I learned to write with a fountain pen. Well, that’s not entirely true; I taught myself to write shortly after I taught myself to read, when I was very small but already as stubborn as I was going to get, and desperate for a never-ending stream of stories. But when I finished nursery school, I was given a Waterman fountain pen with pineapples all over it, and from that moment onward I was to write with a fountain pen.
I haven’t owned one for a very long time. I like medium-sized nibs, because they make the pen glide and I like the wider lines. I used ballpoints, because they were cheap and I was poor. And most of my writing never saw much hand-written work; I just typed it all straight into my computer.
But I missed it. And I added a fountain pen to my Amazon wishlist, and hoped someone would buy it for me this Christmas.
My husband, in his ever-lasting wisdom, couldn’t find the link to my wishlist. He did ask a mutual friend, but basically ended up winging it. He gave me a Walking Dead board game – which I can heartily recommend and which our zombie-hating friend (I know, isn’t it weird that I even let these people into my house?!) had to admit was really fun – and a Haynes manual for the Millennium Falcon, a calligraphy set and some stocking-stuffers…
And a Parker fountain pen with a medium nib.
“It’s just that writing is what you love, and what you want to do with your life,” he said.
I’ve begun writing my first drafts in fountain pen. And you know what? It’s making a huge difference. It’s bringing me closer to the story, and because I’m writing a lot more slowly it’s forcing me to slow down and consider what I’m writing while I’m writing it (which I usually don’t do during a first draft).
But most of all… Most of all, it’s reminding me that Christmas isn’t about the monetary value of what you give and receive, but about showing someone you love that you know a way to make them that little bit happier.
I hope all of your Christmases (all 2 of you, I’m talking to you!) were amazing, too.