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I recently fell back in love with fountain pens. We’d been on the outs for a while. My trusty AG Spalding & Bros, my companion for many years, was being petulant and non-communicative. I thought it was me and my left-handedness. We ceased to bond. After many furtive attempts to normalize relations, and one smear campaign too many, I put my Spalding away. I returned to my old-friend Sarasa, color mahogany, intimate yet disposable, and I continued on my merry way for the last 2 years.

But in putting away my fountain pens, I had ceased the letter writing that has seen Sailor and I through this marriage. I ceased writing in my journal. I ceased the diligent note taking that has seen me through school.

Quite frankly, I’ve been a bit lost.

A small shop here in State College carries a very limited supply of writing tools, mostly Lamy pens that the engineers on campus seem to prefer, and the inexpensive but reputation as dependable Retro 1951, of which, I was unfamiliar, but always wanted to try, so I bought a stainless steel model with a .7mm nib. I immediately liked the balance, the heft of this dense pen. I also purchased a 3-pack of Moleskin notebooks with kraft-paper covers for the new school term. Good pens with good inks are only truly appreciated when joined to great paper.

Out of practice, I was holding my hand in an angle that assured everything I would would be smeared. I wasn’t crazy about the ink that came with the pens. Mostly because it was black ink from Private Reserve (a brand I not fond of) and the color black should be relegated to little black dresses and Edward Gorey drawings.

I decided to change the cartridge and found a tin of J. Herbin ink lurking in my desk drawer. I flushed the pen of the black plague and replaced it with the Lierre Sauvage color that Sailor likes to use. Further scrounging awarded me a lone cartridge of Terre de Feu, a particularly Moroccan shade of red I’ve always been mad about, and suddenly, I am pulling out my old Spalding, giving it a thorough cleaning, inserting the cartridge and it is love reborn.

Writing for me has a very tactile quality. As much as I like blogging, without my preferred shade of red, I don’t seem to recognize myself. Recognition is strong sentiment with me when I write or read the works of others. Blogger, Suicide Blond, clearly thinks in pictures and her recent forays that incorporate that element more thoroughly into her posts makes her recent scribblings seem more complete to me.

Memory has always been a hallmark of Girlgriot. She travels back into the recesses of her recollections and you are right back there with her, every step of the way. I always wonder at how she manages to capture that feeling so perfectly.

Twisty Faster at I Blame the Patriarchy can always be counted on for the invention of new words or the re-invention of what you thought was a word and is now your new mantra. I read her posts and those unusual but still perfectly grammatically correct sentences just jump off the freakin page…

Sigh…slightly jealous I am.

But at least I’ve been blogging more recently. That’s a start. Maybe I just need a blog redesign. Again. Maybe I need a redesign. Again. Although I think a blog with a Terre de Feu font color would be simultaneously both awesome and obnoxious to read. If there was just some way to combine my actual writing life with my online writing life, I’d feel more at home.