Sunday, March 12, 2017

New Pens!

If you've been camping out here for any length of time at all, you know I love pens with a passion. The search for Just The Right Pen is a quest of Epic Endurance.

Or should I say WAS a quest.

I may have found the perfect pen.**

I know, it's early days, they've only been here for a week or so, and the perfect pen must stand the test of time.


But I like the feel. I like the colors. I love the container they come in! And I really love the price. My next favorite pen is somewhere around $30 a pop so I'm terrified of losing it. These were $9 for twelve pens.



And they almost match my spiffy new box of paper clips.



Honestly, given the problems of this world, someone who can be happy with pens and paperclips probably needs mental health assistance, but I'm gonna just be happy with my stuff here in a quiet little corner of the world.

What's making you happy these days?**


**Staedtler tiplus fineliner
**Ilaria Jacqueline!


77 comments:

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

"What's making me happy these days?"

For me happiness is as simple as an extra pound of,(it's actually 11.5 ounces but they call it a pound), coffee in the cupboard. My wireless printer-driver reloaded so I can print without the cable snaking across the table and this community of magnificent misfit and malcontent writers headed by the lover of colorful pens and paper clips.

Oh, and snow, lots and lots of snow coming Tuesday.
Youngest daughter and granddaughter will be bunking with us because SIL will be plowing for the town. Bring it on Mother Nature, bring it on.

CynthiaMc said...

I received a silver Cross pen and pencil set for high school graduation and a gold one when I graduated from college. Love them (and the pink and purple ones hubby and the kids gave me for Mother's Day one year). My Japanese friends gave me a cloisonne pen when we left Japan. My daughter recently gave me a 7-year pen that looks like a piano keyboard. That's the one I keep in my Day-timer.

My favorite off the rack pen is the Pilot V7 - comes in just about every color.

What makes me happy? Sitting in my garden, watching the squirrels, the blue jays diving in for peanuts, the cardinal parents teaching their babies to fly. Right now my orchid is in bloom and all the azaleas. And the woodpecker is back! (He went missing after the hurricane.)

CynthiaMc said...

Janet - I get teased at the office because I bring my own supplies, but once people try out my colored paper clips (love those!) and pens, they can't use the cheap stuff any more either.

"Why do you.."

"Here. Try it."

"Can you get me some of those?"

Converting the masses one pen at a time.

Kitty said...

I never ever scoff at a gift certificate for Staples. I've spent whole afternoons in that store just looking at pens, ballpoint and fountain both. Oh, and especially mechanical pencils!

But my thing is paper, the different weights and different brightnesses and different sizes.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I have those same pens and they're my favorites. I also have a box of striped paper clips, very cool looking.
I love the colors of art supplies and Czech glass buttons.

We've had two days of single digit temperatures and howling winds. I have two weekend guests in my apartment and at least they are happy with the fireplace, 4K TV, and view of the snow covered Mt. Washington. And they're newly in love so that works. And they both play the piano we have up there, all tuned up, and they both cook. So they're ok.

We're supposed to get over a foot of snow starting Tuesday.

Then maybe it will be spring.

I put the fur I groom off my boy cat out for the birds to make nests with. I stick a rock on it to hold it down and they take it away. Nice soft grey kitty fur makes cozy nests.

At least I managed to dig out the back door so I could get to the wood pile.

Jill Warner said...

*waves as I leap into the shark pool*

Is there room in your happy-about-pens corner for one more?

CynthiaMc said...

Tossing Jill a raft - Welcome!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Jill: there's always room for another writerly critter here. Welcome! I'm assuming you've come from Lurkdom?

I had some colored pens. Enjoyed them but they were cheap so some of the colors streaked. I will have to try different brands! And the many color-coated paper clips. Yes, so exciting.

My joys? The full moon setting. A cup of morning tea. The gathering of our family, immediate and extended, as we honor a life coming to its end.

Donnaeve said...

Hi Jill! The water is fairly warm, eh?

What's making me happy? Ooooh, lots of things!

With regard to pens...I too love a certain type. My favorite is a Pilot G-2 10. Has anyone ever noticed that certain pens alter one's handwriting??? If I use a pen that has a fine pt, my writing looks terrible. If I use a pen that had a medium pt (or bold) my writing looks almost as neat as QOTKU's! Maybe it's psychological.

Here's another aside, I have a completely different signature for book signings than I do when I sign a check. Book signing? Legible. Check signing? Equivalent to hen scratch.

What's making me happy? I gotta list. :)

1. DEEP SOUTH MAGAZINE is doing the cover reveal for THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET (March 17th!)

2. My current WIP

3. Mom will soon be only five minutes away! (official move in two weeks!)

4. I have a secret I hope to share in a few weeks

5. I'm watching it snow, while gazing at blooming azaleas and the pollen puddled on the patio (Nature in conflict)

6. This hot cup of coffee beside me

7. The folks around this blog

8. The time change - yes. The time change.

I could go on. I got more. But. I'll stop. (yay)

JeffO said...

I have written about pens on more than one occasion at my writers' group, because: a) I couldn't think of anything better to write and I needed to write SOMETHING, and b) because the pen I was using, quite frankly, sucked. Too wide, bad grip, too scratchy on the paper, too skinny, too fine a point, not fine enough--trust me, I understand. My favorites are Tul gel pens, medium or fine. The biggest problem with them is they need more ink in them. Enjoy your new pens!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

While attending a Sandy Hook fundraiser with my kids I put all my raffle tickets in a (half the size of the table) huge basket of office supplies. That basket was my dream come true prize. All I talked about was winning that basket. Pens of every kind and color, pencils, post-its, markers in a bazillion colors including every kind of highlighter created by man. Reams of paper, folders, oh my gosh my heart is palpitating just thinking about that wicker wonderland.
I lost.
So what.
Money went to a wonderful cause.
A few weeks later, on Mother's Day, what do you think my kids gave me as a gift, yup, a basket to rival the one I lost. Those goodies still grace my office and every time I use the goods, I remember the day we honored my daughter's heroic best friend and even though I lost, I WON.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

I have only ever used blue 0.7 Pilot gel pens since high school, in everything, even in legal documents. I simply cannot function without one.

Signatures, journal entries, post-it notes, greeting cards, even love letters look better with blue pen handwriting IMO

I love my blue Pilot pens!



What makes me happy today? Me, my laptop, and a mug of coffee in the kitchen table at 5 in the morning while the hubby and kids are asleep - the day wide open for all sorts of meanderings and mischief, writing wise.

BunnyBear said...

Janet, you can get those same pens in a 20-pack at Amazon. More colors!

As for what makes me happy right now, that's an easy one. My life partner is fighting cancer, and every additional day we have together makes all the medical crap worth it.

Susan said...

Office supplies! If there's one thing I truly miss about working in an office setting, it's the supplies. I used to pore over the OfficeMax catalog just to see what kind of pretty things they had out--pens, beautiful folders, and containers were my downfall. I've yet to make it to The Container Store, which can only be a good thing. Some people covet cute shoes; I covet cute boxes.

Love the post and the writing, Janet! Perfect for a pre-storm Sunday. I had to go back to figure out what Ilias Jacqueline meant, and holy cow! Congratulations, Brigid! So happy for you and your growing family!

What's making me happy lately? All the little love-filled moments in this life. Every single, precious one.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Donna,

After I wrote pens! I remembered your entry from months ago

Was it you who misread pens! as _ _ _ _ _ ?

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I love that you love pens, Janet. And I don't believe you need mental health assistance. Finding joy in the little things is the secret to living well.

Hi Jill! Welcome :-) *hands over a steaming cup of coffee.

Walking in our woods makes me happy. I find the most magical things... I wish you all could see the bird nest I recently found made out of hair from our horse's tails. And the little chunk of quarts with a mysterious beveled crack on one side in the shape of a heart. A perfect heart. I keep in on my desk. It's so curious and wonderful, and it makes me smile.

Susan said...

Ugh. I meant Ilaria Jacqueline. I'm sorry, Brigid! I should remember to always proofread when I'm typing on my phone. Ilaria is a gorgeous name (and now my unsmart phone knows it).

Amy Schaefer said...

For years, my favourite pen was the one I could find. Between my girls' lax attitudes to property rights and the endless nooks and crannies on the boat, no writing utensil stayed in its proper place for long. And there weren't exactly stationary shops in every port. I got used to scratching in my notebooks with whatever I could find, be it a leaky "Biic", a broken crayon, or a dirty pencil stub rescued from the bilge.

As for what makes me happy, where to start? The days are longer, spring is on its way, my family is settling into land life, I have a hot coffee beside me... This week, I'm flat-out grateful to be back in Canada. My eight-year-old got a mild concussion on Monday. Looking around the emergency room and knowing she would receive the care she needed, whatever it was, was a huge comfort during a scary time. And I was equally grateful that all of the other children there would get the same.

Eileen said...

Pens, pens, pens! I love them. Cecilia, I agree with you: blue ink is the bomb. These things also make me happy: beautiful folders, and yellow legal pads, and corkboards with different colored push-pins, and the giant mug of chocolate mint tea that keeps me warm. And this place. And all of you.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Donna...! Holy congratulations, Batman. How exciting about Deep South doing your cover reveal. Yowza. And can't wait for you to tell us the good news.

Hugs to you BunnyBear

It just started snowing here in middle Georgia. Great big fat fluffy flakes falling in slow motion and, thus far, melting when they hit the ground. Pretty!

S.P. Bowers said...

You need to be happy with the small things. It gives you strength to face the big things.

I adore pens and can't wait to try those out.

What's making me happy? That within one month we should be in the new house. Probably. Hopefully. Almost done painting....

Scott Sloan said...

I, too am a lover of pens, from my days of religiously solving the NY Times crossword puzzle.
Doing those suckers on newsprint, in pen, will teach you very quickly to be sure of your answers.
My favorite pen for many years now is the Sanford Mini-ball Roller – Micro, of course – in black.
I used to buy them by the box, because they were always getting mysteriously "borrowed"...

And now I have just gobs of boxes sitting around.

Because...
Well...
I mean...

Who actually "writes" anymore?
All my correspondence text word-type-do-hickey-thing-a-ma-bobbies is in electronic form these days.
Even my crossword puzzle is delivered via the ether.

Upon being out of the country for a while, upon my return, I was asked why I didn't send a postcard, as I had no internet.

It honestly never occurred to me!
It'd been so long since I had had the need to "print".

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

and I should add what makes me happy on this freezing cold day in the Frozen North.
my mom will be 86 soon and is doing fine in spite of a slowly healing collarbone
the larger person and I are healthy, just starting to slow down work, and sorting out how we will handle being old. a move is probably in our future and most likely back to my home turf. ooh, sand and sea. my blood is salt water.
Ramona and Harper, my cats. She is stuck to my side. He is a love bug. (Yes, Ramona, I'm coming)
spring is coming and I have the most beautiful back yard ever and a screened in tea house above the brook.
I've had much better ideas for this long time percolating book and maybe I'll even write it.
I got a short term video job that will set finances up well for a summer with lots of free time.
my airbnb will add just enough income to make things ok.
much to be happy with.

Donnaeve said...

Cecelia, Ahem. Yes, I believe that was me. And if it wasn't, the way my mind works some days, it should have been.

Newsflash - Snow + pollen = yellow snow.



BJ Muntain said...

Lovely pens - and affordable is great!

"given the problems of this world, someone who can be happy with pens and paperclips probably needs mental health assistance"

Nah. That will keep you from needing such assistance. It's wonderful. :)

What makes me happy? Chocolate. My mum's meat loaf. White pizza. What makes me incredibly happy is seeing some food that looks so droolingly yummy, then finding I'm able to eat it because someone thought to make it gluten-free.

Yes, food makes me happy these days.

And I love the fact that your pens almost match your paperclips. Perfect! Also, I love the notes you made there when showing the colours of your pens - including: "Gray (or grey)". :)

Cheryl said...

I'm oddly thrilled that they've just announced an immunotherapy cure for Tasmanian Devil cancer*. I've loved them since learning about them in elementary school, and even though I didn't get to see them in the wild** in Tasmania I did see some in captivity in Adelaide. I'm glad they'll survive as a species.


* Which is a virus they got from foxes which were imported to kill the rabbits which were imported for food.
** Did see some as roadkill, but not living.***
*** On the other hand, we saw a platypus in the wild, which is rare.

BJ Muntain said...

Welcome Jill Warner!

BunnyBear: I'm sorry for the trials you're going through right now. I'm praying that the fight goes well, and that you're able to have many more happy days together. (((hugs)))

We just had a blizzard here last week, and it looks like spring will be at least a few weeks away. But it's been a weird winter, with melting temps in January and February. I'd say that never happens here, but it happened last year, too. It's wonderful to have a few nice days, but the ice the melting leaves behind when regular temps come back is just plain dangerous.

I used to have favourite pens, especially for writing. But I have a permanent callous on the middle finger of my right hand from writing so much, and if I write too much with the types of pens I love, it grows and gets very painful. But I've found the BIC Matic Grip mechanical pencils - they work well, write smoothly, last awhile, and have this lovely cushion that stays in place (very important) and is just thick enough without pushing my small hand into weird contortions. And you can get a 12-pack for under 10 bucks. I can write for hours with one of those, and I don't have to stop until my hand cramps up (which happens more often now, the last few weeks, since I fell and sprained my thumb.)

I still write my first drafts in pencil - it just feels more creative, as if I'm drawing, and maybe that fools my brain into being more creative or something, but I seem to write a lot better and easier in pencil than in pen or on screen.

Donnaeve: Beware of that yellow snow! You never know if it's really pollen or... you know.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

My husband borrowed my absolute favorite, best ever book signing pen and left it on the table at the restaurant.

Therefore, I am happy my marriage survived. And my husband.

stacy said...

I love Staedtler drawing pencils. I think that company makes great products.

What makes me happy? New art supplies, seeing the horses at the rescue at the end of each long week, and any warm, sunny day I can get.

Good wishes, BunnyBear. I hope your partner gets better.

kathy joyce said...

Welcome Jill, congratulations Brigid! Great day to all! Can't wait to try Janet's pens. Off to finish a training workshop I'm writing. Have to leave five hours earlier than planned tomorrow in hopes of beating DC Nor'easter. Five hours matters for a perfectionist writer on deadline...aaargh! Send positive vibes! Good people make me happy. Thanks to all of you for contributing :)

Bonnie Shaljean said...

Crocheting, especially lace

Jasmine tea

Playing the harp

Yes, pens in offbeat colours, erasers in stick form, and just about anything that comes from a stationery shop

And - always - reading

Brigid said...

My joy is written in red up above. Many thanks to all of you.

Sherry Howard said...

It scares me a little that I identify so strongly with this post. I find editing with my purple Pentel Energel absolutely delightful! It wouldn't work for me to edit in any other color. When I get down to two, I order more through Amazon.

What's making me happy these days? I'm getting so close to getting published. As a matter of fact, I have an offer for my YA. However, as a loyal Reider, I'm being super cautious because of red flags. While it's not a vanity press, it's a brand, spanking new publisher, and I've searched Janet's blog to remind myself why I don't want to jump into this pond, at least not quickly. But, I've gotten some full requests, lots of lovely feedback, and a request to write a specific type of book for a legit publisher because they loved my full, but it didn't fit their line. So, overall, that stuff makes me happy to have gotten that far. And, yeah, all this along with a week at the beach!

Aimee said...

Ooh I love these pens. I've definitely settled into my preferred brands--these for everyday felt tips, Sharpie fine line for permanent felt tip, Zebra ballpoint fine point black ink for every day writing, and Copic for illustration. Rhodia and Miquelrius for notebooks/graph paper. And about a million plain index cards for endless scribbled notes.

I cannot be trusted to go into fancy stationery stores.

Dena Pawling said...


At my previous job, the managing partner bought cheap advertising pens with the firm's name and contact info printed on them. I LOVED those pens. Medium point blue ink and FAT barrel so I can grip tightly without much finger force when drafting multi-page settlement agreements, in triplicate, in court. I can't grip the thinner pens my new managing partner buys with enough force [press firmly, you are making three copies, as my hand slowly slides down the pen barrel to the tip] to write multi-page agreements on multiple cases every day. When I left my old job, one of my parting gifts was a box of those advertising pens. Wonderful going away present. It's just odd when I'm in court for my current job with an advertising pen from my old job LOL.

What makes me happy? Well, it's been 90 degrees here for the past week and looking at 90 degrees or so for the next week. I miss winter already. SoCal winters are lovely. Heat isn't. But I like my new job and last week's jury trial ended in a settlement just after opening statements finished, so now I can get back to the stacks of work on my desk that no one touched for the three days I'd been in trial. Why is it that the “get stuff done” fairies don't do my work when I'm not around? I'll have to figure that one out some day.

My #4 graduates high school in 2-1/2 months. That's exciting and bittersweet at the same time. My #3 appears 90% recovered from being hit by a car two weeks ago. One lingering bruise left. Yesterday, his basketball team elected him most valuable player. My #2 starts baseball today. He woke up this morning and came out of his room wearing his full baseball gear. He's not excited, oh no he's not. My #1 has 10 more months left in the Navy [absent a declaration of war], so I should see him next January! I'm not excited, oh no I'm not.

I'll take any opportunity to brag about my kids =)

Congrats Brigid! And Sherry!

Happy Sunday everyone.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

What kind of pens are those? I too love pens.
I want those kinds of pens.


This blog makes me happy with all its wiisdom from both queen and commenters. Writing is always a joy, even in times of pain. Oh and reading a book that robs me of sleep because I can't put it down, wanting so badly to make sure comes out all right in the end.

BunnyBear said...

Thanks, everyone, for the good wishes.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Bunnybear - Hugs to you. Be the best Bunnybear to your partner.

Jill - Welcome to the Reef! I myself am a newbie in these waters and I'm getting more courageous at vommenting with every post ha ha

Donna - A secret reveal in two weeks? You do know the technique on how to keep readers in suspense.

Sherry - Lovely news! Excited for you.

Kathy - Sending positive vibes galore your way. Goodluck on your workshop!

Brigid - I bet Ilaria Jacqueline is bigger and lovelier today than yesterday. What is the little angel's nickname?

So much going on in the Reef today, I can almost forget that I'm freezing my butt off here in the Canadian prairies.

Lennon Faris said...

Lisa - prayers for your family. That is wonderful you can all be together.

BunnyBear - what an incredible take on life. My heart is with you & your partner!

Amy - so glad your daughter is ok.

Donna - surprise? ooh ooh tell me...

Melanie - the last time I walked with my Grandma up to her North Hill (in the mountains of VA), she showed me a heart-shaped hole in one of the old half-dead locust trees. I love finding little bits of nature that mean something like that!

Oh man I feel like commenting on everyone's but that would be 50 pgs long. I love reading these posts and comments.

My happiness right now: just watched Mary Poppins (my all time favorite movie) with all my kiddos. Sharing stories with someone who loves it like you do is an incredible feeling. Also, I had eye surgery 2 days ago and although I was awake for the procedure and felt a little like Deadpool being tortured, now I'm a clear-sighted gal (mutant?) for the first time since grade school. Miraculous feeling.

Oh and congratulations again to Brigid, and welcome, Jill!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

Kate Higgins said...

My Happiness (besides my children and grandchildren of course) is :
Brand New pens, good drawing pencils and new paintbrushes without paint dried in them!
My favorite pen is a Pilot V5 Rolling Ball Pens, Extra Fine Point. They are my mood pens; pink for serendipity, green for energy, purple for ideas, black for 'to dos', green for the necessities of life, aqua for my thoughts, opinions, poems and letters to self.

I love watercolor pencils that I can erase, school pencils #2, a new extra large unused package for crayons (for inspiration) I love the smell of new crayons because they smell like new beginnings and possibilities

But my favorite thing is a brand new notebook; blank pages waiting for ideas to be preserved from the whirlwind of my mind at 4:44 am. It's a weird time I know, to wake up with ideas. I have been advised NOT to buy any more notebooks, maybe 'warned' is a better word.

Jill: Welcome to the Reef. It's informative, fun, thought provoking and worth reading everyday because you'll never know what you'll find or learn. Now look up the definition of Carkoon as referenced by us woodland creatures who frequent the realm of Her Sharkiness aka QOTKU (don't worry you will figure us all out eventually)

Bunnybear: I just came out on the other side of breast cancer with the attenuated and cautionary promise of 20 to 25 more years...which would put me near 90 and I am fine with that. I learned much about myself and my partner (my husband of 39 years). Take heart it can happen; trust the universe.

Kate Higgins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate Higgins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate Higgins said...

OMG...just before I 'published' my comment I did a spellcheck then a read-through.

The phrase "My favorite pen is a Pilot V5 Rolling Ball Pens, Extra Fine Point." had the 'pen' and the 'is' were joined. Spellcheck didn't find it of course, but the read-through did. I would have been invited to a quick Carkoon visit for sure.

It cracked me up...I had to share this because now I know I will never, ever skip the last read-through without sending!!!

RosannaM said...

The post and all the comments today was like a lovely burst of joy to wake up to. I confess I dallied in bed much longer than I should have because it just felt good.

I will have to check out your pens, Janet. They look ever so useful and pretty.

For some reason, I have gotten picky about coffee cups. I like them slender, so I can wrap my hand around them. They have to have a thin lip, no clunky rim for me. Somehow a perfect cup comforts me as much as the beverage it contains.

What gives me joy?

The big ones are the people I love.

The little ones: being surrounded by books. Vintage rock and roll especially on vinyl. A fire in the fireplace or sitting around a bonfire. Spices-love the color and the smells and the magical flavors when combined. Nature-need to see it, feel better when I have been surrounded by it.

Bunnybear-prayers for healing and lots more time together.
Lisa-prayers for your family-being together can be such a comfort.
Cynthia-we have a dang woodpecker that likes to drill on our chimney cap. Our metal chimney cap. First thing in the am!
Melanie-I would love to take a walk with you and see all the little wonders. Sounds like a perfect day to me.
Jill-Welcome. Hope to see you around some more.

Excited to hear about secrets and gardens, and happy for those who had medical events with good outcomes. Sorry if I left anyone out. There was a lot to comment on here today.

RachelErin said...

If I listed all my blessings, I'd go waaaay over the 100 word/3 comment limit. Today, calm children, a fire, a pot of tea, some time to write...the biggest thing is joining a weekly writing class, which in addition to providing a deadline for a new chapter a week, provides wonderful feedback from more experienced writers.

Also, bagpipes at Mass because of the St. Patrick's day parade, followed by lots of homemade Irish Soda Bread.

Claire Bobrow said...

I'm so happy to be a part of this community. You guys inspire me daily.

My family makes me happy. That includes the 4-legged members.

I have a huge number of pens and pencils from my years in Landscape Architecture. I love fountain pens and all the lovely shades of ink you can find for them (violet, sepia, etc.), but it takes a bit of work to keep them running smoothly. My favorites for everyday use are plain old Bic Round Stic mediums in blue ink and Bic 4-color pens. I also love the pens from hotels/motels.

Welcome, Jill, and hugs to you, BunnyBear. Congrats to Donna and Sherry, and positive vibes to Kathy and Amy.

I wish I could see some of the nests built from horse hair and cat hair. Clever, creative birds! The ravens are busy building here in San Francisco. I've seen palm fronds and eucalyptus bits flying back and forth.

Happy rest of your day, everyone!



Richelle Elberg said...

Sharyn Ekbergh--I lived in North Conway/Conway Village for 10 years before leaving the cold behind and coming to New Mexico in 2010! When I saw your reference to views of Mt. Washington, I was like, wait, really?

Sorry, not a post on favorite things--but maybe one of my favorite things is talking about places I have lived, loved or visited. :)

I'm travelling to Houston for business this week and so booked myself 3 nights next weekend in Galveston for some beach time--another thing that makes me happy!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

oh office supplies, my nemesis! I've had such a parade of blank books, du rigeur to gift a teenaged writer, mais oui. The problem was I didn't really write in them very much for a very long time; see, I (used to) start a story longhand, pen and paper. Then I'd get to a point where I transcribed it onto the computer and finished it. The notion of a parade of blank books filled with story starts horrified me. I've....somewhat gotten over it?

Honestly, writing is making me happy. Writing and having writing friends and a writing workshop. Also Elka, who now has an R2D2 hoodie (in the largest size Petco had), which only increases her adorability.

Verna Austen said...

Hello all! I am mostly a lurker, but Janet's blog is the first thing I read everyday and also look forward to the comments. I love these pens, may I ask someone in the know, the name of them? I'd love to get them as a gift for the host of my writer's group.

What makes me happy right now, is after 3 mechanics, I finally found one who could diagnose and fix my pesky, "check engine light," and now I'm no longer afraid my car won't start as I work nights. I'm a simple girl. lol

Joseph Snoe said...

I've mentioned this before but I love mechanical pencils made of wood. A former girlfriend gave me one long ago. It was great and I've had a few more since then (wooden mechanical pencils not girlfriends). When a favorite one made in Brazil broke, I searched at local stores and on the internet. All the American-made ones I found didn't work for me.

I finally found a fellow in South Korea who makes the most wonderful wooden pencils (and he specializes in wooden pens, too). I have one at school, one at my desk here, and one at my writing desk in the basement (and five in reserve for future use). They are so great. They feel good and sometimes do my thinking for me. Checkout www.cgwwoodworks.com for pictures

Joseph Snoe said...

You got me excited Sherry Howard. Visions of colorful rainbows.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Jillllllllll welcome.

My father's favorite pen, a fountain pen. His handwriting looked like black lace on a white tablecloth.
Hard to read but simply beautiful. Miss you dad.

Theresa said...

Great pen recommendations make me happy.

Also:

Index cards with research notes.

Stacks of index cards with research notes carefully penned on them.

Stacks of index cards divided by subject, filled with research notes.

Shuffling those cards around to make a compelling story to put in a book proposal.

Baby shower for my niece and her wife.

Wedding planning with my son and his fiancée.

Donnaeve said...

Hey Verna!

I have a check engine light thingie going on too. On for two days then it went off. At least when I can get it to a service station, the computer should have a history of that happening. Last time it was a simple fix. Fingers crossed.

CynthiaMc said...

My check engine light has been on for 4 years (at least). The explanation I got was my car (2006 Toyota Corolla) doesn't like the newer formulas of gas. She's still purring along. I think I'd freak out if it ever went off, I'm so used to it.

I have so enjoyed today. I always read Janet's post (last thing before I dash out the door to work) but rarely have time to read the comments. Today I've savored every one - cheered for new babies, good news, and promises of good news, prayed for travelers and those going through difficult times. Enjoyed every weather report, every woodland sighting. Laughed as I remembered getting blown off of Mount Washington when I was 10 - you have some serious wind up there, girlfriend!

Our woodpecker likes the transformer behind the house. I think he's a drummer at heart.

Craig F said...

Pens: I draw technical drawings more than I write so I have the most fun with architectural pens. Love the consistency of their lines. Koh-I-Noor Rapidographs are my go to line.

Happiness is: Taking Kathy kayaking on a beautiful day with lots and wildlife to see and hungry fishes to catch, like yesterday.

Seeing the Bluebirds building nests in boxes I built.

Watching the seedlings pop out of the ground in my veggie patch. Also having found seed for White Acre Peas for this season.

Watching people and devising their stories.

Having an experiment in cooking work as well as the lamb and pork meatballs I made the other day.

Bourbon at the dimming of the day.

BJ Muntain said...

For the people asking for the type of Janet's pens, she did put a note at the bottom:

**Staedtler tiplus fineliner

Go forth and find new pens!

Claire AB. said...

Happy things...

Pens make me happy, but Kate, I'm right there with you. I love notebooks, particularly small ones for my purse or night table. And Moleskines are wonderful because they also hold loose items like cards or pictures.

And where would I be without sticky notes? Those make me happy, too. Just yellow ones that are square.

BJ: Chocolate! Yes! That's an instantaneous smile -- outside and in. Best that it be dark. Preferably with almonds, but hazelnuts are happy, too.

Ditto for a cup of tea -- or coffee. It's not a raging debate for me. I love both, and many other warm beverages too. Hot chocolate -- that's a happy thing.

And yes. This blog makes me happy. A connection to other literary folks. Really grateful to be welcome here.

BunnyBear: Best of luck to you and your life partner -- cheering for you guys and hoping you have many many happy and healthy days ahead.

Colin Smith said...

Janet: The Quest for the Perfect Pen continues! I've been using black Sharpie writing pens when I'm not using a mechanical pencil. I don't enjoy using ballpoints/biros anymore. Probably in part because I've never found one I really liked, and also I just got out of the habit of using them. I'd sooner pick up a pencil. I might try out these you've discovered, at least for a change. Change is a good thing every now and again.

Jill and Verna: Welcome!! Hopefully you've been lurking long enough to not need much introduction. If regulars reference something you don't get, either ask or check the Blog Glossary. If you'd like to be added to the List of Blog Readers and their Blogs, just let me know (my email is in my Blogger profile). Also, feel free to visit the blogs listed so you can get to know us a bit better. If you had any doubts about our sanity, that should confirm them. ;)

Verna: The check engine light on our big car came on recently (for regulars, this is the car that landed her in hospital). There must be something in the air. Thankfully, we have a mechanic we trust that can get it seen to. Finding a good, trusty mechanic is like finding a doctor and/or dentist you like. I hope you have a really good experience with yours. :)

What makes me happy these days? There's not much that gets me down, even with all that's going on in the world (see my theological persuasion). Where to begin?

*Seeing pollen and snow on the car (it must be a NC thing, Donna!).
*Playing piano for church.
*Teaching adult Sunday School.
*Playing Zelda with SecondBorn.
*Looking forward to the "surprise" FirstBorn is cooking up in the kitchen (she's the one with the baking skills).
*My family as a whole.
*Friends online (yay Reef-Dwellers!) and offline.
*Our house.
*Writing (of course).
*Even my job--if only for the fact I have one.
*Drawing breath every day, and the challenge not to take a single moment for granted.

I could go on. :)

Colin Smith said...

Correction to my previous comment:

(for regulars, this is the car that landed my wife in hospital)

Craig F said...

Oh, Schnit!

Almost forgot.

Happy that:

I found out that the sci-fi I am writing needs to be split asunder and become two.

I found this blog and it keeps giving.

Thank you, my Queen

Check engines lights: They are environmental controls. Some things might make the engine a littler harder to start in cold weather but usually are not hazardous. First thing is to make sure your gas cap is tight. It can cause a leak in what is supposedly a sealed system and sudden weather changes can make them seem loose.

Beth said...

I'll have to try those pens. My sister gave me a Cross pen in celebration of a writerly accomplishment, and I find I'm treating it like the fine china - you know, like it's too good to use everyday and only for special occasions.

Donna, congratulations on so much excitement coming up. I wish I could find one of those magic pens that transforms my handwriting. No matter how good the pen, my notes look like a five-year-old scrawled them with a crayon held in her fist.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I've been told if the check engine light isn't blinking, it's not an emergency. I've got an '03 Toyota Highlander, and about once a year we replace the cheapest part that'll let the light go out and the car pass inspection.

Colin Smith said...

Jennifer: Ours might just be an oxygen sensor that needs replacing. We've had to do that in the past. Not a major problem. I hope! :)

kdjames.com said...

Holy guacamole, Janet. Your printing is so . . . I don't even have a word for it. What does your cursive look like? Were you secretly a first grade teacher in another life? That's just remarkable (says she with the indecipherable scrawl). I still want to grab that bunch of pens and turn them point-side down.

Brigid, congratulations on the birth of your daughter! Welcome to the world, Ilaria Jacqueline!

Welcome to you as well, Jill and Verna! (and JeffO? are you new?) Nice to have a couple new victi-- um, writer friends in the comments. :)

A thing that made me happy today was getting a dusting of snow, and that it happened at a time when I could watch it fall. Watching snow fall is good for the soul. I was also pleased when it melted within a couple hours and there wasn't enough of it to allow for sledding (and SCREAMING) on my street. Not that I'm getting old and cranky or anything.

And, of course, coming over here to read the post and comments, enjoying the flow of words and stories from the familiar voices of friends.

John Davis Frain said...

An old thing that still makes me happy: the smell of a campfire.

A new thing that thrills me: not noticing when all of the sand from the sand timer has settled at the bottom.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I ordered new pens! And more note cards. I will have that plot hole of despair patched in due course. I will prevail. And that will make me do a happy dance. Until I realize I need to write a masterful query. Then I will eat ice cream and drink much bourbon and then I will forget that queries scare me.

I miss my daughter. She moved Friday. Not even two days gone and I miss her already. Pathetic. But she has for so long been my joy.

And my how John of the Manuscript Frain has spoken. How happy I would be if I could ignore that damn hour glass. If only that dripping sand would cease kicking me in the face. It's hard to ignore being kicked in the face. Which is probably why that is the customary greeting in Carkoon. Much more effective than say, shaking hands.

Colin Smith said...

kd: JeffO has been around for a while--just not as vommitous as... um... some... :D

Elise: Not at all pathetic. Completely natural and understandable. Big Hugs. :)

Claire Bobrow said...

Could John Davis Frain (and Julie Weathers?) fill me in on this sand timer thing? Is this one of those "trickster"techniques Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in Big Magic, where you fool yourself into writing more and more and more?!
Because if so, I could go for that. Sounds fun! And effective. Maybe I could say "Arrrr!" every so often like a sea captain.

Craig F: I don't drink bourbon (except in the occasional Manhattan), but I love your "Bourbon at the dimming of the day." Pure poetry.


John Davis Frain said...

Claire, I owe it all to Julie Weathers. Completely her idea, but wow, it works for me.

It's simple. Which is probably why it works for me.

I have a sixty-minute sand timer. (Actually, I timed it and I got a bonus 90 seconds of sand, so even more writing time.) Found it on the Internet after a local search turned up nothing. I wanted the actual piece to set on my desk, not an app in my phone. I flip it over and start writing. Or editing, I've been doing that lately. During the next sixty minutes, I'm not allowed to do anything else. No Internet. No phone. No blog. No yelling at the neighbors.

At first, you think, whoa, that's gonna take some self-discipline. But pretty quickly you realize, yeah, like eating chocolate would take self discipline. Which is to say, if you like writing, it'll take more self-discipline to quit that it will to start.

So, my prescription for you: Turn over a sand timer (before your Manhattan, sorry) and give it a whirl. There's no downside to trying it.

Craig F said...

Thanks Claire, I must admit I stole it from a Richard Thompson song. It was meant as being able to wind down at the end of the day.

Dimming of the day:
This old house is falling down around my ears
I'm drowning in a river of my tears
When all my will is gone you hold me sway
I need you at the dimming of the day
You pull me like the moon pulls on the tide
You know just where I keep my better side
What days have come to keep us far apart
A broken promise or a broken heart
Now all the bonnie birds have wheeled away
I need you at the dimming of the day
Come the night you're only what I want
Come the night you could be my confident
I see you on the street in company
Why don't you come and ease your mind with me
I'm living for the night we steal away
I need you at the dimming of the day
I need you at the dimming of the day

Claire Bobrow said...

Craig: so you took a little poetic license. Works for me! Beautiful song, and sentiment.

John: thanks for clueing me in! Time to do an internet search (and exorcise the opening to As The World Turns from my mind: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." Yikes!)

kdjames.com said...

Thanks, Colin! I try to keep an eye on the quiet ones, because you know what they say about them, but sometimes I overlook one of the near-lurkers. I'M WATCHING YOU JEFF. (in a non-creepy, non-stalkery way) (oh geez, now I scared him off)

Craig, I LOVE that song and thought of it when I read your comment. Bonnie Raitt does a version that is amazing.

Claire, here's a partial quote from a recent blog post of mine where I talked about creativity in tough times. The "couple writers who use [an hourglass]" I referred to are John and Julie, which I think is so cool and I'm delighted it works so well for them, but if you want an alternative:

"So I decided I needed a timer. I really wanted an hourglass, because it just seems like such an interesting thing to have and I know a couple writers who use one . . . except I'd constantly be looking at it to see whether the sand had run out, or ignoring it entirely since they're silent, and that's not exactly productive. So I got this thing" <--link to timer at AMZ

Beth said...

Cheryl - I was just skimming the comments and somehow missed the first time that you'd seen a platypus in the wild. Wow. I have been fascinated with them all my life. And I'm glad to hear the good news for Tasmanian devils as well. Not as incredible as duckbilled platypi (is this the right plural?) but still amazing creatures.

Claire Bobrow said...

kdjames: the cube timer is cool! I love all these suggestions. Thank you :-)

Allison Newchurch said...

Oooh, those pens look like the set I picked up at Costco in Melbourne a few months ago. Fabulous range of colours. Must be a couple of dozen pens in all. Love them.

I use them especially for highlighting dialogue on my printed pages. Makes it easy to read just the dialogue to see if it makes sense.


Gina Black said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the pens. I haven't been able to resist a good tip (sorry for the pun) since I was saving up my allowance for them.