Thursday, May 31, 2012

Other Ways to Write

I love notebooks. Whenever I spot a shelf of notebooks I stop and look—but I'm not intrigued with glitzy covers or journals that attempt to lure the writer with pithy sayings or colorful paper. Instead I feel the paper—will it ennoble my fountain pen ink? Will my writing show through to the other side? What's the feel of the paper? Does this sound picky—perhaps?

Years ago I loved the notebooks I bought at a stationery store in Harvard Square. Two aisles of notebooks catered to every whim— every size notebook—myriad types from lab books to music books to blue books to thin lined to wide lined to numbered notebooks.

My favorites always had hard sturdy blue covers— with thin lines and numbered off-white paper. An inch margin almost stated this is the starting place. Occasionally I purchased the wide lined without a margin, but it never captured my imagination the same way. Later on I bought some black Blueline notebooks—with a double margin line and the request for a date on every page. That felt as if someone was checking up on my writing habits or sloth.

Now I tend to purchase notebooks made in France. That's not to say that I don't also have a cache of cheap memo pads that are perfect for the ubiquitous Pilot pens.

The other day I noted a woman writing in her unlined hard covered artist book. That's another wonderful place to both keep a journal and add descriptive drawings or doodles. I must say I stared as she turned the pages—noting some sketches, some doodles and some snippets of color.

It made me long to add some sketches and visual notes. It also made me long for the half finished 5" x7" black sketch book I started two years ago. Perhaps it's time to return to that sketchbook.


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