Friday, June 19, 2020

The Ultimate Author Betrayal: Falling in Love with a NEW PEN

For as long as I can remember, I have loved Pilot Razor Point Fine-Tipped Black Marker Pens.

I have written almost all of my sixty books with Pilot Razor Point Fine-Tipped Black Marker Pens, on narrow-ruled, white, 8 1/2" paper (no margins!), leaning on the clipboard-missing-a-clip that I've had since college, while drinking Swiss Miss hot chocolate.

In every school visit for decades I would mention my deep and abiding love for these pens as part of my presentation. I'm not sure my young audience really needed to know this, but I wanted to share with them the JOY of writing, and part of the joy for me comes from these creative rituals.

I vowed that I would never ever EVER give my love to another pen.

But then . . .  a year ago, when I started my new little notebook for the year, buying the same brand I had always bought, this time the paper must have been a little bit thinner and cheaper, because, to my horror, my pen LEAKED THROUGH TO THE BACK OF THE PAGE. This would not do. I have to be able to write on both sides of the page - I just have to!

I happened to have in my possession another pen that had somehow come my way, a Pilot 5-500 extra-fine marker pen. Desperate, I gave it a chance to see how it would do at writing my goals and dreams in the new little notebook.

 It did NOT leak through to the back of the page. And its lines were SO thin and and SO fine, SO refined and delicate and elegant, that now the lines of the old pen seemed crude and coarse, garish and vulgar.

And so it happened: I fell in love with a new pen. This is now the pen I crave and cherish.
I feel terrible for my old pens, languishing in their boxes, forgotten. I remember a song my sister learned in kindergarten (which I've never been able to find by Googling), which began: "Dolly's lying on the closet floor / since my new bear came." I can tweak the lyrics to be: "Pilot Razor Point pens are lying in the drawer / since my Pilot P-500s came." This isn't as catchy, but it's just as true.

So I have a new favorite pen now. I just do.

 I was about to say that I've callously moved on, but that isn't right. I've sorrowfully moved on with a heart full of tender memories. I will always remember the old Pilot Razor Point Fine-Tipped Black Marker Pens with deep affection for their faithfulness through all the years we had together. And at the end of my writing days, it will be the Pilot Razor Point Fine-Tipped Black Marker Pens I remember most.

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