Another year under our belts! We're practically experts now. Just kidding. We're just celebrating making it through one wild and fabulous day from behind the tables.
With the baby arriving a week and a half before the show, we were down to the wire in preparing. We'd done it just the once before, but there were a lot of things I couldn't quite remember how we'd done last year, and there were a number of things that were possibly not going to make it. In particular, we had a few shipments of items we were waiting anxiously for that arrived right in the nick of time, one from Kaweco with our Perkeos (soon to be added online), one from Franklin-Christoph with our much anticipated colour-prototypes. We had many of our exclusives, our Noodler's inks Plains of Abraham and Raven Black, Superior Labor from Japan in full force, Edison pens. Our big ink release was the Bungubox line from Japan! They literally arrived on Friday, two days before the show. They're currently available in our brick and mortar shop - we don't have these in our online shop yet, but we're working on it. Favourites like Sweet Potato, 4B, Ink of the Witch and more, available in samples or bottles. I can hardly keep up. What a life.
Bungubox Bung Box Ink Toronto Canada
Philip, one of the show's organizers, asked Jon if he wanted the same tables as last year. Jon said yes, mainly so folks would know how to find us again and it's nice to be near the windows and not worry about our clutter taking over tables behind us. I thought it was great because last year, by one end of our tables, there was an area curtained off, hiding piles of chairs and AV equipment. I said to Jon that it would be perfect if the curtains were still there so I could rearrange the AV equipment and nurse the baby behind the curtains, like the Wizard of Oz, except probably a bit more shocking if you accidentally got a peek behind there. It was actually even better this year, because it was just one curtain covering a recessed area, without much in there - more than enough room to put a chair.
As always, the crowds were amazing. It seemed busier than last year! Or maybe that's just my imagination. It's always stressful when you have a line-up at your table because you don't want people to wait for too long, but it was great to have an opportunity to chat with everyone as they slowly made their way along our tables. (Also slightly stressful to change the baby's diaper with an audience, as she really makes it seem like a traumatizing experience for everyone involved, but guess what, baby: WE ALL SURVIVED.)
Scriptus Toronto Pen Show 2017
The line-up for our tables! And the treats! I'd seen sneak peeks of both the 2017 Show Ink, made by KWZ and called Confederation Brown, and the red 2017 Show Pen, made by Bexley, but hadn't had time to get excited about them. Here they are, both souvenirs of a great day. The Show Pen is numbered, and we got No. 14.
KWZ Confederation Brown Toronto Scriptus Show Ink 2017
Scriptus Toronto Pen Show 2017 Show Pen Bexley
Scriptus Toronto Pen Show 2017 Show Pen Bexley
And I also stumbled upon a Parker at the last minute! I had ventured out from behind our tables a few times - to bring Caleb to the bathroom, to pick up lunch - but it wasn't until the very end that I had time to take a look at what pens were left from the crowds. Of course there wasn't very much, so imagine my surprise when I came across this beauty. I seem to have a penchant for both modern and vintage Parkers. The Sonnet is one of my all-time favourite pens, and my vintage Parker Lucky Curve that I picked up at an earlier Scriptus is one of my favourite flex nibs. This Parker is a button filler, not my favourite filling mechanism as I like to see into how the ink is doing in there, but I couldn't resist such a gorgeous finish. It's a regular (non-flex) fine nib.
I had thought I might leave early with the baby, but after I had wrangled lunch, it was nearly 2:00, and with the show ending at 4:00 and the baby sleeping, we made it all the way to the end of the day. Someone suggested that I was brave to bring both the baby and Caleb, and of course I accepted the compliment because I will accept any compliment coming near me these days - someone else jokingly asked if we brought the cat, too, after seeing the zoo at our table. To be honest, though, it's sometimes easier when I have so many people around. Where else do I have so many eyes to watch out for where little feet are running, or hands to hold babies when I need to bring those little feet to the bathroom? It takes a village, and I love that this is ours.
Caleb was in terrific form - moving boxes from here to there after someone else had moved it here, shoes off and lost in the clutter, hiding under tables, running through crowds. He's a very helpful kid - he likes to observe and then pitch in, and sometimes it's astounding how astute he is. It's a wonderful trait, although on the other hand, sometimes you have to wait until his back is turned and repack the boxes he's "packed." As much as I sometimes wonder what he'll think of his childhood, I love that he can be here with us. I sometimes think to myself how much easier it will be without a toddler in tow, and now a baby, but one thing is for sure - I will miss the days I don't have to look around in alarm and discover him rooting around in a box, spilling milk everywhere.


Scriptus is such a wonderful event - almost everything about it speaks to how incredible the community in Toronto and Canada is. A completely free event, hosted in the centre of the city, in a public library, its volunteer army made up of young and young at heart, and the day filled from beginning to end with some pretty crazy and beautiful people. Behind the scenes, it's an opportunity for our family and team to mobilize, wake up in the early hours of the morning, heave boxes up our cars and hope we've remembered to pack the masking tape and get change from the bank and who put the price tags in which box and strategize about how to fit into the elevator. To eat warmish noodles on the floor in rotation and to pass the baby around. Scriptus is an opportunity for folks to come from near and far and find treasures and supplies to keep them writing for another year. Friends who know each other online or pen pals who have written across postal systems meet up in person and wander around all the excitement. As a vendor, it's our opportunity to help folks have a great day finding supplies for writing and a hobby they love or are just getting into, and our once a year moment to say hello in person after emails or comments or likes from cyberspace. Each year we get a chance to meet and say hello to people, but as the years pass, it's incredible to hear how people have followed our story, or watched Caleb grow up. It's such a thrill and a honour to hear how people read the blog on their commute in the morning, or feel the same way about their cat, or to receive cards of congratulations for the new baby - folks who have supported our tiny family and fledgling business for four years now. So many people have poured into us to help us succeed, and seeing so many folks here who have been with us for years or who have found us only recently is a reminder of just that. At the show, someone came up to us and said that he and his sister were just like Caleb when they were young, coming to shows like this, crawling around under tables, and he had faith that Caleb would grow up with a passion for this kind of stuff. I'm sure he meant stationery and pens, but maybe he also meant family business. The family's business and all the business we get into as a family.

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November 01, 2017 — wonderpens
Tags: Scriptus


Mickey Oberman

Mickey Oberman said:

Liz and Jon,

Best wishes for a very successful 2018 show. I had hoped to come this year but arthritis said “No”!
You sold me a Lamy when you were still operating in your apartment. It still is used every day. And every day I still think of how you keep me writing.

Thank you once again.
Mickey Oberman


wonderpens said:

Yes, you definitely should see if timing will work out to be here for Scriptus! There are a few US shows that might be closer to you on the west coast, but of course we would love to see you here in Toronto :)

Philip Akin

Philip Akin said:

Thank you for the great shout out Liz. As always it’s great to have you, Jon and the crew there for the show. So my question is….. where did you get that very fine collapsible red wagon?


wonderpens said:

Thanks so much for reading! We love everything you and David are doing with the show and for the community. We’re lucky to have you!

The red wagon is FREE! It’s with orders from Uline over a certain amount. It proved to be very helpful in setting up for the show! :)


wonderpens said:

Next year! It’s a busy and fun day, you won’t regret coming, I’m sure. We did survive, and we’re already thinking about next year :)

Thank you so much for your order! The Platinum Cool is by far one of my favourite soft nibs, a terrific everyday writer with a bit of character.


wonderpens said:

Yes, it was so lovely to see you! Once a year, we have to remind each other of what we look like. Hope you are enjoying your show pen as consolation for not winning any of the raffles ;)


wonderpens said:

So glad you are enjoying your Scriptus pen! You will have to let me know how your future Bexleys go :)

And I will definitely keep that in mind – stay tuned to the blog, something may be coming soon!

Vicki Frederick

Vicki Frederick said:

Liz, such a wonderful post about all that is Scriptus to you and your family. One of these years I will get there from Windsor!


wonderpens said:

Thank you so much! I hope you do get a chance one day to come – the trip from Windsor isn’t a short one, but I think it would be worth it :)


wonderpens said:

Thank you so much! Caleb was a great sleeper when he was a baby, and I’m hoping for the same with this one – fingers and everything else crossed.

I’m so sorry about the difficulty finding our giveaway on Instagram, we’ll have to be certain to host one on the blog soon. Christmas is coming!

And how wonderful to meet another book lover. I have faith that we will survive whatever this technological age has to come – although this is the same optimism that has led us to open a pen store. We shall have to see how time marches on!

Ruth Martin

Ruth Martin said:

It was wonderful to see you and the baby (not to mention all the goodies!) and to say hi in person. I think your tables had the longest queue in the whole show! It was a great day even if we didn’t win any of the raffle prizes (darn!). See you next year!

Jeff H.

Jeff H. said:

I couldn’t make it this year but I’ll do my darndest to make it next year! Glad to hear the show went well, and that you survived with your sanity pretty much intact! I ordered some stuff online from you guys last weekend to make up for not being able to buy in person… or to console myself for not being able to be there… or something. Any excuse for more pens!!
PS I ordered my first Platinum pen (a Cool in clear) and now I know why everyone loves them. OMG what a great writer!


Nina said:

Hi LIz: congratulations on your new baby! I remember visiting when you’d just opened and laughed when I discovered Caleb sleeping under your sweater.

I couldn’t find the giveaway info on Instagram. I wish it had been more accessible, like on your site – I don’t use a cell phone, but I do support pen stores. Maybe next year.

Your blog is always illuminating. Congratulation you on visiting 30 (?)libraries. Always a buzz to meet a book lover. Will we become extinct?

Linda L

Linda L said:

LOL check your posting date……you must have been really rushed. Great show had such a big turnout!


wonderpens said:

Thanks for the catch! Not sure what happened there. And yes, what a wonderful turn out for the show :)


wonderpens said:

What a great trip for the two of you! Thanks so much for your purchase, and glad to hear you had a good time at the show. Can’t wait for next year :)


Harry said:

Loved Scriptus Pen Show! It was well worth the trip from Windsor with my wife. Also bought a journal from your table.

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