Monday, 6 July 2015

Pens, notebooks and writing by hand

I have to confess to doing most of my “writing” – like this today, in fact - straight on to the computer. Yet I love writing by hand. I always have a notebook on the go and I always make notes in meetings and at most events. Making notes confirms my understanding. There’s something about the brain, hand and eye coordination. The hand connects with the page and manifests what the mind is thinking.  

Spooky in Darlington


I stayed overnight in Darlington before a recent Society of Authors event. When I checked out the next morning the receptionist said “A parcel has arrived for you.” Very strange. Yes it was definitely for me. It had my name on it. It didn’t look as if it was a bomb.
I opened it. It contained two beautiful notebooks, a pencil case and four really super pens. I’d booked the room through Late Rooms and this came from their Magic Makers department.
How did they know? I guess it’s easy enough to find out that I’m a writer.  Just Google me. But how would they know that I like that sort of notebooks and those types of pens?
Even more spooky: the design on the pencil case. It took me two weeks to realise that the pencil case was covered in skulls.I had written a nice review last time I used Late Rooms. Was this a reward?
It was a nice gesture anyway. 

 Retail therapy

I like buying notebooks. I bought the mock snakeskin at a craft fair. It is wonderfully tactile. It has no lined pages. I think I actually prefer this- you can make what you write more visual, mind map and do little sketches as you go along.    
I acquired the purple Ryman’s when I bought a similar pink one for a writing friend. Irresistible!



Notebooks as gifts


Should you ever need to know, yes, absolutely, a nice notebook is always a great gift for me. Sometimes we’re given them anyway, as part of a conference package. The ALCS one was gift, along with a useful cotton tote bag when I helped with a consultation about their web site and newsletter.


The default notebook


These I can buy cheaply at the shop opposite my office in the university. I have two on the go at the same time at the moment- both of them almost full. Confusing! A student came in for a tutorial. She had the same notebook. I’m sure she took mine by mistake and then returned it later. Ah well!


The pens


They’re a delight to work with. I find them great for hardcopy editing and annotating. They make such nice marks on the paper.


What else?

I like using my notebooks for planning, for creating characters and settings, for jotting down new ideas and for writing down what I see and hear as I’m out and about.      

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