It’s a common enough writerly quirk, but I’ve never been a pen snob. My mother claims she physically cannot write with a cheap ballpoint pen. There exist quite a number of grocery lists and address book entries to the contrary, but I don’t call her out on it. Not much, anyway. I do appreciate that sometimes the word ‘can’t’ feels an awful lot like a synonym for ‘really-don’t-want-to’.
But now I see things a little differently. Look at what I’ve got:
A remarkable kid made this for me. He plays in the middle school chess club that I run.It’s lovely, isn’t it? Burled wood with gold and gunmetal accents.
But seriously, who makes pens? This young guy does; on a lathe even. It’s a craft passed down from his grandfather. In the short time I’ve known – we’ll call him “A” – I’ve had multiple moments of being terribly impressed. “A” shines in every facet except for maybe in self-confidence, but he’ll get there. He kind of has to. He’s just one of those people you meet and you see it right away: that glow of potential. And now I have a souvenir from the time I crossed his comet-trail.
When I saw the one-of-a-kind works of art he makes in his spare time, I commissioned one for myself. I paid for the materials, but his time and artistry are a wonderful gift that I will treasure, and also sign some books with.
And now I am a pen snob.
Don’t touch my pen.