There’s The Nub

I love my fountain pens, but recently I started using my stash of Field Notes for individual RPG projects and since Field Notes have (mostly) terrible paper, a pencil was the way to go. I’ve really liked the results — the little notebook gets creased and scuffed, the pencil gets worn down. It feels like progress. I then discovered I liked using pencils on nicer paper. I trade pencil ghosting for ink smudges and overall it’s a sideways move, but pencils are erasable and resistant to spilled tea.

A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend in New Jersey, and spent my Saturday walking around NYC looking for RPGs (the Compleat Strategist) and stationery (C.W. Pencils), then drove out on Sunday looking for pizza and more stationery in Chester, NJ (The Pen Thing), which by the way is lovely and green and nowhere near the NJ turnpike and fantastic drive for soaking up Chuck Tingle’s podcast.

At C.W. Pencils I scored some Baron Fig Archer pencils and their Lock limited edition notebook as well as a selection of other US and Japanese pencils:

The Archer pencil is fairly thin and light, and it feels an awful lot like the Leuchtturm pencil I’ve been using. Since the Archer is apparently made in Portugal (by Viarco?) perhaps the Leuchtturm is as well. Its dimensions are very similar — no eraser, fairly narrow, light, rounded painted end, silkscreen (as opposed to imprinted) printing.

The ones I really wanted to try are the Mitsubishi 9850 and the General’s Semi-Hex which are basic Japanese and American office/school pencils respectively. General’s is made in Jersey City, and one of only three manufacturers left in the US apparently (I also scored a Musgrave test pencil which is very interesting).

Just as a vibrator can’t replace a good man but a man can’t replace a good vibrator, a pencil won’t replace my fountain pens but the reverse is equally true. The way the pencil gets consumed by the act of writing is very satisfying, and I enjoy making little screaming noises as I sharpen them at my desk in the open-plan office.

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2 Comments

  1. Mica

    I love the care and thought you seem to put into everything, even pencils, lol!

    BTW, did you ever come up with a duelling system for your Lenormand ‘Neverway’ game? I’ve been dusting off the old Everway game recently 🙂

    • Smiorgan

      Hi Mica, thanks!

      I’ve written some new notes on “Grand Tableau” recently but the duelling system is a little way off, and it’s conceptually a bit complicated — I want to do something like both Lace and Steel and the time duelling from Continuum, and tbh I haven’t had much spare brain capacity for a number of reasons. However I am starting to try to actually finish some of the things I’ve started — the first being the OSR StormHack game which I’ll post about shortly. But thanks for the prod, I’ll think about Grand Tableau some more and see if I can write something down.

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