So a couple of days ago I got to thinking about all of the notebooks I have. This started when my husband bought me a new one and said, “I thought you were saying the other day that you were running out.” I had to laugh, because if anything, I may have said that I had too many that I haven’t gotten to yet. And I definitely have a lot. Some are full, some probably never will be, and others are on deck for when current ones fill up. Spanning over fifteen years, each one of these notebooks is special to me in some way–some of them were even gifts. They each have their own purpose, and most of is related to writing…well, all of it, probably, but again, some I haven’t even started into yet.
And what can make a blog post about notebooks even more dry? A more detailed description of each notebook? Don’t mind if I do.
These notebooks are from when I was somewhere around 13-16 years old. I was writing a story that I never did finish, but boy did I have grand plans for it. I think the blue notebook was the original, but the black notebook seems to be a rewrite. I can’t say it’s the first story I ever wrote (or tried to write…I never did seem to finish any of them back then), because I also recently dug up what remains of a story I started writing when I was 10 (more on that here), but it’s the main one from my childhood. I am so glad I still have have these notebooks after so many years.
These two notebooks are also very important. They contain the bulk of the original draft of my fanfiction series that is the basis for “Pithea” (and more on that here). There were five stories originally, and the left notebook starts with line one of the first story, and the second notebook stops during one of the final scenes of the fifth story. They are the first notebooks I filled with writing, and they are old and beat up (especially the left one–the back cardboard cover is completely ripped off). They will definitely always be special to me, even though what is in them is obsolete.
This is my current main writing notebook. My husband bought it for me sometime while I was filling the second one from the previous picture. It’s a bulky, 5-subject notebook with plastic front and back covers, numerous plastic pockets inside, most of which are filled with extra papers of some sort, and actual cloth protecting the spiral. It’s the real deal. I used this notebook for NaNo 2007 and 2013, and it has parts of 5 different stories, both long and short, including A Question of Faith. It’s really kind of a mess, with stories intermingled and lines showing a gap in the text, usually because I wrote directly onto the computer for a while before going back to the notebook. It also contains many notes about Pithea and the story world around it, as well as pre-writing and other notes for “Pithea.” All of that, and it’s still only half full. ‘Cause it’s so big.
These are my first international notebooks. They are both from South Korea, where two of my sisters have spent some time. The one on the left was first, brought back by my younger sister. She felt bad because there were no lines in it. I’ll admit it doesn’t work as well for actual writing, but it’s still great for notes, sketches, or mind maps. It’ll take a while to fill it, though, because I don’t do that kind of stuff often. The notebook on the right is from my older sister. She says, “I was really excited that I found one with ‘write’ on it instead of ‘draw’ (most of them were for artists and said ‘Draw Your Dreams’).” That one has lines, and is my other main writing notebook. I use it mostly for writing practice, so it’s being filled with one-shot blurbs to try to keep my creative juices flowing. I tend to go in spurts of keeping up with the writing practice for a few weeks, then forgetting about it for months at a time. It’s actually getting close to being filled, though I’ve been writing in it since March of 2011 (I always date my writing practice).
I bought this notebook at the Creation Museum in Kentucky years ago, along with another one that I use for school planning. This is a smaller notebook, so I tend to keep it in my purse and use it when I’m out somewhere. I originally used it like a journal of writing ideas that I didn’t want to forget, but it has turned into a place for any old writing I want to do when I’m somewhere that I didn’t plan to do writing, so don’t have another notebook with me. It’s pretty beat up for how little is in it, but that’s probably because it’s in my purse so much.
I almost didn’t include this one, because there are only a few pages of it written on, but it’s unique and has a specific purpose. It’s made of bark and twine, and was obtained years ago at a rendezvous. My dad does a lot of those types of shows as a blacksmith, and I used to go to a lot with him to sell the items he made. During slow times at these shows, my favorite thing to do to keep occupied has usually been to work on writing whatever story I was in the middle of at the time. I couldn’t really bring out a big, modern, spiral-bound notebook, because it wouldn’t be period-correct. I did take parchment paper that I’d printed lines on to write on, but somewhere along the line we ended up with a few of these notebooks (in a trade, I think), so I ended up with this one to write in during the shows. I’ll admit, though, it’s kind of a pain, because I can’t use a pencil, which is my preferred utensil, because it won’t show up on the bark paper. But it’s still kind of fun to write in. I don’t do shows as often anymore though, and when I do, they’re way too busy to give me any down time. So the notebook is lonely lately.
This is the first notebook on the list that is completely unused. My older sister bought me this one in South Korea too. I’m really eager to start using it, but the compulsive in me won’t let me until I’ve finished another one. The plan is for this to take the place of the other Korean notebook (partly because they’re both Korean, but also because they’re both a similar size and thickness, so it kind of flows). It’s still in the package it came in for now, because I want to keep it nice and shiny until I use it. If you can see the picture close up enough, you can read the hilarious text. My sister has some t-shirts from Korea with ridiculous and goofy English sayings on them. Apparently they don’t translate stuff well, or they’re being pranked by someone who tells them phrases to use that are just outlandish. In case you can’t read it, it says:
“If your head is wax, don’t walk in the sun
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud It is a great ability to be able to conceal one’s ability
Pride sullies the noblest character
If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves The important thing was to love rather than to be loved One cannot love and be wise”
And on the back, it says:
“I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach
Most new books are forgotten within a year, especially by those who borrow them
When I step into this library, I cannot understand why I ever step out of it
I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy.”
For a boring post about notebooks, this sure is getting long. Okay, two more, and both are blank so hopefully less to say. I designed this notebook on Zazzle. Yes, that’s comic me, and maybe it’s narcissistic to put myself on a notebook, but I love the picture so much, I wanted to use it. It’s also a smaller size notebook with only 60 pages in it. It’ll be for writing or notes or something someday…I don’t know, I just like it. The text on the front was supposed to provide a reminder to write at least for a few minutes every day, but it’s not really working.
This final one is the one my husband got me earlier this week. It’s a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Journal. It’s small, but has a lot of pages. And the pages aren’t lined, but they all have a light print of the same TARDIS image from the front on them. It’s going to live on my night stand for now, so I can stop scrounging scrap pieces of paper to write on any time I’m laying in bed and need to write something down I just came up with. I keep smelling it, and I don’t know why. I think because it’s new and so book-like. It doesn’t smell like a book though. It sort of smells like pickles.
Clearly I’ve run out of stuff to say about notebooks, so I should probably end this blog post now. Someday, when I’m a famous author, some of these notebooks might be worth money. Yep.