Fly Me To the Moon...

Hello Loves,

It's time I get my blogging life in order. For those who have been long time followers you'll probably cheer...or maybe all the new content headed your way.

Readers and writers are very similar creatures. When a writer is tired of writing they need to go back to their basic functioning which is to write. It sounds simple on paper but in reality a burnt out writer is going to be hard pressed to type anything longer than a paragraph without the heavy application of caffeine. When a reader gets burnt out they go back to their favorite books. The safe ones they already know they adore. Writers can accomplish that same feat by making a connection to their tools and constructs.

Ask any writer alive about their writing rituals and every person with have at least one…most will have more than one and a few will have a long litany of ritual they need to accomplish their tasks. This can range from lighting a candle with a specific scent, turning on music or a specific playlist, all the way to utilizing specific programs, tools, or brands of products.

Creators entangle themselves with their tools and form connections. Some have a fierce loyalty to them. When a writer needs to get that spark back they usually have a go to method, and as I mentioned above mine is getting back to the basics.

There are many ways to write: a computer, pen, pencil, paper, typewriters, mud, chalk, paint, ink, word processors. Every writer uses some combination of these. For myself it goes down to specific brands.

This week I am going to talk about something many of you may not be intimately familiar with: pencils. A lot of people walk around their lives perfectly content in their lack of luxury pencil knowledge or anything outside the standard Ticonderoga they used in grade school or high school standardized testing.

There is a world you know not of...and I am here to set you straight. (I apologize in advance to your wallet). May I present...THE PALOMINO BLACKWING...*queue music*

You may be looking at that picture saying to yourself..."come on lady it's just a pencil" which I shall reply...let me tell you about it...rather let me share what someone more articulate says about it:

Legendary Grammy, Emmy, Pulitzer and Academy Award winners have created with the Blackwing 602 pencil. The list of known users includes John Steinbeck, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and Chuck Jones who proudly used Blackwings to create Bugs Bunny and many other Looney Tunes characters.

Blackwing’s roots go back to the 1930’s when the 602 model was first introduced by Eberhard Faber. In 1998, after several corporate acquisitions, it was discontinued, but not forgotten. In fact, fans began paying as much as $40 on eBay for a single Blackwing pencil

Artists soon noticed that Palomino’s range of premium pencils compared favorably to the Blackwing 602. They began asking Palomino to consider reviving the Blackwing brand and unique ferrule design. Palomino founder Charles Berolzheimer, whose family’s roots in the pencil industry date back to the mid 19th century, used the company’s unique supply relationships to re-introduce Blackwing pencils in 2010 featuring California genuine incense-cedar and premium Japanese graphite. The pencils has drawn rave reviews from users and national media attention

In the last few years, Blackwing has grown from a single pencil into a culture. It’s a culture that encourages and empowers creativity in all forms, especially in our nation’s schools. In fact, a percentage of every Blackwing product sold benefits music and arts education at the K-12 level.

Taken directly from the Blackwing website you can see how this pencil might have a cult following...maybe not as large of Firefly but that's a conversation for another day. Now let me share with you my own observations.

There are a number of Blackwing models available at the moment. The standard line consists of The Blackwing Pearl (the white pictured above), the Blackwing 602 (the gray pictured above), and the Blackwing MMX (the black and gold pictured above). Blackwing also offers a quarterly limited release called Volumes that are only on sale for a limited time. The Black on black shown above is the Volume homage to John Steinbeck a user of the Palomino Blackwings in their original form. The bottom pencil shown is the 1138 dubbed the sci-fi pencil. There were two more releases: the 211 and the 725 which are not seen above.

Each pencil has a different feel. Some graphite is more firm or more dark. And the finish on the pencil impacts the way it feels in your hand. I am so in love with these pencil I use them to hold up my hair for quick and easy carrying while protecting the point.

I'm not an expert but I can tell you writing with a pencil takes you somewhere new. Somewhere a little softer, a little slower, that allows you to take the time to articulate your thoughts and set them to paper at a more reasonable rate than out fast-paced digital world sometimes allows. Writing with pencil has helped me form a more deeper tactile connection with my writing and I've only delved the surface of the pencil market.

If you'd like to give these a try you can find the original line on Amazon or your can purchase them at retailers like Jet Pens or The volumes can be purchased at those locations as well or you can buy a subscription for a quarterly shipment and never miss a set!

Next week I shall enumerate on the typewriter it took me years to find!

Until next time!


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