I rarely handwrite anything anymore. All of my schoolnotes are on my computer. I correspond with almost everyone via email.
But sometimes it is a joy to actually put a pen in my hand and write. I like making notes in the margins of my books, and every once in a blue moon I handwrite a note or a letter to a friend.
Most of the times when I write I reach for a ball point pen. Ball points are smooth, they dry quickly, and they don’t smear when wet (a big factor when it’s raining or when I’m writing a check). I prefer fine-tipped ballpoints for taking notes, a thick tip for my signature. My favorite ballpoint ever was a graduation gift from my Uncle Bill & Aunt Sharon: a very slim Cross pen with a gold leaf pattern embossed around the center of the barrel. It was a heavy pen, but quite feminine. The black finish was smooth, not glossy. I haven’t seen that pen in at least 12 years, but I still think about how much I liked it and how it felt in my hand–the perfect weight across my fingers….
When I am annotating school materials I prefer a felt-tip pen. John turned me on to ‘Staedler triplus fineliner’pens (available in a wide variety of colors) for notetaking. My favorite colors are apple green, sky blue and dark grey. The sepia brown color is also a nice choice. I’m almost addicted to these pens. Often I can’t wait to buy a new color–rewarding myself with a trip to the UCI bookstore with just that goal in mind.
When I was an undergrad I went through a phase where I used calligraphy pens for writing–even my schoolnotes. My favorite was a green flowered pen (a gift from my Japanese sister) that I filled with pale green ink cartridges. It could be messy at times, but I felt cool writing with such a pen. It gave my mundane notes an added importance.
I have a writing desk at home where I keep my stationery. In it I have an old fashioned quill pen that John bought me in England. I also have a bottle of sepia-colred ink. Every once in awhile I pull them out and write something. How tedious it to dip the pen in the ink every few words! But, oh, how elegant my writing looks with that particular pen! :)