Notebook Collection, part 10

Ten posts about my notebook collection is quite enough, I’d say. I don’t think I can ask for better notebooks than those that I have, especially a few I’ve gotten just in the last month. As much as I love finding new treasures, I’m out of room on my shelf anyway. So while I anticipate still adding some that are gifts from loved ones, I don’t plan to go looking for notebooks any more after this. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7  |  Post #8  |  Post #9

This was a gift from my husband’s step-mom for Christmas. I really like the colorful cover, though the inside is a little girly for me (there are unicorns O_O). However, the covers are thick, hard cardboard, and the notebook is full-size. It will be a nice, sturdy notebook that will do well for revision and writing someday.


I hesitated to buy this notebook at first, telling my husband that it wasn’t necessary to get a notebook just because we happened to be at Barnes & Noble. However, he reminded me that I had some “fun money” from Christmas, and it is such a beautiful leather cover. Add to that the leather tie and the fact that it’s very thick–probably the most pages of any I have–and I gave in. Not that it really takes much.


This is a small notebook, only about 5″ x 7″, but I loved the strap with the clock hanging from it. It’s the type where the pages are in 4 different designs–1 set of pages are lined, 1 set grid, 1 set blank, and 1 set also blank but of kraft paper (thicker, brown paper). In the past that might have been a deal breaker, but I’m past believing that I’ll get to some of these notebooks soon enough for it to be a big deal. The pages are held together in a 3-ring binder contraption, so they can be replaced if necessary, though I’m not sure how easy it will be to find 3-holed paper of this size.


This is a leather notebook cover, which did come with a spiral-bound notebook inside to start. It is a soft, supple leather that I love even more than I expected to. It also came with a clip that can be attached to the cover anywhere and would hold a pen, though I don’t want to mar the leather with it. Maybe when I start using it someday, I’ll see how feasible it is to attach the clip to the notebook itself. Sadly, I’m afraid to snap it closed, because one of the snaps was so tight that I worry I’ll eventually rip it out of the leather in the due course of closing and opening the notebook.


This is a bit of a removal from the rest of the notebooks I’ve been sharing, but I thought it was still worth including. In March of last year, about 10 months after I began sharing book reviews on my blog, I realized how much it would help me to write down notes as I read a book, so I’d remember more when I was ready to write the review. I don’t force myself to write something with every book, but if I want to remember something as I go, knowing that my memory can be pretty bad these days, I’ll start a page for that book and keep any notes (even if it’s just that first one that prompted me to start the page for it). Any time I can come up with a legitimate reason to start using one of the many notebooks in my possession is a happy occasion, and this is the one I chose for it (not the one above, click the link in the previous words to see it); I’ve had it since 2015, so it’s really about time I started using it. Plus the pen is always there when I want to jot down some thoughts.

Last summer, I saw the above journal at Half Price Books. Inside, most of the pages are designed to be used for the exact purpose of what I’ve been doing–taking notes on books as you read. There are a few pages at the back designed for keeping a TBR list, writing down book passeges you want to remember, and keeping a list of books you’ve borrowed out. I doubt I’ll use any of those pages as intended, but it’s a small portion of the journal. I’m still going to fill up the one I started before I begin on this one, but it’s almost halfway full, so I know the day will come soon enough.


I’m all caught up on sharing newly acquired notebooks for my collection. I feel a stronger resolve than normal to not purchase any more for myself, so I think it’s safe to say it’ll be a while before I have enough to post about again.

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

The snarl and hiss, however, had not come from the cat. It had come from…

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Weekly Writing Update: 1/17

I’ve started to focus more on revision again finally, after the slump that started around the holidays. I had a conversation with the younger sister of Leahna, one of the main characters of book #3. Somehow that ended up involving the sisters’ brother too, and in the end, I had so much more insight on both of these two side characters, especially the sister. And then I finished one of the brand new scenes that I’ve slated to add into the story, all of which focus on Leahna and her family, a group of characters that were sorely under-represented in the previous drafts.

Over the next week, I will probably continue to work on the new scenes, saving my new full revision until after all scenes I’ve already planned are done. Then I can start at the beginning and get an idea of how things are flowing so far.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Notebook Collection, part 9

I won’t say too much as an introduction, since I posted about this same thing only last Saturday. In this post you will find 4 more recent additions to my notebook collection, and if you want to see more, you can click on the links directly below this.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7  |  Post #8

This is one of the very few notebooks in my collection that came from a thrift store, because as you can imagine, used notebooks aren’t particularly helpful. But now and then apparently someone donates a notebook that they never wrote in. This is actually more of a notebook cover, with a magnetic clasp. Inside is a plain spiral notebook that can be replaced, along with a slot for papers, a clear slot that looks like it’s for a business or ID card, and a pen holder. I like simple covers like this so that I can put my own notebooks in them and keep them safe when they travel in my purse or luggage. Also, it only cost 50¢, so you can’t go wrong with that!


In a nearby city, there’s a store that is only open during Christmas shopping time. They spend the rest of the year gathering things to sell, like overstock from other businesses, things like that, and they sell most of their inventory really cheap. So what they have is very hit-or-miss from year to year. I was a little sad at their selection of notebooks this year–a lot of very plain things, repeats from last year, or oddball notebooks like one with Benjamin Franklin quotes all through it. The notebook above, however, was an immediate grab for me, because I knew it would be absolutely perfect for me to write my character interviews in. After all, what says “split personality” more than talking to myself as a writing exercise?


I watched Jurassic Park in the theater as a teenager. My parents took our whole family, thinking it was going to be more of a light-hearted comedy (what trailer did they see?!). I don’t remember what I thought about it then, but I do remember watching it at my friends house shortly after it came out on VHS. We watched it at least 2-3 times into the night, determined to watch until it didn’t scare us anymore. Maybe that’s why I’m such a huge fan of the whole franchise now. I love them all, even the cheesy ones. I have also read both books, though it’s been a while, which is why I will be reading them again sometime soon.


This was a Christmas gift from my husband last month, a leather journal cover that he had custom-made for me. It’s the name of my first full-length book, as well as the name of the book series, and also the name of the country most of the series takes place in. As you can see from the spine of the book on the left, it’s in the same font as the title on the book, too. It’s basically a refillable travel journal, which means that there are multiple smaller notebooks inside, held in by elastic bands, that can be replaced as needed. It looks beautiful, smells wonderful, will hold up to all sorts of use and abuse, and can be reused forever. Words cannot express how this cover makes me feel.


Stay tuned for one more post with 4 more notebooks, at which point I will be caught up (for now).

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Book Birthday!

Pithea cover, Kindle

Guess what! Today is my book birthday! One year ago today, my first full-length novel, first in a series I’ve been working on for many years, was released out into the world! Eleven months later, I did it all over again with book #2, but nothing will ever be quite as exciting as the day that Pithea was released. (Go here to see what the book is about.)

I know many people were looking forward to the end of 2020 and the beginning of a new year, but let’s not be too quick to dismiss last year. I have a feeling that, despite the mess the year became, each of us could find something to celebrate from 2020. What’s yours?

Weekly Writing Update: 1/10

I didn’t do much of any revision work during the holidays at all, and only just finally managed to get back into it. So far, all I’ve done this year, mostly during this last week, is a character interview with one of the main characters of book #3, Leahna. She’s one that I always thought I had a decent handle on, but has always been in the background. Now that I want to bring her to the front more, of course I realize that my understanding of her is far too shallow. So I spent some time fleshing her out a little.

I did learn some details that I think will give her a lot more depth in the book. I also realized that I need to conduct another interview, though, with Leahna’s sister. Though the sister will only be in the book a little, I’m noticing how much she has to do with the Leahna’s background and her dynamic arc. I’ll work on that this coming week, and hopefully take some time to finish writing the first new scene for the book that I’ve started on for this revision, but didn’t get very far with due to Christmas-related activities taking so much time in December.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Notebook Collection, part 8

6 1/2 years ago, I started this blog and promptly posted about the small collection of notebooks I had just realized I had. Since then, the collection has grown into a bit of a monster. As an author, I like to write by hand as much as possible, but it’s just so much faster to type. Try it; you’ll probably agree with me. Even still, I handwrite when I can, and I love gathering notebooks. I also love sharing about my notebooks.

It has been far too long since I last posted about newly acquired notebooks. Maybe not that long when measured in time (6 months), but definitely too long when measured in notebooks (13), since I try to keep these posts to no more than 5 notebooks per. So I’ll split these 13 into 3 different posts, spread out over the next week.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7

I bought this notebook at Meijer, of all places. Usually big retail stores like that don’t have much in the way to captivate me, though Meijer does seem to be the exception. I love the ability to customize it with any letter in front. There are also a few other options to fill the window, as seen on the left.


I remember watching my husband play Ocarina of Time back in the early days of our marriage. It’s a fond memory, though I’d never played Zelda before that, nor did I play it after that. Until Breath of the Wild caught my attention, which I’ve now played through all of.

In case you can’t tell from the picture, this notebook lights up. I almost passed on it, because the bottom-right corner, where the activation button is, is a bit dented in from all of the people pushing the “Press Here” sticker in the store. But it was a good deal, in the clearance section of Box Lunch, so I went for it. (Box Lunch will be the death of me, I’m pretty sure.)


This is one notebook that is better in person (well, they all are, really). The draw of it is the soft, suede-like hardcover, which of course won’t come across in a picture. It just looks like a plain gray notebook from Half-Price books…they can’t all have interesting stories.


This notebook and the one below it my husband bought on clearance at the Disney Store in Indianapolis on a work trip for me that gave him time to shop thrift stores (which he loves to do). Apparently he also had time to go to the mall.

This first one (above) is from the movie Onward, which we’d watched not long before and enjoyed. It’s meant to be the RPG book the older brother uses, and the back cover text (shown on the right) reflects that too. It also came with a pen that is the wand from the movie. It lights up, but it’s a bit touchy and I couldn’t get it turned on for the picture (it was on clearance, after all).


I have never seen the movie that this notebook is for. My husband was basically aware of that fact, but still thought I’d like the notebook. At first, I wasn’t really sold, but the longer I’ve had it (he bought it around 4 months ago), the more it’s grown on me. First of all, it’s huge–one of only a couple of my notebooks where the pages inside are as big as regular notebook paper. Second, the covers are thick and rigid, which makes it a very hardy notebook. Then there are the accessories. The “hinges” on the left (which are also on the back) are metal and the nail spots, though fake, do stick out. No, that keyhole doesn’t actually lock. In fact, the latch opens from the spot on the far right, not where the keyhole is. But it’s still metal and just really cool looking. And the bookmark has a tassel on the end! I’ve really come to love the overall medieval look to it.


Stay tuned for more notebooks within the week, including easily my favorite of all of my collection!

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Weekly Writing Update: 12/20

I’m not even going to pretend that I did much work on book #3 in the series this last week. I put the new order of scenes that I came up with the week before into Scrivener, and then I started writing one of the new scenes I have planned. I didn’t even get that scene finished, as various things, mostly related to preparing for Christmas, took up much more of my time than I’d expected. Plus, I’ve been having headaches more often lately, which makes focusing on writing difficult.

This coming week, of course, will hold even more Christmas prep, plus the day itself. I will attempt to spend at least a little time in Pithea, even if it’s not official revision. I have a character interview in mind, so maybe I’ll do that in little snatches of time throughout the week.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Weekly Writing Update: 12/13

I worked on book #3 in the series this week, and I think I have figured out the best way forward. I’ve cut off the last 15k words from the previous draft to be part of book #4, which basically means I’m going to be making the main story goal for book #3 different than how it’s been for many years now. This means that I need to revise a lot to make sure the new story goal is coming out enough. It also means I can put back in some longer scenes that I’d removed to shorten the story and to allow the old story goal to come to the surface earlier in the book.

Actually, this book has been giving me trouble for quite a while. I always worried that the last 1/3 of the book was such a different plot from the rest, and that the plot that is set up in the first 2/3 sort of goes nowhere. But I kept moving forward, thinking I just had to live with it. Then when I had the sudden realization that those 15k words would be better off as part of book #4, it gave me the chance to fix all of that. It’ll be a lot of work to fix, though.

So I started by doing something that helped me a lot during revision of Outcast earlier this year–putting all of the existing scenes onto little slips of paper, color-coding them by story arc, and then filling out new slips for new scenes I think should be added.

This allowed me to play with the order of the scenes and move some forward when I realized a plot arc was getting started too late, and that starting it sooner could help avoid monotony in the earlier scenes. Now it’s pretty much time to get to revising, which I think will start with a read-through to refresh myself on the story, cutting down bloated scenes and writing the first draft of some new scenes along the way. I’ll also need to make the scenes flow in the order I’ve changed them to, but I’m not sure if I’ll do that now or later.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Weekly Writing Update: 12/6

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I’m back to other writing work. Well, sort of. I spent most of this week doing preliminary work on my NaNoNovel before filing it away for now. Sometimes I’ll spend the first few days after November ends doing a quick clean-up of what I wrote–mostly removing things I marked as NaNo fodder and at least doing a quick spell check. This is usually better to do while the story is still fresh, and then it’s good to let it sit for some time.

I did start on revision of book #3 in the series today, but didn’t get very far. I have some large structure changes to figure out, but first have to decide how to figure them out.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.