The Tools of a Writer

January 24, 2022. A New Year, a new journal volume. Will this year fill an entire book? Will it be fewer words, or more? Such occasions direct my thoughts toward the mechanics of writing and away from the ideas that need to be set down on paper. Let it out and be done for another year.

My journal was filled, so I looked for and found a new journal to fit my leather cover, the one Lauren gave me some time in the 1990s. I’ve used it continually since then. Giving attention to the vehicle for my words makes the words seem more important, and worth noting.

Back in 1992 I bought a fountain pen to use instead of a ballpoint pen with its renewable and disposable fillers. I wanted to pin that would not create waste to go into a landfill or the ocean. I bought a bottle of green ink, to symbolize my environmental aspirations. I liked that pen. I paid $50 for it.

One day at the bank, after  we moved to Haddonfield, the pen slipped over the top of the ATM. The bank would not move the ATM to retrieve it from behind the machine. They paid me $50 for the loss. It happened that my parents sent me $75 for my birthday about that time, and New Jersey Art Supplies was going out of business. They had pens on sale at half price. That’s how I bought a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck No. 146 for $125, the same pen I’m using now to write this.

My words, you see, do not come cheap. With such a writing tool, and in such a notebook, these words are intended to have weight. I care for the journal and the pen as they deserve. Their replacement cost serves me as a reminder of the value of the words I use them to produce.

The ink that forms these words should not be ignored, either. For a time I experimented with some odd, old-fashioned ink I cannot remember now. It never flowed quite right. After several years of thinking my pen was the problem I ran out of the old ink. Its replacement was a bottle of Montblanc ink that worked so flawlessly that I soon used it up.

Balking at the expense of another bottle, I bought a bottle of Parker ink to replace it. I kept the Montblanc bottle and refilled it with Parker ink. I have about half of it left.

So equipped, let the words flow.

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