Greetings! I’m Josh. I am a New-Englander, born in Maine. I have traveled half the world, twice over through my career in the Navy.
Amongst all of that, however, I am an ink enthusiast and a fountain pen addict. Writing is in my soul; I love to write. I got started using fountain pens through a chance meeting…
Fall 2015. Somewhere in the Pacific, a small Navy ship steams through the turbulent waters as a storm passes overhead. Below decks, the new command Chaplain walks the deck plates. As he makes his rounds, he spins an interesting looking pen is his left hand.
“Hey, what do you got there, Chaps?”
“Oh, hey, Chief. It’s a fountain pen. Here, check it out.”
That was it, though I will admit, my story is slightly more dramatic than reality. Anyways, the pen – a TWSBI 580 AL. I was struck by how much this pen resembled a sonic screwdriver. For those of you who don’t know what that is, check out Doctor Who, for those who do know, who’s your favorite Doctor? (off topic) Anyways, that was it; a chance meeting with the Chaplain led to my buying my own first pen. No, it wasn’t a TWSBI, most fountain pen newbies will agree when I say my reaction to a $50 pen was, “Whoa! That’s way too much!”
So I did what any self-respecting new and unsuspecting fountain pen enthusiast does; I got a Pilot Metropolitan, and a bottle of Noodler’s Black ink.
Now, carrying a fountain pen in the Navy is tough. Everyone is telling you that you aren’t allowed to use them, and even worse, they are right! Logs and other forms in the Navy have to be filled out in standard ballpoint ink, no feathering, no bleedthrough. All of those small things which are par for the course of a fountain pen user who doesn’t get to choose his paper quality. I had a notebook and wrote my daily task lists and other notes in, and the paper was just good enough for use with fountain pens. But it was tough. If you are new to the fountain pen community and are being told that your new pen isn’t allowed to be used in a professional setting – keep a notebook. Keeping a notebook did several things for me. It gave me a place to organize my thoughts, tasks, and let’s be honest with each other, my doodlings. However, it also gave me a place where I could enjoy my fountain pen, and even better, fountain pen ink! You see, when I realized that I couldn’t use the Noodler’s black ink, I began to explore, and to my Wife’s dismay, to buy more ink. I found that some inks elicited more joy than others. My own personal favorite? A deep and rich blue-black: Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts. (I have since revised my favorite ink, more on that in a subsequent post)
The addiction and enthusiasm had begun.
Since then I have bought (and sold or gifted some) many different pens and various inks. The excitement, however, continues. Every morning I wake up to see what’s new on Instagram. Who is going to expand my fountain pen horizons today? If your new, and reading this, follow some fountain pen enthusiasts on Instagram, however, be warned – it’s contagious.
So if you’re out there, Chaps, this is all your fault. Thanks.