Last autumn, on the way home from Zürich on the train, I found a pen. It had fallen between the seat and the carriage wall, and presumably its owner hadn’t noticed because I was able to fish it up quite easily. It was a Paper Mate, but not one of the gold-plated kind so I didn’t feel obliged to take it to Lost Property. I dropped it into my bag, and home we went.
And it was, quite simply, the best pen ever. Exactly the right thickness with a very comfortable and non-slippery grip, and even my terrible handwriting flowed effortlessly from the tip. I blessed that train journey and guarded my new possession jealously.
Two weeks ago, it died. I opened it up and found a normal ink cartridge – not one to be replaced, and reluctantly, I went back to using some of my other, vastly inferior pens. But none were half as comfortable, and I realised I had found my writing instrument for life. There was nothing else for it; I would have to replace it. I set off for our local Papeterie, where they sell everything from crayons to padded bags, and presented my dead pen to the girl. She clicked around on her keyboard.
‘Sorry, we don’t have it in stock,’ she said, frowning at the screen. ‘I could order it for you.’
‘Please,’ I said.
She clicked around again then swung the screen towards me. ‘Which colour do you want?’
I looked. There was my pen, in red, black, and blue, and there may have been other colours too but my eyes had stuck on the price. This paragon of a pen was going to cost me a whole Fr.2.30.
I ordered two and danced home.
Last week’s blog visits to launch Chosen Child were to Lynsey Adam’s There’s been a Murder blog and Jane Davis’s Virtual Book Club – thank you so much, ladies.
I also had a surprise and very welcome invitation to be on Tony Riches’ The Writing Desk – many thanks to Tony too.
So it’s back to the normal routine for me and my books. I now have two traditionally and two self-published novels, and number five, as yet untitled, is with my editor now. I’m not sure what I’ll do with this one, but there’s time enough to decide. It has a long process of editing and tweaking ahead of it – and this is the part I enjoy most!