Saturday, July 18, 2009

On Writing Instruments.

I was cleaning out a drawer the other day and realized something.

I have too many pens.

I had ten barely used pens in that drawer alone. Elsewhere, in jars, boxes, briefcases and other drawers I have hundreds of them -- and most likely so do you. I have pens from banks, law offices and businesses of every kind, click pens, roller balls, felt-tip, ball point, highlighters, and my favorites, the traditional fountain pen.

Pencils? I like them too. Wood pencils that require sharpening, and the mechanical kind that advance with a click or a screw. And there are the accessories to pens and pencils: ink wells, cartridges, sharpeners, erasers, and rulers. I love rulers.

My favorite pen is the Parker clip-on click pen with a fine-point, blue-ink cartridge. It has the right size, color, weight, look, and ease of use. And it writes very well. They cost about $5 at office supply store. For letter writing, my favorite pen is an old-fashioned Flair with a medium tip. I like the original Pilot pen with the fine tip but they tended to flatten too quickly.

Everyone once in a while I'll think about Thomas Jefferson sitting in a quiet room writing the Declaration of Independence. He had a couple of big sheets of paper, a quill tip pen, and an ink well. Back then, men had time to think as they wrote. I do know Shelby Foote, author of Civil War - A Narrative, wrote with an no-cartridge, fountain pen. Dip and write. He said it helped his writing.

As usual I have wandered off my point about pens, but now that I think about it. I wonder if the quality of writing has gone down as the ease of writing has gone up?


Lynn said...

I love putting pen to paper. I do it so rarely now; it is easier and faster to sit here at the computer and let my fingers fly.

I think the poems I wrote with pencil and lined paper are better, more thoughtful, than the essays I write now.

I think putting hand to pencil and pencil to paper, connects the paper with one's heart.

I cannot imagine "Gift from the Sea" batted out on a keyboard.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I agree that the quality of writing has gone down as the ease of writing has gone up.

One other thing about pens....I have an aversion to throwing away a pen when it stops working. I set it aside, as if it might get better one day.
Anyone else have this problem?