Pilot’s Varsity Disposable Fountain-Pens

45A6EB8E-F5BC-4E92-9E57-7D09CD34A332I do a good bit of writing by hand, usually in a large hardbound sketchbook, although I sometimes like the feel of a nice narrow yellow-lined pad or the sprawl of an enormous expanse of drawing paper. And to write on these, while sometimes I’ll wander over into glitter gel pens or fine-point felt tips, my favorite is the Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen.

Depending on where you’re getting it, the price varies from $3-10, with the high range of that usually appearing in fancy stores aimed at writers, which will strategically place a mug of them near that stack of leatherbound, gilt-edged journals locking with tiny moon and star clasps whose splendor will prove so intimidating to live up to that you will never actually use it. Overall, it will prove much cheaper to buy yours at an art supply store, which is where I get mine, since I go through at least a few each month.

I like writing with this pen because it never feels as though the nib and paper are dragging at each other. The nib could best be described as medium, somewhere well between broad point and narrow. The pen comes in a variety of shades and shows clearly what color it is at both the top and the bottom. For me, the availability of the color depends on how recently the store’s restocked, but the web tells me it comes in black, navy blue, red, green, pink, purple, and turquoise blue.

My only quibble with the pen is a small one that may not apply to many people’s experience. I am tough on pens. They end up jammed in purses, pockets, lost in coat linings, moved from one book bag to another. And so if your treatment of your possessions is overall gentler, which it probably is, you may not experience the same results I do, which is that about one in twenty pens ends up not exploding so much as getting a bit drippy to the point of ink-stained fingers.

About Cat Rambo

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the first two books of the Tabat Quartet, Beasts of Tabat and Hearts of Tabat. She is an Endeavour, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee. Among her nonfiction works are a travel guide to Baltimore, a cookbook, highly opinionated essays, and the book Creating an Online Presence for Writers. She once won a hula contest judged by Neil Gaiman. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see here.