Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P Is For Pens and Pencils

Hi. I'm M.J. And I'm addicted to writing utensils.

I hear the first step is admitting you have a problem. But here's the thing: I don't really think it is a problem. Which, sure, is something an addict would say but I'm a writer. I need writing utensils like I need oxygen. Maybe even more than I need oxygen.

Well, maybe not.

Still, I could be addicted to far worse things than pens and pencils. All right, so The Man can't stand the idea of me taking an unchaperoned trip to an office supply store out of fear of what exactly I'll come out with this time. But at least I'm coming out of the office supply store with writing utensils and notebooks (another post for another time, I suppose, although I would like to mention how much I am in love with Staples Sustainable Earth line of notebooks) and not laptops or whatever else they sell at office supply stores (honestly, I don't often get past the pens and notebooks aisles).

The point is I like writing utensils. I have quite a variety of them. I find I need a variety to keep up with my writing moods. This is going to sound crazy-- and I own that-- but some pens don't go with some moods. Some days I need a purple pen. Others are a black or blue ink day. Some days have to be in pencil. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to my madness (I would be shocked if there was). It's just the way it is.

The important thing the poor souls lucky people surrounding me have learned is to not mess with whatever writing utensil I happen to have selected that day. This lesson usually comes after the poor soul lucky person accidentally picks up my pen and writes something mundane with it. A grocery list, for example or a merchandise restocking list. Then, when I see it happen (and I always do so don't think you can get away with it), we have the following completely insane rational conversation:

Me: Did you just use my pen?
Them: Uh...
Me: You did. You used my pen. And you used it to write what exactly? Oh, that we need milk? We need milk that badly that you had to go ahead and use my pen?
Them: Well, it was just-
Me: It was just what? Tell me what it was.
Them: Lying there. It was just lying there.
Me: Oh, so you thought you would just pick it up and write 'milk' with it? Do you have any idea what you've done?
Them: I really don't.
Me (shaking pen): This is my special writing mojo pen and you have just ruined it. I will never again write anything brilliant with this pen and it's all your fault.
Them: It's a just pen.
Me: I don't even know you.

Well...you get the idea. It's insane, I know, but I'm a little crazy quirky the way some writers are. So just know that if a writing utensil is lying anywhere in the vicinity of one of my notebooks that it is OFF LIMITS and we'll get along just fine. Nothing to it. Easy peasy.

I thought I'd end today's post with a list of my top ten favorite writing utensils. This list is constantly evolving as I stumble across new pens and pencils but here's where things stand today:

10. Mechanical Pencils. They're great and I really like them. They just don't write as nicely in my current notebook. Hence the demotion.

9. Bathtub Markers. Yep. You read that right. Bathtub markers. Perfect for getting down those shower epiphanies. Even if they may have possibly turned my grout blue. Blueish.

8. The pens Heather and I stole found abandoned at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Those pens write really nice and I would consider planning another trip out to Vegas just to steal find more.

7. Pilot Precise V5 pens. Especially the pretty colors like purple and teal.

6. Pilot G-2 clicky top gel pens. Especially the pretty colors like purple and teal.

5. Papermate Silk 1.6B clicky top pen. I first found this one when signing a credit card slip at a local restaurant. I resisted the urge to steal it and instead made The Man drive me to every store in the valley that would possibly sell pens. When I couldn't find them, I special ordered them off the internet. I find they're good for brainstorming. I wrote my synopsis with these pens. Drawback- they sometimes leak. But I will gladly suffer that for a decent synopsis.

4. Sharpie Clicky Top Pens. Especially the purple ones. Pretty!

3. Santoro Tutti Cuti "hippy chick" pen. I stole discovered this pen just lying around all unattended at work one day and wrote some pretty awesome stuff for my 2009 NaNoWriMo project with it. I have been obsessed with it ever since. Of course, it's since run out of ink and I can't seem to find a replacement for it anywhere. I even did a Google search that turned up nothing. Sad.

2. Sharpie Fine Point Pen. This used to be my absolute favorite pen. Especially the purple ones. I have an entire pen case full of them and once wrote a poem extolling their wonder. Sad. I know.

1. Pilot Varsity Fountain Pens. I don't remember how I came across these. It was probably during one of those unchaperoned office supply store visits. Love how these write. Plus, it comes in purple. A huge bonus in my world.

Today's question: What's your writing weapon of choice? And do you really think the pen is mightier than the sword? I have both sitting in my closet. Maybe I should test out that theory...


  1. Hmm well my sword needs to be sharpened but my pens are ready to go...

    I fancy gel pens. I just really love the way they write. And I LOVE Sharpie click top highlighters!!!

    I haven't heard of bathtub markers but that is something I should really look into!

  2. I like this

    Good for writng while in bed, hate it when you're writing at an angle and the ink slowly starts to fade. Not a prob with this pen.

    Moody Writing

  3. I adore writing utensils too :) Even if I spend most of my time forsaking them for a keyboard!

  4. Great collection of writing tools.Nice of you sharing it here and am sure it will be useful for anyone following your post.Well done. Meanwhile,
    plz do check my blog on freeing your mind read it,follow,be inspired and comment to improve my works too.Have a wonderful day.

  5. I can relate to that. I love all types of stationery. I love the smell and the newness with the promise of what is to come creatively :O)

  6. We have lots of writing utensils because of the kids. You name it, we have it. Except for a yellow highlighter that I desperately need to note some stuff in a book I'm reading.

  7. Great list of writing tools. I especially liked the bathtub markers. I look forward to following.

  8. That's awesome! I couldn't even give you a name for half of those writing utensils. I used to be obsessed with gel pens during high school though. You know the whole, "Did you just use my neon green jelly roll pen?"

  9. You're a pen nerd! :D It's great to see such a purist when it comes to old-school writing utensils.

  10. @Stephen- You know they have the greatest clicky top highlighters at those big box office supply stores. They come in a wide array of colors.

    @Josh- Thank for stopping by and thanks for following. I hope you will not be disappointed.

    @Michelle- Not sure they had gel pens when I was in high school but they're quite awesome. When I was teaching, I always had to have extra lying around because those were always the ones my students would try to "borrow" and forget to return.

    @Kris- Oh I am most definitely a pen nerd. I think this post pretty much cements my place pen nerd hall of fame. Possibly even some kind of mental health institute...

  11. I so this with fonts.
    I use weird fonts for my WIPs - something that works with the characters and the story. I don't turn it into something boring until I send it out for critiques.

  12. I do have a nice BIG pen I got at a writer's conference to write with. It just feels as if I write and plot "better" with it :)
    My hubby is a mechanical pencil and felt tip pen person all the way. :)

  13. You are one writing implement expert! I love the bic medium blue ink pen, the old school one with the white tube. I also love to write with pencils. I just bought a batch of dixon ticonderoga black pencils that are, for the first time, a type/brand that was so fabulous I will seek them out and buy them again. (Never paid attention to my pencils before)

  14. Oooh! Those V5 pens are nice!I shudder to think about what happens when one of them goes missing at your house. (I know what happens at mine -it's not pretty.) Good news is Beloved Husband hates my pens. I keep the crappy ones around for him to use.

  15. Bic blue ink medium point ball point pens. That's what I like. Can't get the bank to order them for me. Don't know why, since they come in a box of 20. It's not like I'm asking for a $20,000 pen. And I hate when they send me a fancy pen as a reward for something, because I can never write with them. I think it's because I'm left handed.

  16. I love pens too!! ANd bathtub markers sound like fun!! I get joy out of selecting a new pen from the store. I love my space pen cuz it can write from any angle. :) Bic pens are the worst!!

  17. I've got to get me one of those space pens to try out. Do they come in purple?

    @Corrine- I am familiar with those pencils. We have a few around the house and you're right. They are a really great pencil. They were bumped off my list for the bathtub markers. Plus, as nicely as they do write, they don't work as well in my current notebook. *nerd alert*

  18. The pen is mightier than the sword, but the sword is sharper and more dangerous at short distances. Actually, if you leave your sword nearby, you might stop having problems with people milking the mojo out of your pens...

  19. @Nate- That is an excellent point (no pun intended). I think I'll have to give that a try.

  20. Pens and pencils are great Promotional Products and very cost effective promotional items. Advantage of promotional pens is that it allows you to promote your business on a very large scale with less out of pocket.