I decided to try a nice vintage Eversharp Ventura that I just got in October but hadn't found the time to try yet, and I filled it up with Noodlers Purple Heart, an ink exclusively available from Goulet Pens. I've heard a lot about Eversharp nibs, but this was the first time I'd ever tried one for myself. And the Purple Heart was just too beautiful a colour to resist.
Since the power was finally back, I wasn't nearly as uncomfortable, but I decided to continue to test my pens and inks under more difficult conditions. I often like to write outdoors in the good weather, or to take a pad and pen with me to write wherever I am, so I determined that I'd go on writing for the month without using a desk. I'd hold the pad in my hand, or prop it up wherever I happened to be. This is a much more difficult way to write, but that makes for an excellent test of how well each pen works under the most difficult possible conditions.
Although I am no expert on Eversharps, this particular Ventura appears to have the smaller nib which indicates it was one of the last Eversharp pens ever produced, possibly in 1957. If that is true, this pen was made while the company struggled, unsuccessfully, to avoid bankruptcy. Still, the nib more than lived up to the Eversharp reputation. It is smooth and wet, and skated across the paper with the same ease and grace an Olympic gold medal skater would skim across the ice. In fact, it often seemed as if I only had to wave the tip of the pen over the page, and it would leave behind a nice line of ink, as if it were a magic wand.
This single experience was enough to make me long to own more Eversharps in the future. Even the fact it ran out of ink just a few lines before I was done writing for the night failed to dampen my enthusiasm. (I continued with the Platinum Preppy, rather than go through the ritual of reinking just to add a few more lines.) Everyone who spends a lot of time writing should have an Eversharp or two to fall back upon on those days when they are desperate to send their thoughts racing across the page, and even a little difficulty may interrupt the process.
The nib even manages to make some of my more ordinary pens seem almost as clumsy as ballpoints. Now I understand why there is such a mystique surrounding Eversharps. The fact that the company went bankrupt while Wearever continued to make fountain pens for more than a decade longer - I bought a Wearever when I was in school, and it was only one of two fountain pens I've ever owned that I loathed - makes it very plain that the quality of a product has absolutely no connection with a company's financial success. If that were so, then Eversharp would still be in business, still making pens like this.
As for the ink, Purple Heart only recently became available, after a period of collaboration between Nathan Tardiff of Noodlers Ink and the Goulets. It is a beautiful, slightly reddish purple, which suits the name perfectly. I think the colour and the name together represent a very classy choice. I was really drawn to the ink, though, because the sample I saw online suggested it would be a unique purple, one that stands out from all the other purple shades available. In that, I was not at all disappointed.
I'm afraid the photo absolutely does not do this ink justice. I am still swamped with odds and ends that piled up while the power was out, so taking the time to scan the page is beyond my ability at the moment, but I wish you could see this ink in all its glory. Although I suspect even a scan would appear flat next to the true richness of the actual ink on the surface of the paper.
As you've probably guessed, I love Purple Heart. The colour is deep and rich, the ink is nice and wet and flows well, and it makes a nice dark line that nevertheless is unmistakably purple. It is well suited for writing a manuscript, and while only the most dedicated purple lovers would want to own no other inks, this is an ink I'd hate to run out of. Even if you aren't writing a war story, so the association fails to prove helpful, this is an ink that looks so nice on the page it encourages you to keep on writing. And, if you're writing a story for which a very impressive and beautiful purple is appropriate, the ink itself is easily enough to inspire you.
All in all, this was a fun day of writing. I woke up feeling dreadful after my long ordeal, I had errands to run... but I ended the day happy, and thoroughly attached to the pen and the ink that I'd tried out for the first time, having had a great experience with both of them. And even after all the delayed errands, I managed to write 1,732 words, for a total of 3,487, which is hardly spectacular but is certainly comfortably more than I needed to stay on target.