Aidan with his new Moleskine journal
Connoisseurs of Fine Writing
On a recent visit, I learned that my 11-year old grandson Aidan likes a particular pencil – a Bic disposable 0.5, whereas all of his classmates only like 0.7 and no friend ever has the right-sized lead for him to bum a spike if his runs out. I asked him why he likes this kind specifically.
“Because my handwriting is better with this size lead, Nana, when I don’t have to press down so hard on the paper,” he passionately replied about his writing utensil, with the same fervor that a connoisseur of desserts knows that eggs and butter at room temperature make a richer cake.
There’s something in our genes. I like a blue ink Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen (more than any of my non-disposable variety with replaceable cartridges), and had given him one on his last visit, teaching him how to carefully position the silver shield at a slightly less than 45 degree angle – and making a forever fan out of him. My high-powered resort real estate salesman brother writes with a Tul mechanical pencil with 0.7 lead. Our father has had a lifelong affinity for boxed metal fountain pens and matching mechanical pencils – Cross, Stafford, you name it – if it has a little weight and flash, he wields it like a pro. Just yesterday, I learned that I’ve converted a locally famous musician to the Pilot! It’s a thing. Check out the articles linked below to learn more about the pen preferences of famous authors.
On this visit with Aidan, we moved to paper preferences. “You get it, Nana,” he told me. “No one else gets it that the paper has to absorb the lead or the ink,” he shared, emphasizing his words and throwing in his energetic hand gestures to show that getting it buys me membership into an exclusive club. I introduced him to my favorite Moleskine papers and gave him a stack of journals to encourage him to keep writing. I also gave him the story of the Moleskine journal insert because it’s as fascinating to read as the ads in a J. Peterman catalog. You know when you open a journal and there’s a quality control sticker that you have arrived at the pinnacle of paper snobdom
– and to be there is to savor a grand view of the journey looking back! We wrote Jenga poems and he narrated our day in journals “for different purposes,” he explained (spoken like a true writer). Ours is a family heritage of people particular about paper, pen, and pencil preferences. People who love to write – who feel the importance of capturing the stories of our lives in words using the best tools to enrich the honor and experience!
More Love of Pens
My brother’s Tul
Aidan’s Bic with 0.5
My Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen
Moleskine Journals with the Legend of the Moleskine
Quality Control – the pinnacle of paper snobbery seal