Why Pens? It's the People.

When people find out that I love pens they usually give me this sort of quizzical look and say something like, "Really? Why pens?". For awhile I've never had a great answer. I'd try to explain the difference a well made pen makes, how you can write for longer with a fountain pen without hand strain, or maybe how nice a Retro 51 tornado feels in the hand. But almost every time they just look at me with a glazed over look, and then I feel a bit embarrassed and change the subject. I've never been able to think of a great way to describe why I like them without getting frustrated.

But I've finally come to realize that it's not really about the pens themselves that draws me this world and keeps me here, it's the amazing community that surrounds them. I've met some of the nicest, most welcoming people through this community, online and in real-life. Everyone is willing to help each other with questions, recommendations, even trying out different pens/inks/paper. I enjoy going to pen shows not just for the tables full of pens, but more because I get to catch-up with friends and meet new people. And one of my favorite things to do is to meet-up with people to nerd it up about stationery, although it usually just ends up being a fun night of drinking coffee or beer and shooting the bull about whatever.

Now when I describe that my love of pens is really about the people and the community, I think they actually start to get it, even if only in a small way. Pens are great but in the end what really matters are the people, the interactions, the friendships.

2014 D.C. Pen Supershow Wish List

Tomorrow I'm going to be headed to the D.C. Pen Supershow! It should turn out to be a great time. Here's what I'm looking for:

Looking For

  • Pen organization help - such as a cigar case or zippered pen case
  • Some Iroshizuku and/or Sailor ink
  • Affordable flex pen
  • Esterbrook nibs or maybe even a new Esterbrook pen.
  • Virginia Tech colored pen(s): I'm always on the lookout for pens with both orange and maroonn since that's quite possibly the best color combination ever!

To Do

  • Spend some time at the ink testing table
  • Check out any nib testing stations, including Sailor (if they have the same one from two years ago)
  • Check out Shawn Newton's handiwork so I can further narrow down which style pen I'm going to have him make me

And last but not least, I'm most excited to meet some of the awesome people I've gotten to know online from the pen community that I can now meet in person! Plus see some other friendly faces.

I'll be at the show on Saturday around 2:00 if you'd like to meet up! (I'm @jjlsetter on Twitter).

Field Notes Shelterwood Edition

The newest colors edition of the Field Notes collection, the Shelterwood Edition was just released today. Boy, oh, boy are these some beautful notebooks. Each individual notebook's cover is made from American Cherry wood with no two covers being alike.

Within about a minute of reading the email, I was pressing the checkout button on their website, as I have a feeling these won't last very long!