|Sunshine ... on my notebook ... makes me happy!|
First, my toolkit. This is a very unofficial collection of items, carefully curated over the years and composed of things that I find myself turning to, no matter how many other writing tools I have to move out of the way to get to them. My list of most valuable pieces:
- Moleskine notebooks with the soft cover and the grid-printed sheets. The technical name for these is "Moleskine Cahier Navy Blue Extra Large Squared Journal," but no matter what you call them, I call them perfect. I use them for notes and have recently forsaken the paper day planner notebook that I researched and purchased in favor of a calendar of my own making in the grid of this notebook. I also use them to write either horizontally or vertically, depending on what I'm writing down, be it to-do lists or projects or whatever. And when I'm bored, I doodle in the squares. I splurged on the 3-pack (anytime you spend $20 on notebooks it's a splurge) several years ago and have been using these same sturdy notebooks ever since.
- For writing in my notebook, I prefer the blue Bic Crystal ballpoint pen. Medium point, I think. It's the one I will move all my other pens out of the way to find. The ink flow ratio is perfect and I absolutely love it when the paper in a notebook gets all crinkly from writing, and only a ballpoint pen gives it that feel. It feeds the OCD part of me.
- For editing my own writing or others, I turn to the red PaperMate Flair felt-tip pen. For a little while I was unable to find these, so now whenever I do find them, I buy them. I've got stashes of them everywhere (the true sign of an editor?). If I'm working with my critique group, I might use a less-harsh green or orange, maybe even purple or pink if I'm feeling jaunty. When plotting a NANOWRIMO book I picked up a collection of multi-colored Flair pens but as the project is languishing, I think that was just my subconscious justifying the purchase of said pens.
Great writing advice. Especially that which is provided by Chuck Wendig. He's the foul-mouthed genius and self-proclaimed freelance Penmonkey behind the Terribleminds blog. He's also the prolific writer of many titles, including 250 Things You Should Know About Writing, 500 Ways to Be a Better Writer, 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story and 500 More Ways to Be a Better Writer, among others. I've got these 4 e-book titles and highly recommend them if you are not offended by swearing and like straight-forward, intelligent advice.
|Jazz is good. Jazz on vinyl is sublime.|
Remember when I said my brain cells were far too divided? Well, we all know that nothing soothes the savage breast like music, and currently when I need to focus, I'm digging instrumentals. Not like in the elevator music of old, but other music of old, like jazz. I got a record player for Christmas, and have since picked up some new/old vinyl--including a Miles Davis LP. I've listened to Kind of Blue for a long time when I needed that clear head space, figured it was time to branch out a bit. I've also discovered classical, which I've never really dipped too far into. But then I discovered these classical music collections on Amazon.com for a pittance (under $3 each for 100 songs) and I've built quite a collection. A great investment.