Monday, November 14, 2011

Day Nine: Parker 21 Super with Purple Heart

For day nine, I chose a beautiful red Parker 21 Super with a custom ground fine cursive italic nib. I bought this pen new old stock from Peyton Street Pens. The one I bought was offered with the nib already ground by Pendleton Brown. The "Super" is a somewhat better version of the Parker 21, with a fully hooded nib. To ink it up, I chose Noodlers Purple Heart from Goulet Pens, even though I had tried this ink already. I wanted to see how the ink would work with this special nib.

The aerometric filler worked without a fuss, pulling in more than enough ink to last for the day's writing session. Since it is a cursive italic, the nib is slightly demanding, but it writes smoothly, offers excellent line variation, and it isn't fussy enough to distract me from my writing. The cap snaps on, but doesn't grip firmly. This isn't a huge problem, but this is another pen I'd always want to carry in a pouch and not in a pocket.

It also seems that replacing and removing the cap can sometimes loosen the section where it screws into the barrel. Again, this is not a real problem, just a matter of giving the section a quick half turn or so when necessary. Since I am aware of the reputation of the "21" for barrels that are easily cracked, this could also be due to my own reluctance to tighten it too far. This is a nice pen, and works well. Any writer could use an ordinary 21 Super in their daily work, when you can find one in good shape. But the real star of this pen is the nib, since the custom grind gives it real character.

The pen as I tested it would make an excellent choice to take to book signings, lending your autograph a bit of special personality. At the same time, the fact it began life as a fine nib means that it is perfectly suitable for writing out a long manuscript as well. The line variation helps to keep things interesting, and I found that it gave me extra motivation to keep on writing. All in all, this is a very nice pen to have on hand.

As for the Purple Heart ink, it behaved just as well in this pen as it did in the other one. It is a smooth, reliable ink with an absolutely beautiful colour that has even more appeal when used in an italic nib. As before, the photo just does not do justice to this ink. I am convinced this is one of those inks you must see in person to fully appreciate. In spite of my worries about the difficulty of cleaning it out afterward, I'm really itching to try this out in my Merlin Perfect.

I wrote 1,960 words on day nine, for a total so far of 19,536 words. The story is coming along nicely, and I'm gaining a better grasp of some nuances of the writing process. The final draft will certainly involve some real changes from this draft, but I'm doing a better job at capturing those shifts in later passages, as a form of note to myself for later, when I'm editing. If only I could catch up with everything that has fallen behind and stayed there, I'd be ecstatic!

1 comment:

  1. As I understand it, the real concern with the 21 as far as cracking has more to do with the hood than the barrel. Microscopic cracks can form that you don't know are there until your index finger starts getting inky. :-O The Super is supposedly less prone to this than the earlier 21s. I hope so, 'cause I really like mine--same color as yours, but without the Pendleton Brown-modified nib.