Friday, November 11, 2011

Day Seven: Wing Sung 237 with Habanero

For day seven, I chose an older Chinese pen, a new old stock Wing Sung 237 made of metal and celluoid, and filled it up with Noodlers Habanero. For those who are unfamiliar with Wing Sung pens, although I don't know the details of the history of the make, it would appear from some of their models that they may have taken over a Sheaffer factory in China, or at least obtained some of their tooling.

The Wing Sung 237 is not a direct clone of any Sheaffer model, but it does feature a Triumph style nib, in gold hued steel stamped with Chinese characters. For reasons known only to insiders at Wing Sung, the tip of these nibs does not turn up slightly in the manner of the true Triumph nibs. The pen is an attractive, bright red "cracked ice" style celluloid barrel with a metal cap made of cheaply finished metal. It is a squeeze filler, or perhaps an aerometric. Like the Hero I tried earlier, it was impossible to force the pen to draw in enough ink to be visible in the clear portion of the filling mechanism.

Despite the failure of the makers to copy the highly effective "Waverley" pattern of the upturned tip, the nib is smooth and writes well. There are certainly better nibs available, but for a pen that costs so little, it is an exceptional nib. It also, like the Hero, did hold enough ink to get through the day's writing, despite the fact it was only partially filled. It is a bit light in the hand, and feels as if it could be easily damaged, but for an inexpensive pen this is a very good buy.

I'm not sure that I'd quite say it is a pen every writer should have on hand, but for any writer who likes the look of this particular pen or just wants another cheap pen to keep around for casual use, it will serve quite well. The metal of the cap and the end tassie does appear to tarnish easily; it isn't clear just what alloy this is made of, but it does detract from the appearance of the pen. The cap also slips on, and the pen can easily come "unmoored".

Habanero is a nice orange with a hint of brown. It is dark enough to read easily, and bright enough to stand out in contrast to just about any ink other than oranges and lighter or brighter reds. I found it helped me set the mood when writing scenes set in the Blitz, with incendiaries falling nearly every night, setting fires that devastate portions of London. This is one of my favourite inks for marking up printouts, or even handwritten manuscripts.

In spite of a difficult scene, in which my main character learns that another major character is dead, I was able to write 2,255 words, for a total to date of 14,867 words. I am eager to see just how much I can do, so I have no plans to slack off, but I am safely on target. I was in part lucky; the scene where poor George learns his wife is dead came at the end of the day, so I could set it aside and deal with my own emotions before getting back to work. (Yes, killing characters I've grown fond of, even when the actual death is off the page, is difficult for me. It is for most writers.)

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