Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Thirteen: Parker 51 Special with Purple Martin

For day thirteen, I chose a Parker 51 Special. The Parker 51 is legendary, and I deliberately chose a "Special", as this is a somewhat less expensive version of the 51. I was interested to see how the more affordable variant would hold up, although I will probably try a "real" 51 later. To fill it, I chose Noodlers Purple Martin.

Despite the fact it was a 'lesser' version, this particular Parker really lived up to its reputation quite well. It filled easily enough; I'm not a particular fan of the aerometric filling system, since unscrewing the section just to fill the pen seems like an unnecessary interruption to me, but at least the system worked, and the pen held enough ink to last me for the entire time I was writing.

The octanium nib - a fancy name for some sort of steel alloy - was smoother than some gold nibs I've used, and it was easy and painless to write with it. This is a pen that is ideally designed to get the job of writing done, right and with little fuss. And for those who hate to get their fingers inky, the hooded nib substantially reduces the possibility that you'll get ink on your fingers while you're gripping the pen. It also makes the tip much easier to clean off after you've inked up the pen. All in all, this is a pen that every writer needs to have at least one of.

The nib does not dry out easily, so the pen begins writing at once, even if you've left it sitting for a while. The greatest compliment I can think of to give this pen is this: It just works. It isn't fussy, it doesn't require a lot of coddling, it works whenever you need it to, for as long as your supply of ink lasts. I had never tried a vintage 51 until earlier this year, and they are already among the pens I consider essential.

Purple Martin is a nice, dark purple, easy to see on the page. Any of the usual bright colours would contrast well with it when editing a manuscript. It is a nice, wet ink, flows well, and lubricates the nib beautifully. It is a perfectly nice ink, but having used it after I'd already tried Purple Heart, it failed to get me excited. My own taste runs more to the rich, slightly reddish purple hue of Purple Heart, but if you like purple inks, Purple Martin is certainly worth a try. I'm sure there are some who would prefer it.

On day thirteen, I was able to write 2,717 words, for a total so far of 29,522 words. At not quite halfway through the month, I made it more than halfway to my goal. That is encouraging, but the race isn't over until you've crossed the finish line. I vividly recall a video of a race in which one woman was in the lead - until she fell within inches of the finish line. The woman behind her raced right past, and won the race. So I won't be counting any chickens yet, not as long as the eggs remain unhatched.

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