My friend Mark, upon learning that I fancied the odd fountain pen, suggested I consider attending “Pen Night,” an irregular gathering of pen afficianados held at The Bookmark bookstore in Charlottetown.
So I got myself on the mailing list.
And then watched half a dozen Pen Nights sail by, always finding myself otherwise engaged.
Fearing that the statute of limitations would see my name dropped off the list, I resolved that tonight would finally be the night.
Which is how I found myself, a few minutes after 7 o’clock, gingerly making my way into the midst of a small crowd of about ten of the pen-passionate.
And what a welcoming crowd they proved to be: generous with knowledge, patient when asked silly questions, and completely comfortable lying in the warm bath of nerdiness.
The evening began with a show-and-tell, where we were each invited to talk about a new pen, or a new paper, or a new experience. I proudly showed off my inexpensive German public school Pelikano fountain pen, passed around some lovely Japanese cardstock I picked up at Wonder Pens in Toronto in June, and passed out some of my Prince Edward Island postcards, printed this summer on my letterpress (if there was ever a group that would appreciate them, it was this).
The evening continued with a report of a trip to the Pen Show in Washington, DC, followed by a how-to for the process of converting inexpensive plastic fountain pens into a “eyedropper pens” by converting them so that the pen body, rather than a cartridge, holds the ink. Pen hacking, in other words.
We finished up with all manner of conversation, and questions, and the passing around of various things.
It was simply delightful. And I expect that I will now attend regularly, come hell or high water.