Monday, April 17, 2006

A fine poet gave a moleskine a short while ago. It came in the mail, alone in a package, not a word of explanation to be found. I suspect it's a way of telling me to get to work. I've been writing in Hilroy 120 page wireless neatbooks and the like for as long as I've been writing. Not very classy, but functional. I didn't think it would matter what I wrote in as long as I had a pen and a surface on which to write. Boy was I wrong. I've spent the last week getting to know my moleskine. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it. Sometimes I pick it up and mull over its texture, weight and size. My handwriting looks so different on those creamy pages. So alien. Oddly enough, I believe it's had an effect on the writing itself.


GM said...


Brenda Schmidt said...

You might be saying boo when you see what I've been writing. It looks like I'm heading down another road. Well, more of a deer trail. I'm excited about it though.

The ribbon marker is very cool, too. And the expandable pocket - I feel I should put something in it, but I dunno what.

John said...

Moleskines are very fine. I've been using Blueline hardbound books for years. Mostly black, sometimes green, occasionally blue.

I think you should put scraps of paper scribbled with random thoughts in the pocket.

Crafty Missus said...

i definatly get inspiried by the materials i am using when i work.
you wouldn't believe what silk dyed with cochneal or even a bit of pure cotton thread can do to me.
oh my, is it getting hot in here!!

Amy said...

I definitely think the materials we use shape our work. I write differently at the computer than I do by hand, and I write differently on looseleaf than I do on a yellow legal pad.

And I hate any colour ink but black and can't think straight if someone offers me a pen with blue ink!

GM said...

It's funny that you should write that, Amy. I often switch to a blue ink when I'm blocked. It's almost as if the change releases or unclogs something. It's like brain draino for me. And, as the anonymous gifter who is trying to convert his favourite poets one at a time to Moleskines, I hate to say it, but there are times when I'm completely blocked that I head back to ruled, three-hole-punched Hilroy school paper for a day or two.

A change is as good as a rest. And B, get to work.

Ariel Gordon said...

I'm another confirmed Blueline hardbound book (A9) user - but I will also sometimes compose on the computer.

I will say, however, that working on the computer almost never gives me that prideful look-I've-almost-
filled-another-notebook feeling.

(I even have a preferred pen - after years of expensive pens, I've settled on the Papermate Flexigrip Ultra...though I am just as happy if not happier with a freshly sharpened pencil)

John said...

Blue ink discombobulates me too. Gotta be black. I prefer the Pilot HiTecpoint V5. Been using it almost as long as the Bluelines — yes, the A9's are the books.

Can't get Moleskines here, have to order 'em.

Rhona McAdam said...

I can't write without lines. Do moleskines have lines? I think a notebook so fine and fancy would block me forever - my poetry notebooks are for the rubble of creation and I would be ashamed to see my early drafts preserved forever in such finery. Occasionally I like to rip out pages that have particularly disappointed me and cast them into the recycling bin. I'm quite fond of graph paper actually; I am comforted by the horizontal and vertical guidance, and like a narrow rule because it obliges me to fill that page.

Brenda Schmidt said...

John, scraps of paper scribbled with random thoughts it will be. Given the nature of my thoughts, it will be a mighty full pocket.

Cara, I can relate to that. The texture of watercolour paper. The feel of my brushes. The squeeze of paint. It really baffles me that I never thought of writing materials in the same way.

Amy reminded me of my yellow legal pad phase. I think it was back in the 80s. Big hair. Blue Bic.

Ariel, I use the same pen!

Rhona, my Moleskine is lined. You tear out your work? Aren't you afraid of shredding something useful or interesting to those who will go through your archives?

I wonder if anyone has done a survey of writers to see what they write on and with? Moleskine vs. Blueline vs. graph paper. Papermate Flexigrip Ultra vs. HiTecpoint V5.

Yes, G, I'll get back to work...