An 18111 Commission

Mid last year, I reached out to Yoshi Nakama of 18111 Pens about commissioning a custom pen. As the DC Pen Show was only a few weeks away, we agreed to discuss it at the show. At the time, I hoped to get a pen themed to my Exalted Bloodlines series.

I eagerly sought him out at the show. However, when I showed him the ideas I had in mind, he warned me it may not be doable.

The designs I showed Mr. Nakama at the DC Pen Show.
Left to right: My design idea for the rollstopper, the blood drop I wanted scattered around the pen, and the moon and star I wanted on the top of the cap.

The proposed roll stopper design, the blood drop I wanted scattered across the pen, and the moon and star I wanted on the top of the cap all have “sharp corners.” Apparently, 3D printing and laser engraving can’t produce sharp corners at that size.

However, I hoped we could reach a compromise with a modified design that I liked and could be executed. I agreed to modify the design before sending Mr. Nakama the files. He warned me that his waiting list was about 3 months long. Granted, considering the year+ waiting lists many pen makers have right now, 3 months is hardly an issue.

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Is Comedy “Getting Hard”?

On Saturday, I went to a comedy show. I don’t intend to mention any names in this post, as that’s not the point of this post.

I found it interesting that every performer, the openers and headliner alike, spoke some form of “comedy’s getting hard because people are more sensitive” near the beginning of their act.

Of the openers, two were received very well, and one received a lukewarm response. Thinking about the show later, I realized something crucial.

Let me pause for a moment to say I’m well aware I’m no comedian. I can’t refute comedians’ assessment that comedy is getting harder. What I can offer, however, is an outsider’s perspective of the situation.

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Review – The Events at Branxbourne

The Events at Branxbourne

by Caitlin Williams

The Events at BranxbourneGenres: Classical Rewrite, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Pages: 232
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★★

“Whatever else happens, and we may expect dark days ahead, never doubt that in this moment, beneath this perfect blue sky, on this warm September day, you are loved as no other woman has ever been loved before. You are loved for all that you are, for all you once were, and for all that you will come to be.”
– Fitzwilliam Darcy

Lady Lambert, or Elizabeth Bennet as she was once known, appears to have made the perfect match. Having refused Mr. Darcy’s proposal of marriage at Hunsford, she is now married to a viscount. While everything seems well, beneath her fine clothes beats a heart filled with regrets. Dark secrets lurk in every corner of her elegant London townhouse, and while she might have at her disposal many excellent and numerous carriages, they all seem to take her places she does not truly want to go.

Into her now desolate existence comes Mr. Darcy again—a changed man, a better man, the very best of men, and still very much in love with her. Is it all impossible? She ought to resist him, yet she cannot stay away. Theirs is a dangerous, scandalous love that proves impossible to resist.

In an age when women are owned by their husbands, can a wife escape a husband she has come to loathe, and when there is blood on her hands, how will Elizabeth explain herself?

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Ink Dupes #7: Bungubox and Robert Oster

A little side note before I jump into the comparison. I believe that Australian Syrah has recently (since I bought my bottle) been renamed to Australian Shiraz. If I’m wrong, please let me know and I’ll adjust this post accordingly. 

The Inks

Bungubox Piano Mahogany
Price: ~$39 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $.78
Availability: Readily available
Robert Oster Australian Syrah
Price: ~$17 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $.34
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Bungubox Piano Mahogany and Robert Oster Australian Syrah

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Review – The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet

The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet

by Caitlin Williams

The Coming of Age of Elizabeth BennetGenres: Classical Rewrite, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: June 6, 2016
Pages: 502
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

The very worst has happened. Mr Bennet has died, leaving his wife and five young daughters bereft. The family estate, Longbourn, is now lost, entailed away and fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet is to go two hundred miles away to live with strangers. George Darcy, repaying a debt of gratitude, has offered to take her to Pemberley, to live under the mantle of his care and be raised alongside his own daughter, Georgiana.

But on the day she is to leave Longbourn forever, young Elizabeth, grieving and confused, runs off into the Hertfordshire countryside. Fitzwilliam Darcy gives chase, telling his father he will have her back in an hour or two. Luck and fate, however, are not on his side and capturing Elizabeth Bennet turns out not only to be more difficult than he could ever have imagined, but events will conspire to turn her little adventure into his worst nightmare.

The prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece. Elizabeth grows up under the ever-watchful eye of Mr Darcy, from fifteen to twenty one. She errs and falters, there are stumbles and trips, but could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?

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Identifying and Dating a Vintage Esterbrook

While volunteering at the 2019 Baltimore Pen Show, I was gifted a lovely red, lever-fill, vintage Esterbrook pen. Admittedly, I know next-to-nothing about vintage Esterbrooks. I also have a penchant for finding out as much about my vintage pens as possible.

That said, it should be no surprise that I set out to identify and date (as accurately as possible) my new Esterbrook as soon as I was able.

Because I had fun doing so, and I found the information interesting, I figured I’d share it with you in the hopes that my research would prove useful to others.

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2019 BWIPS Volunteering

As I mentioned in my last post, this was my first time as pen show volunteer staff. It’s an experience I look forward to repeating many times in the future.

When Corinne, the show organizer, put out a call to the DC Pen Crew for volunteers, I eagerly signed up. My reasoning, beyond wanting to help out, was that if I was volunteering, I wouldn’t be spending money.

That theory worked out well. When I received the schedule, I was happy to see myself listed for Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. That shift schedule worked so well that I’m hoping for the same next year.

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2019 Baltimore Pen Show

Alright, my third pen show of the year. Allow me to start of by saying that the Baltimore Washington International Pen Show (BWIPS) is my favorite pen show. I’ll do my best to describe and rate it (since I haven’t done so previously) in an unbiased manner, but I don’t know if I’ll be wholly successful.

To start, this was a show with several firsts for me. It was the first time I’d attended a full pen show, the first time I’d stayed at the show hotel, the first time I’d attended a pen show workshop, and the first time I’d volunteered as part of the show staff.

I’ll cover my volunteering experience in another post. For now, suffice to say it was great. I’m eager to volunteer again next year.

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