Monday Morning Brain Dump, With Notebooks

Urgh. Monday morning again. I have shown up at the keyboard, which is an achievement when I’m coming off another night of no sleep. I hate insomnia. Brain races a million miles an hour, but will it focus on something useful, like the WIP? Nope. Not a chance on that one. Late night Pinterest pinning sprees are about as close as I get on that front.

Most recently, I started my Pen and Paper board, which is here. Not enough caffeine in the world to figure out why my computer says I can’t share the screencap I took of my own Pinterest page with myself, so click on the link to see all the pretties. Pens and notebooks, that’s it.

Since I’ve become more serious about my interest in notebooks, I’ve been doing more research, and my wish list is growing. Moleskines are still my workhorse, supplemented by Picadilly and Markings -I really need to do a comparison post/video on those soon- but I have found I’m not as immune as I used to be for the other brands out there.

The newest “must try this or a part of myself will forever mourn” item is this. Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Medium hardcover notebook in berry, with lined pages. Need. I love that the pages come pre-numbered. I love the color, which goes perfectly with my laptop. I honestly can’t tell if the pages are white or ivory. I strongly prefer ivory, but if this paper takes fountain pen ink as well as I’ve heard it does, I am willing to make an exception. I also have a strong thirst for a large Moleskine Volant, a format I hated in the 3×5 size, love in the mini, and now want to revisit in my preferred size, 5×8. Gray is first choice for color, purple second, though there are new colors that look interesting, too.  The books may have to go into a leather cover, because the plastic feel of the books themselves feels off to me, but perforated pages all the way through? I have to give that a try. Maybe blank pages, rather than lined, but lined might be all right also.

There are actually a lot of notebooks I haven’t tried yet, and the whole fountain pen world? Only dipping my toes into that. Which reminds me, I’ve never even held a dip pen, but the mere thought of that makes me feel closer already to the eighteenth century people currently taking up space in my head. Hero and his letterbox and his sketches, (I seriously cannot draw worth beans, and I’d originally wanted him to be a violinist – I also cannot play the violin- but nope, he went right for pen and ink, so here we are) and Heroine and her ledgers (that, I can get. Keeping track of stuff is important) and my natural affinity for longhand make this an appropriate pastime.

Certain notebooks work for certain things, I’ve found since I’ve become serious about the habit, and no, any old notebook won’t do. There was a time when I thought that was the case, and I was wasting time and money and mental energy by using pretty paper (or making plain paper pretty) but I’ve found that’s not the case. It’s a natural and needed part of my process. Using notebooks has taught me a lot about the way I write fiction. Slap something on the page, anything, and get it moving. If I don’t like what’s down there, I can change it. I can rip it out. I can tape it together. I can cover it. I do not have to be perfect on the first try, which is a misunderstanding I’d been laboring under for longer than I care to admit, even here.

It’s okay to say, “this isn’t working. I’m going to try something else.” The thoughts, feelings, images, words, stories, all of the above, that I want for project X may not come at all on lined paper, but move to dot grid and work in boxes rather than paragraphs and :angels sing: there we go. Pen and paper matter. An old Japanese proverb says that a poor workman blames his tools, and there is some truth to that, but finding the right tool can make the job all that much easier.







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