I think with pen and paper.
One of the things I’ve come to accept about my writing process in this past year is that I work best getting my initial ideas down in longhand. This has always been the case, and it’s not going to go away. I can stare at a blank screen and blinking cursor for hours, feel like a total failure as a writer and hate myself, but give me a pen and paper and zoom, off I go. Maybe I start off by freewriting, but that almost always shapes itself into something useful within a couple of pages.
What works best-best for me is when the right paper and the right pen for the right story all connect in my brain. This is not some artsy-fartsy time waster; it’s how my brain works, and I am done apologizing for it. In fact, for a writer of historical romance, it makes a lot of sense. My characters, most of them, would have done a lot of writing in longhand (barring those who are not literate, but we’ll get to them in another post.) The hero of Her Last First Kiss, for example, writes and receives letters, so that scratch of nib against paper is something he’d find very familiar.
This past weekend, I had the chance to redeem a Staples gift card, a very thoughtful gift from a dear writer friend. I knew right off that I wanted to get backups for my Pilot Varsity fountain pens (recent fountain pen convert here) and so headed straight for the pen section. Three pack, black, blue and purple, the exact colors I wanted. Still need to visit the art supply store for red and turquoise, but that’s for another day.
Since no trip to Staples is complete without a full check of the perimeter, I headed for the back of the store and boom goes the dynamite. Paperchase display. Ohhhhhhhh. Insert favorite starry-eyed, drooling gif here. Stationery triage ensued, and lobster and seahorse themed fabric covered hardcover notebooks are on the agenda for next time (red and blue alternating lines inside, oh be still my heart.) What left with me, though, was a set of three cahier-style 5×8 notebooks, with plain, lined and patterened pages. Patterned.
The plain book is, of course, plain inside, but even the lined pages have me drooling, because we have images on every page. Every. One.
I cannot wait to start writing in this one. All three of them, really. Not sure what they will be for, though the most pressing need is Her Last First Kiss, though I already have notebooks started for that, but I can make these fit, dangabit. One can never have too many notebooks. One of my goals for the year is to get more into visual elements in my notebooks, so we will see if the patterned and/or plain pages can be useful for that purpose.
A friend asked me if I was going to use these pens in these notebooks, because they look like they go together. Still not sure on that, as I need to test the inks on the papers. Fountain pens can sometimes bleed through, and I haven’t used them on Paperchase before, so that remains to be seen.
One last shot before we go today, all three covers side by side.