Friday, January 23, 2015

The Urgency of a Handwriting Comeback

Happy National Handwriting Day
A look at the open diary in front of me (which belongs to me) and the notebook that is carelessly tossed a meter away (which belongs to my colleague), and there is little doubt in my head about the dire need of a national handwriting day, every day of the year. We have that bad handwriting. The hypocrite that I am blames technology. With the advent of computers and mobile phones, we are habitual of typing instant text messages and send it in a jiffy.  What is the use of laboring over handwriting anyways when there are easier methods?

This National Handwriting Day, 23 January which is not only the birthday of the American founding father, John Hancock, whose signature on the Declaration of Independence is one of the most iconic piece of handwriting, but also a reminder of the fast disappearing act of handwriting, we want to evoke the need of handwriting, because it is beneficial for you.

Studies have proven time and again the importance of handwriting; neurologists and psychologist have found a significant interrelation between the art of handwriting and learning. An article in the NY Times summed up that neurologists have found that children learn to read more quickly when they learn to write by hand. The same article stated that writing improves idea generation and retaining of information. The article quoted Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the College de France in Paris say, “When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated. There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain.”  She was quoted concluding, “And it seems that this circuit is contributing in unique ways we didn’t realize. Learning is made easier.”

Another study carried out by Virginia Berninger, a psychologist at the University of Washington demonstrated that children produced more words more quickly when writing by hand that on a keyboard. Also they expressed more ideas. But the benefits of handwriting aren’t limited to children only. Handwriting has proved to increase memory and ability to process new information in adults. So, while writing itself has been said to bring strong physical and mental health, which includes improvement in mood and happiness, why not accelerate the benefits by switching to handwriting.

As a writer, with a pretty bad handwriting I find fountain pens to help to some extent. The consistent flow of ink, and the richness it depicts as strokes form letter and then words, inspires any writer. It has been discussed that perhaps the reason why ideas form better when handwriting is due to the pressing of the nib on to the paper that keeps us focused. While typing, one is banging away on the keys and has his focus divided between what s/he is writing and the movement of the fingers. I personally find to be pouring more words and more ideas on the paper when writing by hand than when typing on the keyboard.

And yes, you could be writing with a ballpoint pen or a rollerball pen but there is something deeply satisfying about the flex of the nib on the fountain pen and the smoothness of the ink and the visual treat the profound, wet lines provide. The line variations that seem to bounce off from one extreme to another and the shades created by the fountain pen is special and nothing can compare to it. Also, with fountain pens there is a certain ownership which could be because of its comparatively expensive price or the fact that you intimately fill her up and cleanse her that motivates you to keep using it and writing with it. And then there is the ultimate fact that the best of calligraphy or handwriting is achieved with a fountain pen. Cursive handwriting, which studies has proven to improve patience and creativity in children and adults alike is the most beautiful when done with fountain pen.

So, this National Handwriting Day, take up a fountain pen, or any writing tool for that matter and write by hand. Scribble your deepest, darkest thoughts or your impromptu ideas. Create poems or fantasize stories and if not that just try and improve your handwriting. Write by hand; if not for the sake of reviving the art of handwriting and the creativity that follows it, then for your health sake, which has been proven to benefit when you handwrite.

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National Handwriting Day Contest!!

Submit your handwriting and win a fantastic fountain pen 
Do your friends tell you how beautiful handwriting you have or you secretly (or unabashedly) admire your own handwriting then this is a contest for YOU!! To celebrate the National Handwriting Day, January 23, 2015, Pen Boutique brings to you a contest, where you can flaunt your handwriting skills and win a fantastic prize while doing so – the prize is a Parker Urban Fountain Pen.

How to Participate

1. Scan or click a picture of your best handwriting
2. Send it to us via email at

Contest Starts: 1/23/2015
Contest Ends: 2/2/2015

The aim of this contest is to remember the purity and simplicity of picking up a writing instrument and jotting down words in swift strokes of your hand. It is also an attempt to resurrect the lost art of handwriting. The day also celebrates the birthday of John Hancock, an American founding father who was the first to sign the United States Declaration of Independence and whose handwritten signature is the most prominent and recognized of them all.

The Prize :   Parker Urban Fountain Pen

Total Giveaway Quantity : One

Number of Winners : One

Winner Selection

Our staff here at Pen Boutique will choose the best handwriting of the lot and select the winner.


Free shipping to Winners within USA. International participant shipping will be additional and you can also add it free to your any pending orders.


All USA citizens are encouraged to participate. International customers are welcome to participate but shipping will be additional and you can also add it free to your any pending orders.

 More Legal Stuff

1.) This giveaway/contest is void where prohibited by law. The contestants assume the total responsibility of knowing their local laws in regard to "National Handwriting Day" Contest and are subject to any local, state, national or international laws. Friendship Circle accepts no responsibility for making these individual legal determinations.

2.) Winner is solely responsible for any taxes on their respective prizes.

3.) No substitution of prize is offered.

4.) Prizes are non-transferable.

5.) Prizes should be claimed within 30 days of the announcement of winner. Any claims made after 30 days will be considered void. Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, is not responsible for any such claims after that time.

6.) If a prize, or any portion thereof, cannot be awarded for any reason, Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value. That determination will be made by Pen Boutique, Limited, USA.

7.) Winners must verify their email and shipping address when contacted.

8.) Winners name may be used on future Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, marketing media, including, but not limited to Facebook, website & blog.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sheaffer VFM Pen

Sheaffer VFM Rollerball Pen
For those who are feeling a bit leery about taking a leap into the world of fountain pens, I have a solution for you that will not only give you a fine writing experience but is also an economical one.

The Sheaffer VFM line, so named because they are Vibrant, Fun and offer Motion, are a recommended place to start your journey. The line comes in fountain pen, roller ball and ball point. I own a fountain pen and roller ball.

I get a kick out of some of the descriptive, inventive color names including: "Chilled Blue," "Excessive Red," "Strobe Silver," and "Ultra Mint."

The satin color finishes and nickel plated trim showcase the sturdy, though not heavy, stainless steel metal body. Both VFM pens I own post tightly and clip securely.

The fountain pen can use a standard international cartridge which will open up your opportunities to explore various colors and the easy ability to replace your cartridge, due the the standard international cartridge availability. It glides smoothly and the pen weight feels comfortable in the hand while scripting.

Not needing a Sheaffer propriety rollerball refill, you again have the option to test various colors refills. I currently have a Schmidt green refill.

The Sheaffer VFM line affords the opportunity to investigate writing instruments in bright colors and various style types in a way that is both fun and affordable.

By Vicki M

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Brand New Year!!

Happy New Year 2015!!
So, I just relived the year 2014 again on the internet in less than an hour and let’s just say that it was profound. I cannot believe so many major things happened around the world in a span of 365 days and so many of it has already been forgotten. From natural disasters that claimed thousands of lives to school attacks that wrenched every heart throughout the globe and signs of the world going stupid to proofs of brilliant minds and beautiful souls, 2014 was surreal.

But like Brad Paisley said, the beginning of each year is the first blank page of 365 page book. It is a whole new day, a clean slate to start with. It is a New Year. And like everyone preparing their resolution for the year ahead, Pen Boutique is keeping its best foot forward too. Last year for us was very eventful. We participated in DC pen show, gave away so many prizes to our adored customers and gave everyone a reason to take up a pen. We also celebrated out 10th year anniversary last year; coming year will be our 11th. The pen world itself was abuzz with so many wonderful moments. We saw DC comics heroes and villains revive through Montegrappa pens. The pen that spots mistakes was a breakthrough and the one that creates edible art was delicious.

With the New Year inching in, here is hoping that the days ahead will bring forth new inventions, new discoveries and new milestones in the world of writing instruments. We hope that the torch of literature shall be ever aflame so brightly. And we are oh-so-sure that there will be more events held at Pen Boutique, even more contests and many more prizes to give away. Stay tuned with us the year ahead.

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year 2015!!!!

- Pen Boutique

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