International Correspondence Writing Month


Hot on the heels of National Handwriting Day we have a whole month of recognizing the  joy of letter writing. February is International Correspondence Writing Month.  I love the tagline they use: Vintage Social Media.  The premise is simple, handwrite and deliver a card, letter or postcard every day in the month of February.  Don’t let the international moniker discourage you.  The recipient can be across the cube aisle or across the ocean.  It’s not even a requirement to mail it as long as someone receives your thoughtful gift in the form of a handwritten letter or card.

So often I struggle to find something to write about or somebody to write to. This is a great excuse to support a cause and hopefully generate interest among others to keep the handwritten letter alive in this age of instant everything.

Go to the InCoWriMo website to learn more and gain some encouragement in case 28 days scares you as much as it scares me.

Can you do it for 28 straight days?   I love the idea and plan to give it my best effort.

Remember: Write something nice……

National Handwriting Day

Happy National Handwriting Day!

Established in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association National Handwriting Day appropriately shares the same day as John Hancock’s birthday. His signature is the most famous handwritten name in American history. Illustrated by his name alone being used as common slang for one’s signature.

I realize there is some marketing motivation present but with the depreciation of cursive writing and handwriting in general throughout our schools today I believe any excuse is good enough to raise the awareness of pens, pencils and handwriting.

Honor today by handwriting something you would normally type, consume some more ink, sharpen a few pencils or send an extra postcard. Enjoy!

Here are some related links for your reading pleasure.

  • National Handwriting Day
  • Writing Instrument Manufacturer’s Association
  • The origins of penmanship
  • An Associated Press piece on Handwriting in School
  • Cursive Writing in Schools
    Remember: Write something nice…..

    Do you keep your pen boxes?

    I remember growing up my dad saved the original box for most of the things we bought. Barring major appliances and anything else that would not fit in a single car garage. He was into electronic things and gadgets so we always had a stack of boxes for VCRs, stereos, CB Radios (remember those!), police scanners, etc.  I never really understood the full value of said boxes but I knew that stack was off limits. I was responsible for cleaning our little garage and I would scorn all the space that empty cardboard was taking up and fantasize about how much better I could utilize the space.  I know dad would occasionally sell some of these items wen he lost interest with it so the original box was always a plus for the buyer. Dad took care of things so repackaged he always sold them as used but they could pass for new.

    As I grew older my discretionary income grew to the point that I started acquiring things and found myself looking for places to stash the empty boxes. I don’t know why I did it and how I justified it in my mind I just started doing it subconsciously. I guess if dad did it then it must be a good idea.

    When my serious pen collecting began a couple of years ago I saved all the pen boxes out of habit. They were small and not a burden to store as my living quarters supported some storage.  I did have a slight justification in that pen people typically like to buy a used pen with the box. Since I’m still learning about this great hobby there was a better than average chance I would be selling some of my collection to finance other purchases. For that I was right.

    Below is what I have accumulated thus far. Not a huge collection but enough that I have filled up two closet shelf space sized plastic containers. I may be able to add a couple more pens with some jigsaw puzzle stacking of the boxes but it won’t be long until I need to cull some of these out or add more shelf space.


    Zooming in there are a few that I just couldn’t get rid of. My Nakaya and my Pelikan M1000 are really nice and would be great accompaniment to the sale of the pen.


    Then there are these oversize boxes, and Conklin seems to be a big offender here. Does the box REALLY need to be this big?  I can appreciate the efficiency of making one box for your whole product line but nobody makes pens that big.


    Finally I have boxes for some of my more economical pens. For the price point of the pen I would not expect these boxes to be anything special. But do I throw them away because they are more utilitarian in design and materials? IMG_7441

    What is your retention and storage routine for pen boxes?

    Remember: Write something nice……



    Giveaway Winner Announced – 8 Pen Wrap

    Congratulations to the winner of the beautiful 8 pen wrap. chose #7.

    Pen Wrap GiveawayAshli will be enjoying her winnings soon. Ashli – I have sent an email to the address you registered your comment with. I hope to hear from you by this Friday.

    Thanks very much to all of you who entered and for taking the time to read through my blog. You input was encouraging and helpful for my future post ideas. I hope you chose to stick around. Thanks again.

    Remember…..Write something nice

    Review – Quiver Pen Holder

    I don’t attend a lot of meetings but when I do I never shy away from the opportunity to write with my pens. I am careful not to be too flashy with a pretty pen but rather reach for a good solid writer that is a joy to use but won’t garner much attention from the non-pen nut crowd.

    A challenge to achieving this is I baby my pens. I carry all of them in cases or sleeves when I take them to work or meetings. That in itself presents a bit of a show off factor when I lay down my notepad and a Pen CASE. I don’t want to draw attention away from the purpose of the meeting and I’m not a showy person. So much so I that I will plan to wear a shirt with a breast pocket as a standard carry method that is still safe for my pen.

    Enter the Quiver to solve the dilemma I don’t have. When I read some of the initial reviews it was one of those moments where I wish I had dreamed up the idea. It’s brilliantly simple. A pen(s) holder that attaches inconspicuously to a standard size A5 (8 ½ x 5 ½ -/+) notebook / journal.IMG_7420


    I received an Amazon gift card from Santa so surfing around I remembered my desire to try a Quiver out. To my enjoyment they are sold on Amazon. It appears Quiver Global has created an Amazon storefront which I think is a great move. The one I bought is the

    Double-Pen Quiver for Large Moleskine Hard-Cover (A5 size) Notebooks, Black

    They also have a single pen model that attaches a bit differently by placing the single pin pocket on the spine of the notebook. I chose the double pen model as it looks to me like the single pen style would impact the notebook lying flat while opened up for use. You can see all of their offerings at the Quiver Global website.

    After removing $31.95 from my Amazon gift card balance and waiting a couple days I had one in my hands. Packaging was neat, protective and minimalist utility. A+ for the environmental impact. Construction of the Quiver itself is very well done. Leather is consistent texture and coloring. Stitching is all tight and straight and branding is tastefully done near the top. A+ once again.


    Installation doesn’t take much brain power as the Quiver just stretches around the front cover of your notebook. I’m sure there was more thought put into the design than I am giving credit for as the execution works very well. The elasticity is proportionately perfect. The Quiver stays put so you can remove and re-quiver your pen with one hand but it’s not so tight that the Quiver deforms the notebook or the Quiver itself. A+ on execution of an A+ design.


    The elastic does add some thickness to the inside front cover but any slight bulging disappears when you band the cover shut for travel with your notebook’s retention band. Really a non-issue.


    From my experience with multiple brands of journals and notebooks the Quiver works best on the stiff thick hardcover versions like my Rhodia Web Notebook, Quo Vadis Habana and Moleskine. The Leuchtturm will work but it’s a bit more of a stretch due to the Leuchtturm stretching the A5 standard a bit. I’m sure there are many others, just something to keep in mind.

    Notebooks such as the Exacompta and TWSBI have the thinner more flexible covers and the Quiver elastic is just too tight to allow the journal covers to keep their shape. Here is my daily TWSBI but before you tune out please see my blog update below.


    If you’re a diehard fan of these type notebooks you can stretch the quiver all the way around the notebook. That will let it perform double duty keeping the binder closed and protected for traveling. The drawback to that approach is every time you want to use your notebook you will have to remove the Quiver completely which kind of defeats one of its best features, staying with your notebook. Plus stretching all the way around a notebook requires quite a pull on the elastic. Not a good quick deployment option.


    UPDATE 1-16-14 – After posting my original review I got a nice note from Quiver pointing me to a solution they have for my TWSBI and other soft covered notebooks. They have a stiffener that I totally missed when shopping for my quiver. See it here. Problem solved and another well thought out accessory from Quiver. Class act and yes my stiffener is on it’s way!

    Quiver advertises the model I chose as a double pen holder. I tried it and it certainly will hold 2 pens but with my preference to larger girth pens I’m choosing to stay with one. Plus 2 pens are just not needed for my intended purpose.


    I love the idea and execution of the Quiver. It helps me slip into a meeting pen un-noticed.  When note taking is required I get to smile wide when I see I have brought one of my favorite writing sticks protected and ready to work for me.

    From the Pen Cup did a great review on the Quiver. You can find it here.

    Remember: Write something nice……

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