clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Great Tools for Writers, Vol 2

Above and left, pictures of a lovely notebook cover. The hideous photography is my own. I'm not a visual media fellow.

I carry little moleskin cahier notebooks to combat the problem of "little scraps of paper." I also carry one because taking three minutes to write down an idea is worth about three hours of trying to remember just what was the "perfect" little addition to a piece I thought of earlier.

I never know where I'm going to need to jot a few notes about the WIP. Sometimes it is at a bar waiting for a buddy for lunch. Maybe it is waiting for the dentist. It happens.

I prefer to take notes on full-sized unlined paper which I then put in the three hole punch and place in the binder of the WIP where those notes seem most germane. Most often, they go in where the prior night's bit stopped and before tonight's bit starts.

The "full size paper" notes is a bit of a barrier. You don't have paper when you want it. Thus, the cahier.

The problem? The cahiers self-destruct in your pocket. They cannot stand much abuse and thirty days is about all one will last for me.

The Renaissance Art folks (web site here) make wonderfully thin leather notebook covers. My pictures don't do them justice. Also, they're very reasonably priced. 

With a cover, the pocket travel produces no wear or bending. The leather is soft enough to conform to a trouser pocket throughout the day. Also, it feels good. 

Holding the little leather covered cardstock notebook makes you feel better than the coffee sodden notebook alone.

So, a pen (always) and the little leather notebook. Suit jacket, sport coat, shirt and slacks, jeans and wool on weekends: works for all of it.

I desperately want a nice small brass fountain pen (like this one) which fits in trouser and jean pockets. You know the problem with a nice pen? It slips out and you lose it. 

I write longhand with great pens that seldom leave my desk at home. My working pen is most often a uniball because they write well and the loss isn't a worry. A fine fountain pen - even a "sport" pen - is a pile of bucks, even to Buck Rogers.

Yes, I've used disposable fountain pens. Uniballs do far less in the laundry and I do my own laundry (thus I wash a few pens).

The little leather case is good for you. It's a great a survival tool. After taping cahiers back together, I'm looking forward to a little more protection for my traveling kit of words.

I'd love to hear about writing kit that's worked for you.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh my goodness, Jack....I need to get myself a nice little cover like that. Yes, I have "little scraps of paper" syndrome at my house, too. My husband picked up some random jotting on our bathroom sink, read it, and asked, "I hope this is a story and not your master plan to murder me." :)

But I lose those random bits.

I don't deserve nice pens because I lose them, but the notebook cover...yes, I like that.

jack welling said...

Nothing like leaving out a slip of paper that says "cut the head off and put it in the boat's livewell."

Really alarmed the cleaners. I know this problem all too well.

Hope it excites an agent, though!

It's a great Christmas gift list item when the husband complains "I don't know what to get you."

I did teach my boys to always buy jewelry. That works, too.