I thought we'd take a break from the book tour to talk about nonsense.
I collect pens. Quirky pens. Fun pens. Pens that look like stuff. Pens with floating diaramas inside.
It was something I started doing a few years ago. Now I look forward to going to tacky gift shops in each town I visit and searching for those floaty pens that are a reminder of yesteryear. And, of course, a reminder of the place I visited.
Below is a picture of my collection so far of what are called in the industry, floating action pens.
Since you can't get detail from this picture, I will describe them from top to bottom. Number one is from my trip to Bouchercon Alaska. Inside the floating chamber is a panorama of snow-capped peaks and a bald eagle soaring across it.
Number two is Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with a woman in a convertable car motoring across said bridge.
Number three is something local, Oak Glen, CA., home of apple-picking and apple fests. A truck bearing a giant apple floats by.
Number four is Santa Anita Park, CA., where an exciting horse race meanders past.
Number five is of the White House when I made my trip to Bouchercon in Baltimore, and features some spritely Marines hustling across the White House lawn.
Number six is Death Valley, CA., where a prospector pulling on the reins of his mule are searching for a way out of the heat.
Number Seven is Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad from Northern California and features the steam engine that one can ride on.
And finally Number Eight is San Diego, CA., where a killer whale slides past the Hotel Del Coronado.
I find these pens to be a fun bit of kitsch. Their colors seem to be fading inside the floating chamber, however, so I don't know how long these will last. But I do have some other pens for fun.
From left to right, A Mummy, A Beefeater, A Sword, Harry Potter's Wand, A Wooden Chicken, A Twig, A Slytherin Pen (also from Harry Potter), and a Crab Claw I snagged while in Maryland for Bouchercon this year (the claw has open and close claw action!)
Have I used these? Sometimes. But mostly I keep them around for the fun of it. More stuff to dust, but then again, I don't dust!
And yes, I do have a quill.