I can't believe January is gone already. It feels like Christmas was just here, and now we're already a month into 2016. Needless to say, the year has started off with a bang, and there's a heck of a lot to talk about this week. So settle in for some Sunday morning reads:
- TWSBI Vac Mini. Azizah at Gourmet Pens reviews the TWSBI Vac Mini. This review more or less confirms that I won't be acquiring this pen. I may try it out at a pen show, but it seems that the Vac Mini suffers from the same dry nib and flow issues that doomed the Vac 700 (which only worked for me after significant nib modifications).
- TWSBI Eco. On the other end of the spectrum, I will be getting my hands on a TWSBI Eco as soon as possible. Brad hits the high points on why this pen should be on everyone's radar, regardless of your experience level.
- Narrowing the Collection. Continuing my focus on (relative) minimalism and not overaccumulating pens that I'll never use, Todd at That One Pen wrote this piece titled "I know what I like," in which he discusses why certain widely recommended pens simply don't work for him. Everything about this hobby (and writing instruments in general) is highly personal, and this piece is a great reminder of that fact.
- Another Great Top Pens List. Bob from My Pen Needs Ink discusses his top pens that he just loves to use, and which always end up finding their way back into his rotation. There are some great ones on this list.
February is InCoWriMo and a Giveaway!
Many of you probably know that February is InCoWriMo (or International Correspondence Writing Month). The goal of InCoWriMo is for each participant to write one letter a day for the entire month of February. That's really ambitious, and given my commitments this year I'm not going to pretend that I'll be able to get a letter a day out the door every day. My contribution to InCoWriMo will be to run this giveaway!
The Giveaway. In honor of InCoWriMo 2016, I'm giving away three prizes to three lucky winners: this Lamy Safari (Charcoal Black, Medium Nib), a handful of Bung Box Ink Samples, and a sample set of the complete Palomino Blackwing Pencil line, limited editions included!
The Rules. I'm going to change it up a bit for InCoWriMo. This month, the giveaway is going to be limited to those individuals who sign up for my newsletter OR write to me for InCoWriMo. Newsletter sign-ups will receive one giveaway entry, but letters will count as five giveaway entries. If you do both, you will receive six entries total. Write to: The Gentleman Stationer, P.O. Box 681294, Franklin, Tennessee 37068. In the past, I've received some awesome-looking letters--you all know how to use your pens and ink!--and I'll try to post any exceptional-looking correspondence on the site (with any identifying information removed, of course).
On March 1, I will select a a winner. If you already have signed up for my newsletter, you will automatically be entered into the giveaway, but if you're not, this is a good month to sign up. Until now, my newsletter has been a weekly collection of my posts and musings delivered to your inbox, but for the past six months or so I've been working on something a little different, and my goal is to deliver it at the end of February or in early March. Stay tuned!
Come to the Atlanta Pen Show!
I will be attending this year's Atlanta Pen Show, held at the Wyndham Galleria from April 15-17, 2016. Part of this year's festivities will include a live-audience episode of the Pen Addict Podcast. If you'd like to contribute and get in on the fun, head over to Kickstarter and back this project. You'll get some excellent Nock Co. notebooks as a reward!
Also, if you're interested in coming to the Atlanta Pen Show, book your rooms now. Pen Show hotels fill up quickly, and it's always a better experience to stay at the pen show hotel if you are able. I'm looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible, and seeing some of you again. Let me know if you will be there.
In Case You Missed It...
This week I answered a question from my readers regarding my thoughts on cheap Chinese/eBay pens, and I also reviewed another Sailor Bung Box Ink, Dandyism.
Amazon Deal Update
If you didn't get in on last week's crazy deal on the Pilot Custom 74 demonstrator, it appears that there are still a few available. For those of you that missed it, Amazon is selling the Pilot Custom 74 in a fine nib for $83 (Prime Shipping available), and in a medium nib for $74. MSRP on this pen is $200, and normal street price is $160. In another offering that's downright silly, you can pick up the Platinum Chartres Blue Demonstrator for $76, or the Bourgogne Demonstrator for $72 and up. The Platinum 3776 is another pen that normally sells in the $160-200 range. It appears the deal is for the pens with gold trim, but the rhodium trim versions are also available at a reduced price.
I'm not sure what's going on here with these prices, since I would assume that Amazon and these sellers are unloading these pens at or below cost. The majority of the pen deals that I've seen on Amazon are not Japanese sellers--these offerings are being sold or fulfilled by Amazon. I suspect they are clearing out old stock to make way for new models coming in.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, through which I may be compensated a small amount if you purchase a pen from certain sites linked to in this article. While I'd greatly appreciate it if you use these links to purchase a pen you are interested in, you are, of course, under no obligation to do so. Many thanks!