“I’ll call for pen and ink and write my mind” ~ William Shakespeare
You may have deduced from the banner of this blog that I love fountain pens. Well, you would be right on the mark. At one time, I owned several hundred fountain pens of every description, pens from the 1920s and 1930s to commemorative collector’s edition recently issued. Not only do I collect fountain pens, I actually use them on a daily basis. It started when I was young and loved playing with my grandpa’s fountain pens and ink while seated at his enormous oak roll top desk. In school, we used pencils and then ball point pens but I do remember having some Sheaffer’s “school” fountain pens in high school. Writing with a fountain pen and ink has provided me with great pleasure over the years, from journals to letters to pen pals and even handwritten drafts of stories and articles. I am in good and plentiful company with my hobby; the Fountain Pen Network has almost ninety thousand members with nearly two thousand regularly on-line at any given time. A worldwide following and a gold mine of interesting penpals.
When you are really into using the items that you collect, you also need to have all the peripheral stuff that goes with those pens. This stuff is consists of display cases, inks, papers, repair tools and cleaning supplies. Here is where the hobby of collecting starts to rub with the reality of the living space. We live full-time in our RV. A thirty-two foot long and eight foot wide motorhome yields about two hundred and fifty square feet of living space, excluding the engine compartment. The point is that there is only so much storage space and not very much is available for all that pen related stuff I mentioned before. What fit nicely into a sixteen hundred square foot home is not easily absorbed in a tiny house on wheels. I do have my own dedicated cabinet just for pen related things.
Hobbies often turn into businesses and some can be quite profitable. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case when you need to liquidate a collection of pens and do it quickly. It took me over a year to sell most of my pen collection. Most went to other collectors for fair market prices – usually well below what I paid for them several years ago. Internet sites like e-Bay and the Fountain Pen Network were great places to advertise my pens. Wrapping and packing pens for mailing along with trips to the post office became daily activities as did the repairing, cleaning and polishing of pens. Writing samples were made and scanned to post in the ads. Karen took incredible photos of the pens and helped with the posting of ads. One by one, the pens sold and were shipped out. PayPal was the banking solution during this time.
Today, I still have the favorite pens that I use regularly, a few bottles of ink and some really nice stationary and envelopes. My love of words spills over to the hand written word when I write letters to my friends, make a journal entry or sign a document. If you would like to receive a hand written note from me, just let me know. My mailing address is on this blog. Please write me a note!
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