A technophile lawyer rediscovers the joys of pen and paper

Friday, April 30, 2010

Yes, Virginia, there is a Karen at Exaclair

Before starting this blog, of course, I read quite a few other pen/paper/notebook blogs, and I kept noticing all these references to "Karen at Exaclair," as in:
"Soo… recently I received quite a few goodies from Karen at Exaclair".

"Then came the opportunity to request another ink from Karen at Exaclair."

"It arrived today . . .  kindly sent to me by Karen at Exaclair."

"I need to apologize to Karen at Exaclair for not reviewing these items sooner."

"I'm still sick, and it's cold outside, so this seems like a good time to catch up on my review of the US version of the Quo Vadis Habana. Like the Rhodia Webnotebook reviewed last week, this was also a sample from Karen at Exaclair."

It was almost as if "at Exaclair" was her last name. But from my perspective, her last name did not matter. She seemed some sort of fairy showering gifts on experienced, popular bloggers while they slept. But for all these bloggers attesting to her existence, she sounded like a myth. Someone nice to believe in, but from whom you'll never actually receive anything.

Of course, I knew she was real. But it didn't feel right for me to ask her directly to send me something. What right had I, an upstart, know-nothing pen/paper/notebook blogger, to ask Karen at Exaclair -- that Karen at Exaclair, the Karen at Exaclair -- for anything? So, I went the indirect route by closing my my introductory post thus:
One thing is for sure: I am not writing this blog in the hopes that Karen at Exaclair, who seems to send free notebooks to bloggers far and wide so they can be reviewed on blogs, will send me any. Honest. I mean, after all, I'm a newbie. What would I know?

If she wants to send me the newest from Clairefontaine or Rhodia, I'm not going to resist, mind you.

Then, less than a month after I launched this blog, I got an email from . . . you guessed it . . . Karen at Exaclair, who had apparently found my blog through a comment I left at Rhodia Drive. She asked if I would like to sample a few products. Once I picked myself up off the floor, we exchanged a couple of emails, and a few weeks later (the delay being entirely my fault), there it was:

I swear that when I saw that package at my door, my heart and breathing stopped for a moment. (OK, maybe that's a little over the top, along with the "fairy" analogy, but I'm trying to be entertaining here, folks.) When I tore the package open I found a Rhodia A5 Webnotebook and large Quo Vadis Habana notebook to play with, as promised:

I feel awful for not reviewing either of these yet, even though Karen made clear that a review was unnecessary. Her interest is solely in getting honest feedback, and from what I've read around the Web, the companies behind the products distributed in the U.S. by Exaclair are very responsive to that feedback.

With the Webnotebook 3.0 coming out soon, I figure I better get off my duff and review the second-generation version I have before the review is moot! So, that's my weekend project. Tune in soon!



  1. Enjoy the Habana - one of the best journals I have tested out. And yes, it was provided by Karen at Exaclair. :)

  2. Isn't she cool?!
    You're gonna LOVE that Habana.

  3. Thanks for the comments, guys. Karen is indeed "cool," and very sincerely interested in feedback.

    I do love the Habana. Because of the sheer pleasure of writing in it, the way it produces a line true to the size of a fountain pen nib, and its bright white color providing an excellent contrast and true color of ink, I have been using it as part of my ink reviews. (Yeah, I know you haven't seen any ink reviews here yet . . . they're in progress!)

  4. I love working with Karen. It's great that Exaclair takes customer feedback so seriously, that they've revamped the Habana and Webnotebooks quite a few times already.