Monday, November 21, 2011

Day Eighteen: Baoer 523 with Summer Tanager

For day eighteen, I chose an inexpensive Chinese Baoer 523 that I got from Stationery Art in Hong Kong. To fill it up, I selected Noodlers Summer Tanager. Although I don't expect the cheaper pens to equal my better pens, it is nice to have a selection of pens that I can use without much worry as well, and it is interesting to see just how well each of them does stack up.

The Baoer 523 is a nice looking pen with a semi-hooded nib, although it is a cartridge converter model, something I avoid whenever I can. The included converter is a very flimsy piston operated model that seems like it will disintegrate with even light use. It sucked in a tiny quantity of ink, although the ink lasted for as long as I was using the pen.

The nib was surprisingly nice and smooth. It is far from the best nib I own, but it is nicer than nibs on pens I've paid much more for. The problem I had with this pen was the section. It is very thin, made of painted metal, and extremely difficult to grip. The pen kept trying to roll in my fingers because the section provided so little traction. I have never had a similar problem with any other pen, so I was surprised and disappointed, but after just a few pages, I gave up and went back to using the Merlin Osmi that was still inked up from the day before.

For that reason, despite the fact the nib was so nice and the pen was otherwise convenient, I would not recommend this to a writer despite the very low price. It might be fine for casual use, when you'd only be jotting a few words or at most a line or two. But when you're trying to write pages as quickly as you can think, the last thing you need is a pen that keeps rolling over in your fingers, so the nib isn't properly positioned on the page until you shift the pen.

Summer Tanager is a nice, bright, pure orange. It is a bit light for writing out a full manuscript, but even in bad light, I was able to see it just well enough that I intended to press on with using it. I wouldn't normally recommend this for writing out a manuscript, although it is another obvious choice for markup. It flows well, although I did have one problem with this ink I haven't had with any other this month.

It actually bled through the paper in a few spots. Considering how well behaved other inks have been on this Rhodia paper, inks that I know will bleed through badly on lesser paper, the fact that it bled through even minimally on this paper does not bode well for using it on anything cheaper. Of course, if you're working with manuscript pages that are only printed on one side, you could mark them up with no worries at all, no matter how flimsy the paper.

On day eighteen, despite annoyances from the pen I was using throughout the first part of the day, I wrote 2,188 words, for a total so far of 39,131 words. I'm nearing my goal, with time to spare, and I'm starting to breathe a bit easier, especially as the story is coming well. I am struggling a bit, with the issues George must struggle with, but that is generating ideas and words and pushing the story forward. Some passages will have to be edited out, certainly, but that is always the case with a first draft, unless you write it at a glacial pace.

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