These days, I find myself doing most of my longhand writing with a pencil rather than a pen. Whether this stems from my growing sense of the impermanence of all things, or rather from my recent involvement in theatre, where pencils are almost the only writing implements ever used, I’m not sure. The fact that my sister gave me two boxes of fine, upstanding Dixon Ticonderogas for Christmas last year may also be of some relevance. . .