Confessions

An Octopus And A Gentleman

In Which Our Heroine Discovers That Things Do Not Always Go As Planned

Sometimes, I like to provide art to my pen pals when I write to them. (Sometimes, I like to provide brightly-colored hamster stickers. But I digress.) For my most recent letter, I decided that I would do a sketch of myself reading a letter and then write the actual letter in a giant speech bubble so it would look as though I was reading the letter to my pen pal. (I may still do this someday. I may also develop a line of stationery of random things reading letters to people. It would be fun.)

I started drawing. My drawing of humans is a bit rusty, so my first sketch didn’t turn out too well. (I did discover, however, that Clairefontaine Triomphe paper is delightful to draw on.) I tried a different pose, and that was worse. After a good deal of erasing and sketching and erasing and sketching and erasing and generally being dissatisfied, I gave up and drew this:

Yes. I drew an octopus in a top hat and a monocle. Sometimes, that just happens.

I am totally going to clean him up and put him on my calling cards. Can you imagine anything more elegant?

(My pen pal letter wound up being decorated with the hamster stickers. What can I say? Art next time.)

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Categories: Confessions, Mailings | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

This Is Important.

In Which Our Heroine Continues To Ponder The Importance Of Writing Things Down

I am a Writer. I have never been published, partially because I am Very Bad at Finishing Stories. (It turns out you have to Finish Stories in order to Get Stories Published. Fancy that.) However, I am Excellent at Writing Down Ideas.

Today, I read something Very Important over at Strange Ink, which is Kat Howard’s blog. She says, “The words on the page are the only ones people can read.”

I just want to repeat that for emphasis:

The words on the page are the only ones people can read.

It seems so simple, but it’s so profound. I think this is also something that Aspiring Writers (whether writing a letter or a story) forget. If we don’t record our thoughts, our characters, our ideas, then no one will ever be able to read them. Those things will be lost forever. These ephemerae will only be preserved by being nailed securely to a page, whether that page is in a notebook or on a computer.

Are you a Writer? Write. Write early, write often. Write and write and write. Nail those ideas down, keep them, don’t let them escape.

The words on the page are the only ones people can read.

Categories: Confessions, Pondering | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Some Notes on Notebooks (and Notepaper)

In Which Our Heroine Confesses To An Addiction Or Two

I love notebooks. Each bundle of paper is a work of art, brimming with beautiful potential, waiting to be filled with thoughts. Some of those thoughts may develop into stories, finished drawings, or letters. Others may be complete in themselves, inky records of a passing inspiration or reminder.

Imagine, if you will, a mind like mine, confronted with a display of notebooks. These notebooks may be physically in front of me, or they may be attractively ranged across my computer screen. My mind is already planning what I would write in each one, whether it would reside on my desk or be carried in my purse, how just owning this notebook would encourage me to write, make my writing better, make my life more organized.

Before I know it, I’ve fallen for one (or more) of the beautiful covers and promises of perfect paper, traipsed over to the checkout counter (or clicked my way to my Virtual Shopping Cart), and voila! I am the proud owner of yet another attractively-bound package of paper potential.

This is why I have a closet drawer full of notebooks, lined and blank, large and small. Some of them have one page filled with a sketch or a few notes, which is a pity. If they were still completely blank, I could give them away to friends who would use them.

The trouble is that tastes change with the times. I used to carry a backpack practically everywhere, so carrying a large notebook or sketchbook with me at all times seemed more reasonable. (I was a student, so carrying a lot of heavy books was less of an issue back then.) Nowadays, my pack is much smaller, both for space and health reasons. It turns out that carrying a large backpack with everything in it you might need if you had the attention span of a concussed goldfish about with you at all times is not precisely good for your back, your knees, your ankles, or any of your other joints. Thus, the notebook I carry with me everywhere (more on this in a future blog entry) is considerably smaller and more of a combination notebook and sketchbook. Not only that, but I have become quite fond of writing with fountain pens, which means I have been forced to become much, much pickier about paper and ink.

Thus, many of my older notebooks have been deemed “unsuitable” for daily carry and left in the drawer. (I really should pull them out for drawing at home. I hate waste.)

In any case, on to the True Confession: Not only did I purchase two notebooks during my recent trip to New York, but I have also ordered ink and stationery. Remember how I said that part of the reason for me to start this whole letter-and-art-sending habit was to try to use up my stationery supplies? Well…that’s been rather a failure so far. On the bright side, it means that I can soon do some reviews of the new paper and inks, once I’ve started using them.

To be fair, I sent my first LWA Pen Pal Letter on paper that I already had in my drawer. I was very proud of myself–old paper, written nicely, with hand-drawn art (snails) on both letter and envelope. However, did I remember to scan, or even photograph, my work before I sent it off? I did not. I may have gotten a little overexcited. Still, we shall see what comes of it. I hope she writes back soon.

I also received my first letter from my second LWA Pen Pal! I wrote back to her the same day (no photos of that, either–I am sorry), and that went in the mail yesterday. I’m very excited about her–we have so many interests in common! I hope she writes back soon.

Today’s mail included a small note to an Aunt with whom I had lost touch. We used to send mail art to one another long, long ago, and I am hoping to rekindle that tradition with her.

At this point, all of my stationery has arrived, and also more ink from J. Herbin. I just can’t resist those little canisters!

What have you been writing lately? Have you bought anything fun? Have you written to a friend? Have you made a new one?

Categories: Confessions, Mailings | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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