My grandfather died when I was 5, but I have a few memories of him. I remember the moment I realized that I could always bring him a book while he sat in that orange easy chair, and I could sit on the arm, and he’d read to me. I remember realizing that was the pattern, and something I could always count on.
When I was in my early teens, I came across an old Parker pen in my grandmother’s antique desk. When I brought it to her, she told me it was my grandfather’s, and since I was already a writer (of sorts, hah) she said I could have it.
I already had begun my love of A Beautiful Pen, although I hadn’t been bitten bad yet. In fact, this was the first Beautiful Pen I’d ever been given. I had many Cool Pens, but this was lovely.
At the time (as for the next decade) I hand-wrote my novels first. I had a little system: all the notebooks had to be the same color (to make identifying the books easier) and I would write with the same pen until it went dry. That’s because the pen contained my book, not yet stretched out, you see. I had to use the same pen so all the book was contained in the same tube of ink. Don’t tell me this is stupid. It worked, didn’t it?
Unfortunately,when I tried to write with Grandpa’s pen, the pen was dry. Oh well. At the time, I didn’t realize you could buy a refill for a Parker Pen, so I just brought home the pen and put it in my desk drawer.
Because it was my grandfather’s pen, though, every so often, I’d bring it out and scribble with it a bit. But it was still dry.
One day I mentioned this pen to my mother, who said, “What pen?” I produced the pen for her from my pit of a desk, and I showed her it was dry…
…except that it wrote.
And it kept writing. And kept writing. And I kept writing with it, using it for the current novel, keeping it with me at school. I don’t recall if it ever ran out of ink after that (until I left it behind for college, so it wouldn’t get lost or stolen).
It was my Grandfather’s pen, and I like to think he prays for me and cares for me, and he wanted to bless me with a never-ending supply of stories to match the ones he read me as a preschooler.