*Updated* Hosting My First Penel: Thoughts from the Field

Last weekend I got a rare opportunity, one that I never thought I would get to have at such a young age. In fact, it was one of a nature that I hadn’t even fathomed as something that I would be able to check off my bucket list so early on in life. In a few words, this experience was “simply wondrous.”

Fellow penthusiasts out there might be wondering if this unique adventure was what they’re thinking it may be, and, yes, it most certainly was. On Sunday, I got to sit down and have an open, honest, and flowing informal talk with a few of my idols who have been at the center of my role model collage for quite some time. That’s right, I got to attend a pen panel, also known as a penel.

This informal conversation was a once in a lifetime experience, with participants such as Mr. Copic Multiliner SP (0.35), Ms. Sakura Pigma Micron (05), and Mrs. Graphik Line Maker (0.3).

Playing the role of the host, I was able to ask the three pens a few questions that had been on my mind for a number of years. Looking back, I can say that each participant answered all the questions with incredible gusto and ease, all providing thoughtful insight into the world of pens.

We discussed the topics of ease of flow, proper storage, and grip. The highlights from the afternoon are below.

The penalists were kind enough to pose for some photos:

Mr. Copic Multiliner SP
Mr. Copic Multiliner SP
Ms. Sakura Pigma Micron
Ms. Sakura Pigma Micron
Mrs. Graphik Line Maker
Mrs. Graphik Line Maker

Ease of Flow

We first spoke about ease of flow in everyday pen life and how ink levels can affect temperatures and the day-to-day basics. I posed the question, “How often do you experience ink blockages, what is the typical outcome, and how might they be dealt with?”

Mr. Copic, of the 0.35 variety, said that ink blockages were rare over the period of appropriate use, with only a few minor casualties occurring in the final days of use. The seasoned panel veteran noted that “Being held at the proper angle” was key to avoiding ink blockage. He added that, when they do occur, blockages typically result in spotty, inconsistent writing, something that “Nobody wants.” To solve the issue, Mr. Copic recommended a light tap and to avoid shaking at all costs, unless absolutely necessary in a last resort scenario.

Ms. Sakura, who mentioned attending just one previous panel, said that ink blockages had been “A common issue for her in her recent life, especially when the proper use and care wasn’t administered.” She agreed with Mr. Copic’s notion of proper angles, requesting a perpendicular 90 degree angle when possible. She also agreed with the outcome, noting varied, awry writing with disappointing splotch marks. Getting emotional about the sensitive issue, Ms. Sakura’s final remarks touched on solving the problem, reiterating the perpendicular angle and requesting to rest in a similar position.

Mrs. Graphik, a panel first-timer, said that she didn’t mind what angle she was held at, noting that she was used to a number of versatile positions. “I like to think of myself as an all-in-one tool that can get any job done!,” she said proudly. Not having confronted the issue before, Mrs. Graphik didn’t know how she would deal with the problem, but was looking forward to asking her new friends for help if the issue came up.

Proper Storage

Something touched on in our first segment, I asked the penalists to go into a little more detail about their storage preferences. Ms. Sakura had the most detailed request, asking, once again, to be stored in a perpendicular position, lying down on her side. Both Mr. Copic and Mrs. Graphik didn’t express any strong preferences, but said they were always appreciative of a tender touch and to be put down gently. All three of the members agreed that aggressive shaking was not welcome, nor should it ever need to be tolerated by any pen.

Grip

Something that I have always wondered about when using pens was how they prefer to be held, and, on that note, how exactly I should be holding them. Having the unique opportunity to speak with such a diverse group at the same time, I asked each pen to speak a little about grip preference, touching on types of hands, fingers used, and firmness, unless it was a subject too sensitive to talk about.

Mr. Copic was the first to speak up, boldly stating that he could take any type of grip and didn’t need to be pampered. It wasn’t till after his fellow participants voiced some concerns that he admitted a gentle hold was preferred.

Ms. Sakura nervously voiced a few concerns she had about the pen community and the general lack of awareness about grip. She said that a light grip was always best and that anything too firm could lead to nib damage which could lead to scarring. “It’s on us to spread the word about this issue,” she said, “I want as many people as possible to know to use a light grip.” Her final note focused on the fact that, if possible, the only pressure that should cause her ink to flow should be from her own weight with the hand acting only as a holder.

At last, Mrs. Graphik spoke up, agreeing with some of the sentiments expressed by Ms. Sakura, but understanding where Mr. Copic was coming from. “Sometimes it’s just easier to go with what the user intends, they rarely leave permanent damage,” she said. She followed up her statement after a concerning look from Ms. Sakura, saying that she did understand that not all nibs were the same and that some should receive more detailed and careful attention.

We wrapped up with some additional chit-chat, speaking about our favorite papers to write on, favorite words, and a few other daily happenings.

Being able to host my first penel was truly an amazing opportunity, and, like I stated, one that I would never pass up. The penalists and I agreed to stay in touch with one another through social media and snail mail, deciding that becoming pen pals seemed only appropriate, given the participants.

If you have any questions about my penel and/or the overall experience, please feel free to comment here, or reach out to me on Twitter, @pensivepenner, or Instagram, @thepensivepenner. My Pinterest board can also be found under ThePensivePenner.

As always, I would love to hear suggestions from everyone about what the blog could be doing differently or better and what type of content people would like to see. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for an exciting new post from a special angle tomorrow morning!

Guest Post: Idle Emma’s Planner Pen Preferences

Hello fellow penthusiasts! Atticus Rice here, the publisher and creator of The Pensive Penner. It’s time to shake things up (but not your sensitive pens, please not your sensitive pens) with something a little out of the ordinary for The Pensive Penner. The following post is a review of Staedtler pens, both the Triplus Fineliner and Pigment Liner, by Idle Emma of Puddle Side Musings.

Her blog focuses on her wonderful planners, crafts, and snail mail adventures. She also offers some free printables for all to use! For those of you unfamiliar with the ins and outs of sending snail mail in today’s world, Idle Emma offers a great “Where to Start” that everyone should check out. If you’d like to get in touch with Idle Emma check out the Contact Me page over on her site or go follow her on Instagram where she can be found at @IdleEmma.


Idle Emma says:

I was asked if I’d be interested in writing a guest post for the Pensive Penner about the pens I use in my planners and I jumped at the opportunity. It’s not something I’ve looked at before; I’ve written about many craft, planner and snail mail topics over on my blog, Puddle Side Musings, but while all those topics have a good pen in common, I’ve never taken the time to consider my trusty utensil. Well, I’ll give it a go now!

Something to note about me and pens: I’m a fineliner girl. I have three reasons for this. First up, I have a peculiar habit when using ballpoint pens of gripping them really tightly when writing, especially when writing something small, which causes my hand to hurt so I only use them as a last resort. Secondly, my natural writing, as a lot of people comment on, can be tiny (I actually find it hard to write big), and fineliner pens help make tiny writing stay legible. Finally, though with similar issues of legibility, I studied Japanese when I was at university and I found that I just could not write kanji with a ballpoint pen, I had to use a fineliner.

So, those are my reasons for type but what am I actually using?

Well, I play it safe with my pens. I don’t tend to try new ones out often and stick to my favourite brands, my favourite in this case being…Staedtler, and I like using two different types of Staedtler pens in my planners: Triplus Fineliners and Pigment Liners.

Staedtler Pigment Liners.
Staedtler Pigment Liners.

With the huge popularity of colouring books these days, I think everyone is familiar with Triplus Fineliners as the two seem to always go together (and for good reason because they are good pens for colouring in all those tiny spots on detailed pictures). One of the most attractive things about these fineliners? The colour range of course! I think the Triplus Fineliners have one of the best colour ranges out there for pens. I treated myself to the 36 pack of pens (which were very reasonably priced) and have never been wanting for a colour. Hell, there’s even a selection of highlighter colours in the pack!

Now, I love using these pens to add a bit of colour to my planners and they are really useful for colour coding the calendar views I have. It makes a big difference being able to glance at a page and know that there’s something to do with a birthday going on if I see a box coloured in green or something related to my master’s degree if I see yellow, for example. The pens have a slightly softer nib on them which makes them nice to colour in things with but they’re also quite nice pens to write with, be it big or small (though based on my sample writing in the picture, you might question my idea of big writing!).

 

Staedtler Pigment Liners.
Staedtler Pigment Liners.

While I do like writing with the Triplus Fineliners and use them often for header sections in my planner, they’re not my first to reach for writing pens. No, be it for filling in my planner and organising my life, penning long letters to friends, writing pages of course notes, jotting down ideas for crafts or sketching art, Staedtler Pigment Liners are my go to pen. I just absolutely love these pens.

Like with many ranges of liner pens, there’s a good selection of nib thicknesses and with these, because the nibs are firmer, I feel at least, than the Triplus Fineliners, it’s easier and neater to write small – a must have for me! I have a selection of sizes including the 0.5, 0.2, 0.1 and 0.05 nibs. I think my favourite for using in my personal planner is the 0.1 because it’s a good size for writing (my idea of) large and small. Oddly enough though, the 0.05 is my favourite for using in my A5 planner and I often use the 0.5 in my pocket planner. Yes, the bigger the planner, the small the pen!

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.

I do use these pens an awful lot, especially the 0.1 nib one and as a result, the nib on it does seem to have gotten a little smaller because of the pressure I put on one side when I write so it actually seems to be getting closer to the 0.05 size but it’s still a perfectly good, usable pen and like I said, it’s because I write a lot probably putting too much pressure on the pen.

But a good thing about these pens? They last for ages! They really do, even with the amount of letters and college notes I write, they just seem to keep going. Another nifty feature (yes, I said nifty) is that you can leave the cap off for supposedly 18 hours and they’re still perfectly good to write with, they won’t dry out. It’s a nice feature for forgetful people or if you’re like me and hate having to recap pens for fear that they’ll dry out after five minutes!

My, looking back, it appears I have been somewhat wordy with my considerations. I really didn’t think I’d written that much. Well, I guess I’ve rambled on quite long enough about my pen habits, Staedler love and planner quirks so I’ll leave it here!

I hope you enjoyed reading,
Idle Emma of Puddle Side Musings

Hosting My First Penel: Thoughts from the Field

Last weekend I got a rare opportunity, one that I never thought I would get to have at such a young age. In fact, it was one of a nature that I hadn’t even fathomed as something that I would be able to check off my bucket list so early on in life. In a few words, this experience was “simply wondrous.”

Fellow penthusiasts out there might be wondering if this unique adventure was what they’re thinking it may be, and, yes, it most certainly was. On Sunday, I got to sit down and have an open, honest, and flowing informal talk with a few of my idols who have been at the center of my role model collage for quite some time. That’s right, I got to attend a pen panel, also known as a penel.

This informal conversation was a once in a lifetime experience, with participants such as Mr. Copic Multiliner SP (0.35), Ms. Sakura Pigma Micron (05), and Mrs. Graphik Line Maker (0.3).

Playing the role of the host, I was able to ask the three pens a few questions that had been on my mind for a number of years. Looking back, I can say that each participant answered all the questions with incredible gusto and ease, all providing thoughtful insight into the world of pens. The highlights from the afternoon are below.

The penalists were kind enough to pose for some photos:

Mr. Copic Multiliner SP
Mr. Copic Multiliner SP
Ms. Sakura Pigma Micron
Ms. Sakura Pigma Micron
Mrs. Graphik Line Maker
Mrs. Graphik Line Maker

Ease of Flow

We first spoke about ease of flow in everyday pen life and how ink levels can affect temperatures and the day-to-day basics. I posed the question, “How often do you experience ink blockages, what is the typical outcome, and how might they be dealt with?”

Mr. Copic, of the 0.35 variety, said that ink blockages were rare over the period of appropriate use, with only a few minor casualties occurring in the final days of use. The seasoned panel veteran noted that “Being held at the proper angle” was key to avoiding ink blockage. He added that, when they do occur, blockages typically result in spotty, inconsistent writing, something that “Nobody wants.” To solve the issue, Mr. Copic recommended a light tap and to avoid shaking at all costs, unless absolutely necessary in a last resort scenario.

Ms. Sakura, who mentioned attending just one previous panel, said that ink blockages had been a common issue for her in her recent life, especially when the proper use and care wasn’t administered. She agreed with Mr. Copic’s notion of proper angles, requesting a perpendicular 90 degree angle when possible. She also agreed with the outcome, noting varied, awry writing with disappointing splotch marks. Getting emotional about the sensitive issue, Ms. Sakura’s final remarks touched on solving the problem, reiterating the perpendicular angle and requesting to rest in a similar position.

Mrs. Graphik, a panel first-timer, said that she didn’t mind what angle she was held at, noting that she was used to a number of versatile positions. “I like to think of myself as an all-in-one tool that can get any job done!,” she said proudly. Not having confronted the issue before, Mrs. Graphik didn’t know how she would deal with the problem, but was looking forward to asking her new friends for help if the issue came up.

Proper Storage

Something touched on in our first segment, I asked the penalists to go into a little more detail about their storage preferences. Ms. Sakura had the most detailed request, asking, once again, to be stored in a perpendicular position, lying down on her side. Both Mr. Copic and Mrs. Graphik didn’t express any strong preferences, but said they were always appreciative of a tender touch and to be put down gently. All three of the members agreed that aggressive shaking was not welcome, nor should it ever need to be tolerated by any pen.

Grip

Something that I have always wondered about when using pens was how they prefer to be held, and, on that note, how exactly I should be holding them. Having the unique opportunity to speak with such a diverse group at the same time, I asked each pen to speak a little about grip preference, touching on types of hands, fingers used, and firmness, unless it was a subject too sensitive to talk about.

Mr. Copic was the first to speak up, boldly stating that he could take any type of grip and didn’t need to be pampered. It wasn’t till after his fellow participants voiced some concerns that he admitted a gentle hold was preferred.

Ms. Sakura nervously voiced a few concerns she had about the pen community and the general lack of awareness about grip. She said that a light grip was always best and that anything too firm could lead to nib damage which could lead to scarring. “It’s on us to spread the word about this issue,” she said, “I want as many people as possible to know to use a light grip.” Her final note focused on the fact that, if possible, the only pressure that should cause her ink to flow should be from her own weight with the hand acting only as a holder.

At last, Mrs. Graphik spoke up, agreeing with some of the sentiments expressed by Ms. Sakura, but understanding where Mr. Copic was coming from. “Sometimes it’s just easier to go with what the user intends, they rarely leave permanent damage,” she said. She followed up her statement after a concerning look from Ms. Sakura, saying that she did understand that not all nibs were the same and that some should receive more detailed and careful attention.

We wrapped up with some additional chit-chat, speaking about our favorite papers to write on, favorite words, and a few other daily happenings.

Being able to host my first penel was truly an amazing opportunity, and, like I stated, one that I would never pass up. The penalists and I agreed to stay in touch with one another through social media and snail mail, deciding that becoming pen pals seemed only appropriate, given the participants.

If you have any questions about my penel and/or the overall experience, please feel free to comment here, or reach out to me on Twitter, @pensivepenner, or Instagram, @thepensivepenner. My Pinterest board can also be found under ThePensivePenner.

As always, I would love to hear suggestions from everyone about what the blog could be doing differently or better and what type of content people would like to see. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for an exciting new post from a special angle tomorrow morning!

Welcome to The Pensive Penner

Hello All! Welcome to The Pensive Penner blog! My name is Atticus Rice. I’m a sophomore at McDaniel College, a small liberal arts school in Carroll County, Maryland studying towards majors in Communication and Political Science and a minor in Journalism and New Media.

As described in detail on the About page, this blog, The Pensive Penner, is for a writing project in my New Media Writing class for the Fall 2016 semester. Over the course of the next few months I will be using this as a platform to review pens of many kinds. These reviews will include how well the pen writes, what it’s key features are, and any other pertinent information. Each review will also detail what non-writing uses the pen may be good for such as cutting zip-ties, unlocking doors, stabbing open plastic containers, and any other uses I come across.

The Penroll page hosts a list of pens I have reviewed, plan to review, or I recommend. If you have any recommendations, ideas, or questions, please use the Contact page or message me on Twitter using the handle @pensivepenner.