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Tag: Retrospective

2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Posted in Book Blogger

While I’ve meant to, I’ve never actually written a post about my Goodreads Reading Challenge activity. I’ve actively taken part in the challenge every year since 2018. Generally, I’ve been conservative with my goal. In 2022, I went fairly easy on myself, setting a goal of only 36 books.

Since I haven’t looked back at my reading in previous years — on my blog, at least — I want to provide a brief overview of the previous years’ challenges, too. After all, while I know many of my readers are here for the fountain pen posts, 32% of my blog content is related to books.

If you’re interested in what I thought of the books I read, you can take a look at my book review posts, or my Reviewed list on Goodreads. I don’t always review the books I read, and, even for those I do, they aren’t guaranteed to make it on here.

Reviewing My 2022 Purchasing Habits

Posted in Fountain Pens

As should have been obvious in my Pen Collection post, 2022 did not go as I’d planned. My stated goal was to limit my pen purchases to 24 pens. I failed in that. Miserably.

However, I sold 17 pens last year, and none of them was purchased in 2022. So at least I’m keeping up my streak of zero same-year sales.

While I disposed of more pens in 2022 than 2021 (14), my purchasing skyrocketed from 42 in 2021 to 54 in 2022. That puts last year as the second highest purchasing rate since I started collecting. It also had the second highest net collection increase : 37.

My 2022 Top Tens

Posted in Fountain Pens

Once again, I’m sharing my current top pens. I took a somewhat different approach this year, so that I actually choose a top 10. I’m judging my pens based on appearance and the way they write. So I have two different top ten lists. Because of this, I won’t be comparing to last year’s top pens, which ended up being a top 28.

This was so much just as hard as I expected it to be. I’m fortunate enough to have an absolutely fabulous pen collection, so narrowing it down to my favorites grows increasingly difficult each year.

But without further preamble, enjoy my top 10 pens of 2022 by appearance and by nibs.

Year in Review – 2022 Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

While it was difficult to do last year, ranking my pen purchases was a useful exercise. So, I decided to do it again. I have to say, I’m embarrassed by the long list of pens I purchased this year. I was hoping to buy less pens this year, not more. But I’ll discuss that in another post.

I realize that this is a long block of text. But, if I added a photo of each pen, it would take absolutely forever to get through. So, for pens that I’ve already discussed in a dedicated post, I’ve linked to that post (and the photos contained therein). For the rest, where possible, I linked to an Instagram photo from the pen maker or store they collaborated with. When that wasn’t possible, I linked to a good photo on Instagram (consider following those fine folks) or one of my own Instagram posts.

My 2022 Brand “Discoveries”

Posted in Fountain Pens

While I didn’t quite buy from 15 new-to-me brands like last year, I did purchase from 9. Now, when I say new-to-me, I don’t mean I’ve never heard of them, just that I’d never before purchased a pen made by that brand.

Nearly all of them are indie brands, which makes me happy as I like supporting indie brands. And my interest continues to be piqued by indie brands more than mainstream brands.

Anyway, let’s start with mainstream brands to get that out of the way, then jump into the indie brands. FYI: The lists are in alphabetical order.

Purchasing Habits Update

Posted in Fountain Pens

So… remember earlier this year when I said, “I want to keep my pen purchases this year to 24 or less?” Well, that didn’t go so well. Here we are, only half way through the year, and I’ve already exceeded that limit by two.

I even tried to finagle the numbers in my favor. Rather than all pens, I first narrowed it down to purchased pens. Because, really, gifts don’t count. They aren’t purchases. And then I narrowed it down further to fountain pens. That cut out 7 pens, including the new Retro 51 Smithsonian Panda that just arrived today.

5-year anniversary

Posted in Personal

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I started this blog. I originally considered writing some great retrospective with a side of holy crap, I kept this going for 5 freakin’ years!! But, then I found a tag to do instead. While I haven’t posted consistently for the full 5 years, I am pretty happy that I’ve stuck with it this long. Here’s to another 5!

This post is inspired by Angelica Nyqvist‘s video Well This Has Been Quite The Journey…. In that video, she credits Erica Conger and notyourbasicsteph with coming up with the idea.

One Wasn’t Enough

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

This post is inspired by Angelica Nyqvist‘s video One Wasn’t Enough… | Products So Good I Went Back and Bought More!!. In that video, she credits Lauren Mae Beauty with coming up with the idea.

While the idea is pretty straightforward, I’m taking a specific facet of it. I’m not examining all pens I had to have more than one of. Instead, I’m only taking a look at those pens that I purchased more than one of the same model because I loved the way it writes. Maybe later I can share pens I bought more than one of because of the way they look. Would you be interested in that?

Anyway, that’s enough blathering, let’s get to the fun stuff.

Pens That Almost Got Away

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

Before I dive into this post, I have an announcement. After over two months of twice-a-week or more posting, I’m going to slow down a bit, and only post once a week for a while. I’m trying to give myself some more time for other hobbies, including an embroidery project, ancestry research, and a completely new hobby I want to try, bead weaving. Fountain pen posts will go up on Fridays. Non-fountain pen posts will go up on Tuesdays. Now, on to the pens that got away!

Pens I Almost Bought

Posted in Fountain Pens

Yep, it’s another adaptation from YouTube; is anyone surprised? Honestly, the YouTube makeup world has some great year-end round-up ideas. This one comes from Angelica Nyqvist‘s video 10 Palettes I ALMOST Bought Recently (but then DIDN’T). But, back to this post. The idea is pretty self-explanatory.

So, what pens did I almost buy, and what kept me from purchasing them?

Reviewing My Purchasing Habits

Posted in Fountain Pens

Surprisingly, I actually have a short post for you today. As I’ve discussed previously, I’m trying hard to ensure that I think through my pen purchases. I seem to have done fairly well with that in 2021. I sold 14 pens last year, and not one of them was purchased in 2021. That put me ahead of the same-year sales I had in 2020 (2), 2019 (3), and 2018 (4).

I disposed of less pens in 2021 than 2020 (17), 2019 (15), and 2018 (26). However, I only bought two more pens (42) in 2021 than 2020 (40) despite a significant positive change in our financial situation. I’m pretty proud of myself for that.

Year in Review – 2021 Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

Both last year and in 2019 I wrote about my biggest pen wins and regrets. It was fun to look back on my pens, so I decided to do the same thing this year. However, with my 2021 Top Pens post, I basically already did that. So, I decided to do something I’ve seen in the YouTube makeup world — surprise, surprise — and rank all of my pen purchases.

Note: Some of the pens have already been discussed in recent posts. If a description looks familiar, that’s likely why. Also, where possible, I linked to an Instagram photo from the pen maker or store they collaborated with. When that wasn’t possible, I linked to a good photo on Instagram (consider following those fine folks). And, when all else failed, I linked to my own photos on Instagram.

2021 New Pen Releases, The Tag

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

This post is based on the “New Makeup Releases | THE TAG” video from Angelica Nyqvist. She’s done this tag for several years, and I thought it would be fun to adapt it to the fountain pen world.

This tag is about evaluating the releases — in this case pens & inks — from the past year.

My 2021 Top Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

My planning from last year has paid off. This year, I’m revisiting my 2020 Top Pens and seeing what differences there are in comparison to my 2021 top pens.

As I said last year, I tend to sell or trade pens that don’t make me happy to own. I’m getting closer to all of my pens being favorites, but I made myself narrow them down to a top 10 and top 20. I kind of cheated with the Always Inked section, but don’t judge me too harshly.

This was so much harder than I expected it to be. I slightly adjusted my judging criteria this year. I did my best to put these pens in order of which ones I’m most disappointed to un-ink (clean out). And so, I give you my top pens as of the end of 2021.

My 2021 Brand “Discoveries”

Posted in Fountain Pens

When I sat down to start writing this post, I thought it would be rather short. Then, I looked through my Airtable database and found that I’d purchased pens from 15 new-to-me brands this year! Wow! Now, when I say new-to-me, I don’t mean I’d never heard of them, just that I’d never before purchased a pen made by that brand.

I bought from a decent mix of indie and mainstream brands, which makes me happy. I like supporting indie brands. And I’ve found, especially recently, that my interest is piqued by indie brands more than mainstream brands.

Anyway, let’s start with mainstream brands to get that out of the way, then jump into the indie brands. FYI: The lists are in alphabetical order.

My 2020 Top Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

In working on blog posts for the new year, I wanted to revisit last year’s favorite pens, only to realize I hadn’t previously written such a list. So, to have something to revisit next year, I give you my top pens as of the close of 2020.

I tend to sell or trade pens that don’t make me very happy to own. I’m hoping to eventually get to a point where all of my pens are favorites, but I was able to come up with a top 10 and top 20 this year. It was difficult to do, but these are basically the pens you’d have to pry out of my cold, dead hands.

2020’s Silver Linings

Posted in Cat, Personal, and Random Reflections

Despite everything that has happened recently, and my last post, I still want to share this, because it holds true. Here’s hoping there are more, and larger silver linings to 2021.

So, 2020 is finally over, after an indeterminate number of years. There’s no denying that it was a terrible year for many. Or that it was a year unlike any ever seen. And, in some ways, it’s not over yet. We’re still dealing wtih most of the biggest issues of the past year.

However, among the plentiful negatives, for me at least, there were little nuggets of positive that keeps 2020 from being an unmentionable black mark in the past. I’d like to take a post to look back on the positive silver linings of 2020 as an uplifting start to 2021.

#1 & #2: It’s a Tie

My top two items tie for first: adopting our kittens and Bumbledore’s improvement.

Year in Review – 2020 Pens

Posted in Fountain Pens

Welcome to 2021! Of course, my first post of the year is about pens. But, I promise, my next post won’t be. Really.

Last year, I wrote about my biggest pen wins and regrets of 2019. It was fun to look back on my pens, so I decided to do the same thing this year. Thankfully, I’m less embarrassed about my total pen purchases this year.

In my last post, I took a more intention-based look at my pen collection from last year. This time I’m looking at actual pens.