The Joy of a Beautiful Pen

This year I’ve developed a strange fascination with fountain pens. At the beginning of the year I taught a class with the Salt Lake Genre Writers, a chapter of the League of Utah Writers, and my friend there had this gorgeous pen. They told me all about how much they loved using it and all the different people in the League who were also pen aficionados. That idea of having a gorgeous pocket-sized piece of functional art stuck in my brain.

Photo by John Jennings on Unsplash

Years before, when I had been enamored with illuminated manuscripts and calligraphy, I received a very basic fountain pen set as a gift. I didn’t do much with it then as I was much more interested in the pens specifically used in calligraphy. Fast forward to a few months ago when I finally dug that old set out, cleaned out the old crusty ink, found a few cartridges that hadn’t dried out, and gave it a try.

There’s a reason fountain pens have stood the test of time. Compared to any other pen I’ve used, a fountain pen flows smoother and faster. Dare I say it it even beats out my beloved Uniball Jetstream 1.0. My initial foray into fountain pen use had me experimenting with different pen nibs in different widths. Initially, my favorite was an extra fine chiseled tip that gave just a hint of the calligraphy feel, without looking pretentious.

For my birthday I received a gift card to go shopping for a new beautiful fountain pen. While my newly minted fountain pen friends recommended a few different brands all ranging in style and price, I was drawn to the look of the Moonman pen. With its smooth curves and clear body, not to mention an impressively huge ink reservoir, I thought this would be the perfect pen to test drive. And did I mention purple? It came in purple.

Behold! My purple Moonman taking a space walk

Because I’d liked the extra fine points in my old set, I chose an extra fine point for my Moonman. Little did I know that extra fine points can vary between manufacturers. My Moonman screams along the page like the worlds best gel pen, both fast and incredibly smooth, but doesn’t have the sharp edges of a chisel tip. All hobbies have a learning curve, and this is mine. I still love using it, but perhaps if I get Christmas money I’ll invest in a different style and compare the two.

All in all, writing with this beautiful pen brings me joy and elevates my morning journaling practice. I love having it out on my desk where I can look at it. It feels great in my hand. Pens can be such simple things. We forget that the experience of putting ink to paper can be more than just jotting down words, it can be an experience.


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