One Pen Challenge

img_3645When I returned from the Atlanta Pen Show I was a good pen steward and immediately flushed my pre Atlanta pen rotation. I put those pens back into storage as I knew I would be using my new purchases. I settled back into normal pen life and decided 2 of my new pens needed to go back for work. One was a manufacturer defect and the other was a chance I took on a vintage pen and was unskilled at checking it out.

In my hotel room the Saturday night of the show I tried all of the pens with the hopes if something was wrong I could go back Sunday morning for a possible fix. Neither of the problems appeared but maybe my adrenaline and excitement just made them write better.

The vintage is going to my favorite pen repair guy Danny Fudge at He always delivers so no worries there. The other pen is going back to the distributor and possibly overseas to the factory so besides the wait I’m sure it will come back good as new and I can’t want as it was a beautiful writer. I’m a little bummed about it but not all that surprised since several of my past pen purchases have resulted in returns to have something fixed. I have always been happy at the end but the delay to utopia writing is sometimes disappointing.

What this has caused me to do is move to a single inked pen in my daily carry. Above is my daily pen carry case. My dear sister made this case for me after she and I thought through the design together. It’s not only functional for me but carries a great deal of sentimental value. What you see peeking out is my Shawn Newton Shinobi.


For the past week that has been my only Fountain pen and we’re really bonding after a lot of use. It’s different for me to not pause for that micro second each time I need to write something at my desk and think about which pen I want to use. Sometimes the decision would be based on ink color, nib width for small spaces or just I like that pen right now and I want to write with it. My Shinobi is a broad nib so small medical forms are out, of no fault of the pen but for everything else it’s been fun, grab one pen sitting on the desk, it’s always there in the same place and writes every time. We’re getting to be really good friends.

I look forward to my new two coming back and I’m sure they are going to be as great as I had hoped for. I’m considering carrying each of them as my only fountain pen for a period of time and maybe nurture a similar the bond I’ve experienced with the Shinobi.

How about you, have you ever carried just one inked up fountain to use for everything?

Remember: Write something nice……

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Atlanta Pen Show Recap

The clothes washer is full, car needs an oil change and my bank account is flying a bit leaner. Yep, the Atlanta Pen show is over. This was the second year that I dragged my wonderful wife up with me and though we were more prepared than last year we didn’t get bogged down with following any sort of script. If you went I hope I didn’t scoop any pens out from under you. If you didn’t go and have resources or distance advantage to go to another show I can’t recommend it enough. Here is our experience from a great trip.

Our drive up Friday from Tampa was uneventful and our only stops were lunch and the Going Gear shop that was about 6 miles from the hotel. I have shopped with them online for a while and if you’re into other pocket toys such as flashlights and pocket knives they are definitely worth a stop while in the area. Their flashlight display is the best I have ever seen in person. Hotel check in was fine and Longhorn served us a great steak for dinner.

We started off Saturday morning across the street at the golden arches because the Waffle House was still full of PenAddict Posse passed out from too much ink on their pancakes and pulling an all-nighter, sorry we missed it.

Name tags are great, we spotted Lisa Vanness in line so we tried out this community thing and I walked up and bought her teams’ breakfast. She was a little taken back but then I explained my motivations and it was like we were old friends. Granted it wasn’t a big spend for me but the payback to me and my wife was far greater than the credit card receipt. And yes I bought a pen from her later!

Back to the hotel and we got downstairs around 9:45 where the show was already alive and they let us in a bit early. My first task was to find Shawn Newton before he sold out of everything. We spotted him in room 1 and I think I pulled my wife’s arm slightly out of joint with the nudge. Shawn was a real joy to speak with. He had a good selection left and I walked away with a beautiful yellow and black swirl Shinobi. It’s bigger overall than I expected but what a great writer and I’m a big pen guy. Shawn swapped in a broad nib for me which is perfectly tuned.

From there we started a tour of the tables just to get a feel for whole show. Rounding turn 3 at a trot Crazy Alan’s Emporium hit me up for one of the new 2016 LE Lilac Safari. I bit and Alan dropped in a broad nib for me. Nice $30 writer that I’m very pleased with.

After a couple of rounds I decided on a Franklin-Christoph. I sat down at the table to try some of the more creative nibs and ended up as plain as my wardrobe with a broad. I chose a model 2 with the ice frost finish and a red cap. Jim polished up the broad very smooth for me and even let me pick the color ink. Great experience and a supreme writer.

Now it was on to the Vanness table where Lisa fixed me up with a Sheaffer NOS pen with what she called a sharpie broad. I don’t even know the model of the pen but it is FUN to write with.

At the Nock table it was great to chat with Brad, Jeff, Myke and Ana over multiple passes throughout the day. They got stamina. I picked up a variety of Nock goodies, most everything I that I didn’t have already. Still don’t know what I should do with the key dangler but hey I got one!

We’re old so after lunch it was a short power nap then tried a local seafood restaurant that had good reviews but with waits reaching an hour at 4:30 pm we passed and found a burger joint.

Closing out the day we sat and listened to the PenAddict podcast live from the hotel room. My timing was a bit off to catch a seat in the live audience but that sounded like fun.

Sunday morning we hit the road about 8:30 in the morning and 7 ½ hours later rolled into our driveway in Florida. Good safe trip.

I’m an introvert when he comes to crowds. I don’t mind crowds but it’s hard for me to just walk up and talk to people. This show, and probably the pen community as a whole, helps me get past that. Everyone I talked too was so friendly, dealers, vintage, new, custom makers, it didn’t matter. Shout out to my friend Joe, The Definitive Gentleman Stationery. So happy to have crossed paths with him and chat a few.

We are considering the DC show this year but for sure next year Atlanta will be a do not miss for us.

I would love to hear about your time at Atlanta or any pen show. Any questions that I can answer for you as a show newbie myself I would be glad to answer and help you get to your first show.

Remember: Write something nice……

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Atlanta Pen Show

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Hotel is booked, gas in the car, ATM is cleaned out and I am ready for the Atlanta Pen Show.  Atlanta 2015 was my first pen show. I was overwhelmed with the choices and had absolutely no plan. I had a great time and did come home with a couple of goodies though my big purchase failed to hold my love but that’s for another blog post and a for sale thread. I’m hoping to avoid a similar buyer’s remorse this year by utilizing some sort of plan.

This year I assembled a loose list of the pens that have been on my want list, some for over a year, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on. I won’t come home with everything but I hope my list helps me prevent at least some of the aimless wandering.

My grocery list:

Aurora Optima

I have never owned an Aurora and would like to see one in person.

Faber-Castell Black e-Motion

I have fallen in love with every Faber-Castell I have ever purchased and the nibs have never required any tuning. I just want another FC broad.


They have an impressive booth and I hear great things about their products. I hope I can get close enough to their pens to try a few out and add one to my arsenal.

Delta Dolce Vita Oversize (Converter)

I want a Dolce Vita as my next BIG size pen. I am confused by the models and that is probably what’s prevented me from buying one online. I want a piston filler but all my research says the official OVERSIZE model is converter only.

Delta Dolce Vita Piston

Repeat…it will only be one or the other.

Delta Serena

I have not owned a Delta pen before so if I bomb on the Dolce Vita this may be a stand in.

Pilot Namiki Stella 90s

I just love the style and looks but in person it will have to jump out and speak to me.

Shawn Newton

I hear so much about Shawn’s work and see his beautiful creations online, plus what Shawn gives back to the community is inspiring. Picking all the options online is just overwhelming to me so I’m hoping he has a few pre-made models available.


I have heard great things about their pens so hoping I can see them in person and meet the folks behind the instruments.

Bexley Gaston Angel

I love the look, uniqueness and limited run. What may change my mind in person is the length. It only holds a cartridge and reportedly not large enough for a converter.


So that’s it, nothing super rare and nothing I just absolutely can’t write without. I would love to hear about your approach on shopping the pen shows and if you have a list for Atlanta.

If you go, enjoy, travel safe and I hope we can shake hands.

Remember: Write something nice……

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