Confession: I am a pen-aholic and sometimes (often) a pen klepto. I haven’t found a local chapter of Pens Anonymous, but I’m not so sure I’d go anyway. I love pens. I don’t want to give them up.
They aren’t high tech, but using them is satisfying in a way a computer keyboard or touchpad isn’t. A few of my favorites have been with me for over 30 years and refilled repeatedly. And the dip pens – all I need is ink (purchased or homemade) and a suitable container, although the bamboo ones benefit from an occasional touch-up with fine abrasive.
But pens aren’t my only weakness. There’s something enthralling about the humble pencil, too.
The wood settles into the permanent concavity on the side of my middle finger as I poise the point above paper. The graphite encased in the wood varies in hardness and darkness, from the very faint 7H to the ultra-dark 9B. Or maybe I’ve got a carbon pencil in hand; it produces lines only slightly different from charcoal. Or if I have black paper, white charcoals and soapstone pencils are just plain fun.
Some stroke the paper with a gritty, scritchy sound and feel, but my favorites glide smoothly, effortlessly, as I write or draw. And if I want to change a spelling, a line, a shadow, the pencil strokes are not so permanent that an application of eraser can’t lighten or remove what I’ve done.
I won’t place writing I’ve done in pencil here. The keyboard does a more efficient job for blog purposes. But writing isn’t my only passion. So, below — something else I do with the lowly pencil.