April is Letter-Writing Month

Phyllis Inspiration 39 Comments

I confess I love writing with a fountain pen. And April is letter-writing month. What could be more perfect? Letters, notes, pen, and ink are some of my favorite topics to write about.

Did you know that we have a 2016 ink color? Each year Pelikan introduces a new fountain pen ink for a limited time. The Edelstein ink of the year for 2016 is the color aquamarine! When I received my e-mail from Pen Chalet, I immediately contacted Ron Manwaring to get a bottle. It sounds like an addiction, doesn’t it?

This experience made me flash back to two moments in my life. When I was in elementary school, probably sixth grade, our class was well on its way to writing with fountain pens. Back then all we had were cartridges to drop into the barrel of our pens that contained black or blue ink. There were several of us who adored the writing experience and one particular friend walked in one day and proceeded to write in Peacock Blue ink! Oh my gosh—she had Peacock Blue cartridges for her pen. I think I went numb. After searching the city over, I finally found some for my pen. I felt all grown up and accomplished that I would be writing in Peacock Blue.

In her writings Alexandra Stoddard encourages us to choose colors that make us happy and to express our true personalities. Peacock Blue was my color. As I used up the ink cartridges, I enjoyed every moment that I spent writing. I branched out into other colors but always held this color near and dear to my heart.

About 20 years later I was in an old drugstore that was going out of business, and I looked down on a dusty shelf and spotted three boxes that contained bottles of ink. I looked closer and found that there was a blue band around the box that resembled Peacock Blue ink from my childhood. When I picked up the boxes, I found each contained a full bottle of Peacock Blue ink. I had totally lost this ink color through the years and frankly didn’t think it was even made again. And there it was, left over from the ’60s and still sealed tight.

I quickly grabbed all three and made my way to the cash register. Oh the joy of it, I had my color again! I used this ink sparingly for years. It had to be used for something really important. And if you got one of my notes written with Peacock Blue ink, you were special.

This magnificent aquamarine ink of today brings all those emotions back of writing with beautiful ink. This clear, bright, and glorious ink will be my ink for spring. Because April is letter-writing month, now is the perfect time to send notes of love to special people in your life.

Visit penchalet.com for information about ordering aquamarine ink!

Do you have a special memory of writing letters?

Comments 39

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  2. Really good quality article! This is one of the most inspiring pieces of work I’ve read a long time. Too many times writers don’t care what they write. It’s obvious that you do. Thank you.

  3. That is one awesome color! I love sending and receiving letters also. I would visit my friend that battled cancer for 10 years. On her window sills and bedside table she had all her cards displayed. She would point out all the ones I had sent her and tell me how special they were. They brightened her day especially if the sun wasn’t shining in her window. Her family probably tossed them when Our Father called her home but I’m so happy they meant so much to her. It doesn’t have to be a long note and I’m glad I took 10 minutes here and there to write, sign, seal and mail them. It saddens my heart whenever I read an article about schools discontinuing penmanship. Computers have their place but ohh…so does hand writing and heart felt sentiments. I loved this article.

  4. Dear Phyllis,
    I love it that you write from your heart and that you like to reminiscence~~
    I also love that you are a Godly lady. I subscribe to Victoria Bliss ( I have for years) and Tea Time. I’m more Victorian and I see you got blessed with you Peacock Blue ink.. God is so good and I, too, love a bargain!

  5. Dear Phyllis,
    Today, because of you, I opened my journal, sat down with pen and ink, and wrote the following:

    Imagine where we would be if the Apostles had not written their letters. God chose just the right people and just the right times in history to “pen” His words. So important was His message that the Apostle Paul wrote many of his letters from prison – contemplating his thoughts and setting them carefully into heartfelt but structured sentences. He did not write from aesthetically pleasing surroundings. Prison walls did not deter him.

    There were no short cryptic texts decorated with emojies…only carefully written and cautiously delivered words; hand written one letter at a time. Each letter written on purpose, with purpose, and for a distinctive purpose. Letters of truth that would deliver souls from error and destruction. God’s love prompting them all.

    From the beginning of time, God’s words were carefully preserved, having been carved in stone, written on sheepskin, carefully copied onto parchment, and now mass produced with paper and ink.

    Precious words. Timeless words.

  6. I remember the fountain pens with cartridges! And yes, I did feel all grown up when my mom finally allowed me to buy one. I’m sure I still have it around here somewhere. I remember practicing and practicing my handwriting so it would look elegant and flowing. In the summer, my little friends and I would write letters back and forth until school started again. I remember the summer stamps were ten cents and my mom wasn’t too happy about having to pay so much to mail several letters.

    My husband uses a fountain pen still and has always wanted a Mont Blanc fountain pen, but they are way out of our budget. I always hope to find one at a yard sale or thrift store that no one else wanted because they didn’t know their value.

    Purple is my color and I do have regular ink pens with purple ink. For some reason I tend to collect pens and also love collecting stationery, but I rarely actually use it these days. Maybe this month I’ll change that and write letters to friends that I’ve not contacted in a while.

    Oh, yes. I too remember the old drug stores downtown. I loved going in there to buy chocolate squares. There’s one similar here on the square. We get our prescriptions there instead of a chain drugstore and try to buy necessary items from there as well. The last thing I want is to go to the square one day and see a “going out of business” sign on their door.

  7. A very BEST memory…my maternal grandmother wrote letters in all of my cards until Alzheimer’s & Dementia set in…Birthdays .. never miss one .. Christmas, Special events, accomplishments, encouragement , etc. not just for me but all her children, grandchildren, greats also. Great legacy.

  8. Vicky, take a look at the Pen Chalet website that Phyllis mentioned. They have Pilot Knight fountain pens on sale for 50% off, making them $24. They also sell ink cartridges and bottled ink. What fun!

  9. Phyllis, I too have fond memories of fountain pens and Peacock Blue ink! Thank you for sharing the Pen Chalet website. I went there and found a good, discounted fountain pen which I ordered. Of course, I already have some fountain pens and ink, but, like teapots, a girl can never have too many!!

  10. My 8th grade English teacher required all our work to be done in ink. Real ink. As yet, there were no cartridges, only bladders and delicate little pins for sucking ink from the well at the top of the bottle. Several bottles sat on a shelf at the back of the room – black and blue, of course. But, there were treasured bottles of a teal green and peacock blue. Thank you for refreshing these memories. Now, I must go find a source of pens and ink!

  11. What a trip down memory lane your column was! I loved using fountain pens, too, and blue is also my favorite color. Thanks for sharing this insight into the past, Phyllis!

  12. When I was a teen, I began writing weekly letters to some elderly relatives. Over the years, I fell in love with old-fashioned stationary, fountain pens, and the quiet art of sitting down to pen a letter.

    Now I write at least four letters (or post cards) in cursive script every week with a lovely, pearl white fountain pen. Letter writing provides my relaxation time and is my way of making others feel special, valued, and remembered!

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  13. Phyllis, feel like I’ve known you for years. Anytime I saw your name associated with a publication I knew I would like it. You’ve never let me down. We’ve got to be close to the same age, as I too learned to write with a fountain pen in elementary school. Then, in high school I was a secretarial major, and you had to have either a fountain pen or pencil for shorthand, as nothing else at the time would give you the smoothness and speed you needed for that. I still use fountain pens, love the feel, the flow – but now I’m inspired – got to get some peacock blue or aquamarine ink! Thanks for always being a day brightener!

  14. Thank you for this article! I have loved writing letters my whole life. I, too, remember having ink pens and having different colored ink cartridges. As a young child I would write thank you notes for gifts that we children had gotten for Christmas (say a box of ribbon candy from a family friend). I hardly receive any handwritten notes or letters anymore and when I do they seem especially cherished! Let us hope that letter writing never goes out of style – it won’t as long as there are those of us who love it!

  15. I have a question. Are the Seasons of Bliss Day Planners still available? If so where could I order one?


  16. What a genius idea to have an official “letter-writing month”. Readers of Phyllis’ blog might be interested to check out this website….www.moreloveletters.com. It is a very interesting way to exercise your writing abilities.

  17. One of my goals for this year is to send some people in my life notes telling them why they are special. I have been putting this off, but your post is the little push I need. I will be doing that this afternoon. Thank you to Mary for telling me about the disposable fountain pens.

  18. I have said before I love to send …. And receive …..hand written notes and letters!! I save all the ones I receive from my children and darling grandchildren!!! Not only are the words special …but that they would take the time to write them on paper sometimes actually brings tears of joy to my eyes.

    I took a calligraphy class with my dear friend years and years ago and still enjoy using it when asked to print posters etc… (And without realizing it has become somewhat part of my writing style…)

    I am overjoyed when I hear of others who also enjoy receiving and sending a handwritten note, especially written with a fountain pen.

  19. Just this morning, I was thinking about writing a letter to my nine year old grandaughter. Then I opened this email and well, you know that feeling I am sure! I wrote her a letter a couple of months ago and she loved it so much. Took it all around the neighborhood to show her friends her LETTER! I try to write a letter or at least a handwritten note to special people. Everyone is always so happy to get them. Thanks for the blog! Fountain pens though? I am way too messy!!

  20. Years ago I found Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain pens and discovered the joy of writing with a fountain pen. I don’t use them as often as I used to but still enjoy them very much. It makes me feel quite special almost as if I’m Jane Austen sitting down to write part of a book or a letter to my dear sister Casandra.

    P.S. I found the Varsity pens on Amazon and they come in a variety of ink colors.

  21. I LOVE to write letters! I started writing letters when I was in the 3rd grade. I had moved away from my best friend Paula. We moved so far away, the next town over. Since then I have loved writing- hand written- letters, notes, sending cards. I have a friend in Maine. We write anywhere from 7-10 page letters to each other. Sometimes it is 5×7 paper and sometimes it is 9×11 or such. I adore fountain pens and use them as often as I can. I collect pens, paper, inks anything related to letter writing. I often enclose a scripture verse , tiny heart confetti or some little comforting , happy or encouraging flat token. As letter writers know, we are an endangered species, almost extinct. What a shame.

  22. Memories of my grandmother sitting at her desk in her sitting room writing letters with a fountain pen have always been my inspiration to write letters, cards, notes of all kinds. I still have all my letters I received from new friends made at camp, relatives overseas, friends on vacation…I always write thank you notes and sometimes send ” I’m thinking of you” cards to my friends. I have one friend in New Jersey that I correspond with on a regular basis. For as long as I can remember, we write to each other on plain, lined paper and decorate it throughout with stickers appropriate to the content of each paragraph. It is so much fun! I still get so excited when I see that fat envelope arrive in my mailbox. I drop everything, make some tea and settle down to a good read.

  23. My daughter is home schooling my two grandsons and is teaching the youngest, who is 12, to hand write letters and thank you notes. He recently sent his great grandmother a thank you note for his birthday gift. She will be 94 years “young” next month, and was so surprised and “tickled” to receive his note. A few minutes of kindness can certainly make a person’s day :-). We received a letter with “P.S. Please write back”. My husband sent a letter last week and I will send one this week. My daughter said he was so excited to get his own personal letter in the mail :-)……..a lost art we so need to revive..

  24. I love to write…letters, notes, journaling. My color is purple! Love it. I am also partial to aquamarine. Thanks for the wonderful memories.

  25. It’s amazing how a special color of ink can spark joy! When my husband and I fell in love, I was 15 and he 17. I lived in the US, he lived in Holland, and for the next 4 years we wrote each other letters and sent cards, often daily.

    Those letters meant the world to me, we still have them in a huge box. Reading them is like reliving our teenage years.

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