick pen, although I can work with thin pens, too, like Papermate pens. They're cheap and the ink seems to last a long time. I also vary the color to some extent. I just found Paper Mate InkJoy at Staples a week ago. Love them! And they were on sale.

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  27. I have a favorite pen; it is actually a heavy gold and wood decorative pen that I have to special order ink for. My husband recently borrowed it while we were grocery shopping and I have never been so anxious in my life. I grabbed it out of his hand the second he was done crossing off items on the shopping list. I'm not well, if my pen isn't secure in my hand or purse.

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  28. Guess I'm not a pen person...I use whatever is handy. Although I do have a Princess Pen with a tiara and feather at the end of it. I haven't actually used it to write, but I do like to wave it around for effect :)

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  29. Caroline, I completely understand about your Office Max pen. Whenever I find something I like, I want to corner the market and fill up my desk drawer with them.

    Hi Gloria, The only thing better than a good pen is a good pen on sale! Well done!

    ZBM, I completely understand your pen anxiety. All of us true Pen People understand.

    Hi Liana, How fitting you should have a tiara pen! You are certainly a Princess in my eyes.

    Thanks for the fun comments, folks! Maggie

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  30. I use a pencil for paper writing, but for everything else .. yes, I love to check the pen displays and experiment. Currently, I love Bic Soft Feel Medium point, in blue. The pen is blue and the ink is blue and they write so nicely! I have to have light weight, also, and I like a bigger grip for comfort. These aren't even expensive, which is also nice. I also like Pilot Precise rolling ball for 'fancier' writing.

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  31. Hi LK, I admire your taste and requirements in pens! Lightweight, colorful, nice grip, and smooth-writing are all aspects I also desire in a pen. I'm made a note of your recommendations of Bic Soft Feel Medium and Pilot Precise. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your pen thoughts! Maggie

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  32. I was a workaholic throughout my 20s. I'm now 36 and I prefer a more relaxed life-style. I've got a part-time job that I can do from home and all my other time is spent on writing. If only I'd applied my twenty-something workaholic attitude to creating novels, I'd have a lot more than 2 published by now!

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