writing instrument.

Here’s some penography that I think turned out okay, considering my technical limitations (namely a $80 Kodak point-and-drool digital camera.)

The pen is a Pelikan M205 blue demonstrator.  You can see the black ink sloshing around in the reservoir.  I’m writing on unlined large Piccadilly notebooks.  The Pelikan is part of my small rotation of working pens, the other ones being a Lamy 2000 and a Parker “51”.

Computers may be faster and more efficient, but no laptop is as enjoyable to use as a nice fountain pen on decent paper.  (At least not to me, that is.  Your mileage may, and probably does, vary.)  The pleasure I get from using these particular tools is one of the reasons why I now only use the computer for revision.  Writing is hard work on the best of days, and when you find a process you enjoy, it makes that work quite a bit easier.  Forming words and sentences with ink on paper feels like you’re painting a novel.


11 thoughts on “writing instrument.

  1. Windy Wilson says:

    I am left handed and never got the training or practice to use a fountain pen without getting ink all over my hand like Charlie Brown in Peanuts writing to his pen pal.
    The interesting thing is I can tell the difference among the various ball point pens, and know if I am writing with, say a Waterman or Bic or (heaven forbid!) a generic Bic copy, which is like writing with a nail on 40 grit sandpaper.

  2. Albert Rasch says:


    Are you going to put them on Flikr by any chance…

    Let’s not forget our friend:
    The Mark Osterholt Files

  3. […] example, Marko just posted with obvious satisfaction about his writing setup: a fountain pen and an unlined notebook.  He takes great pleasure in quality fountain pens and […]

  4. LittleRed1 says:

    I prefer fountain pens for letters and other “light” work, but I have a memory problem (not enough RAM in the cranium) and I can’t write quickly or keep up with ideas, spelling, the mechanics or grammar of writing, and footnoting all at the same time if I do it by hand.

  5. elmo_iscariot says:

    Plus, how many computers will still be good writing tools in sixty years? That’s how old my 51 is, and it’s going strong. There’s something to be said for tools that’ll be with you for the long haul. Humans bond with tools; may’s well bond with something you won’t be throwing away within the decade.

  6. Brian Dale says:

    I enjoy using the Lamy Safari that I bought after reading about it here. Thanks, Marko, and those guests here who’ve recommended it.

  7. wombatoverlord says:

    I considered a 205 when I made my most recent pen purchase – but for what I do (lab notes, mostly) the Pilot Vanishing Point is just great. Insanely fine nib, and the whole retract-nib-into-body bit is great when you do not want to worry about self-inflicted ink stains.

  8. Bob says:

    Being a Lefty and coming from that “Makem switch to right hand generation”. Because I can’t write with such grace I enjoy your script for its clarity, legibility, and perfectly straightness across the page, line after line. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing the shots of it.
    Oh, nice pen.

  9. mts says:

    I do feel for the left handers who either smear, or who either have to turn the paper 90 degrees sideways, or curl their hand in a crippled manner, in order to write. I used to watch right handers write until they run out of room, then bunny hop their hands across the paper, and was glad I could just slide along.

    Writing in pencil was the only thing that made my hand filthy. I ought to post a photo of my holding position. With a ball point, my hand resembles a fist as I press down. Since I don’t need to press when writing with the fountain pen, the hold is a bit different, so the heel of my hand slides above the current writing line, with fingers a bit more extended.

    By the way, I just wrote and addressed 100 thank-you cards, with good penmanship throughout and no cramps afterward. Last week, I addressed 200 envelopes in a group mailing project with a ball-point (I just didn’t want to hear mouths go as I used my “dumb” fountain pen that they thought looked too much like marker on their envelopes), my penmanship went bad halfway through and looked scraggy, and the hand was numb and cramped, even with shake and pound breaks.

  10. RevolverRob says:

    Got pics of the Lamy? I’ve been using a Safari for over two years for general note taking. I go through probably 10 cartridges and six legal pads a semester. I love it and have just been thinking I might like something a little nicer, but haven’t been super turned on by the other Lamy designs…


    • Marko Kloos says:

      The Lamy 2000 is a totally different animal from the Safari. It’s a piston filler–can’t take cartridges at all, only bottled ink. It also has a gold nib that feels very different from the steel Safari nibs.

      I love mine, that’s for sure. In terms of value for dollar, it’s a ridiculously competent pen for the price. Send me an email at marko dot kloos at gmail dot com, and I’ll send you some pictures.

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