Flotsam & Jetsam No. 43: My Midori

FOR THE past 18 months or so, I’ve been using a Midori notebook. I like it because it’s slim and can fit into my shirt or coat pocket, like a passport; it’s fountain pen-friendly, and I can always put in a new refill. I’ve had other notebooks but this is the most practical one for me, again because of its size and slimness (and that leather really ages nicely).

5 thoughts on “Flotsam & Jetsam No. 43: My Midori

  1. hi, norman, thanks, i love these stories behind the pens! i hope that agatha went to someone who can appreciate its provenance, although it’s too bad mr. block never really used the pen–i’m sure he would’ve grown to like it over time; authors need pens for book signings! i used this agatha (appropriately enough, with diamine oxblood, as in the pic) for a recent book signing–an anthology of noir stories; what better pen for the purpose? this particular one is my daily user, and it came with a 1.1 stub nib from greg minuskin, so it’s really special…. i almost hate to admit that i have another, mint agatha in the box, the trailer queen (having that in reserve allows me to use this one without compunction)…. but needless to say i enjoy the one i’m using a whole lot more!

    • Hi Jose. I’ve tried to convince Larry about the joys of fountain pens — but he’s a stubborn old codger in his 70’s. 🙂 His ‘Walk Among the Tombstones’, starring Liam Neeson comes out next month.

      It’s no fair that you have a mint Agatha sitting there unused. I’d be more than happy to supply my shipping address. 🙂 His pen had been gently used (probably by Montblanc to demonstrate it when presenting it to him), so I enjoyed writing with it when getting it in shape for sale. I’d hoped to have it magically produce my own noir novel, but no such luck!

      What is the name of the anthology you mention?

      Probably 75% of my personal users have 1.1 stubs on them. I introduced Yair Greenberg to the whole idea of stub nibs (owner of Monteverde/Conklin) — giving him a few of my own — and then had to work on him for a couple of years to produce them for his brands. I’m happy with the result.



  2. hi, norman–the book is called “manila noir,” published by akashic press in new york (part of a global series of city-based “noir” books). i think it’s on amazon; i have a story in it, with all the noir trimmings–femme fatale, dark shadows, red blood… but no pens. (my second story collection, back in 1995, was “penmanship and other stories”; the title story was written around a burgundy vac OS that i found in edinburgh.) that’s a great service you performed on behalf of all of us stub-lovers; i need to check what’s out there in conklin stubs. i’ll likely be at the columbus pen show in november. let me know if you’re going and i’ll make sure to come by and say hi!

    • That’s terrific Jose. I’ll look for them. I read a novel a bit ago entitled ‘Mandarin Yellow’ by Stephen Roth. It’s the first of his ‘Socrates Cheng’ mysteries and centers around the Parker pen…*and* he runs a pen shop! 🙂 It’s not the best novel I’ve ever read, but the fountain pens were enough of a hook to keep me interested (*and* the character loves to read Lawrence Block!).

      I haven’t done the pen show circuit in a few years (it’s a tremendous amount of prep work and oft times a break-even affair when lost business at home is taken into account), but I might start doing Philly and D.C. again next year. Hopefully we’ll be able to meet at one in the future — or if you’re ever in NYC — perhaps we can meet in the middle (I’m in Allentown, PA, so the middle would be New Jersey!). 🙂

      My email for further correspondence in the future is hisnibs@hisnibs.com — rather than taking up your public forum space.

      This is your ‘official’ invitation to contribute something to my writers page: http://hisnibs.com/writers.htm. I’d love to have your voice represented. If interested, just contact me at my private email.



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