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Tis the season for looking backward and forward and making lists of resolutions and such. For some reason just the word resolution makes me feel like a failure before I even start so instead I am making a list of habits I hope to cultivate in the coming year. I'll put those in another post but one of them is related to this post - watch, listen, and record more. And for me that means writing by hand in notebooks, not into a computer (except for getting back to blogging regularly.)

In order to start the new year out with doing this on a more regular basis I knew that step one was to gather all my materials so that I could find them, uhm, tomorrow. I'm picky and they have to look write and feel right or I won't use them. So here is the collection of notebooks that I'm starting out with for 2011. Some will get full and need to be replaced and some will last into next year.
all notebooks  

My pen of choice is a Uniball gel pen. I'm losing strength in my right arm and these are the easiest for me to use. The pen glides across the page.

This is my poetry notebook. I love this one because it has lots of college-ruled lines but it isn't super big. And it has a hard back so I can write without needing a desk or book on my lap.
4a 4b

This is another possible poetry book. I might use one for work and one for playing with poetry exercises. This one is blank inside. It's not a Moleskin but I like the feel of the paper better for writing than the slickness of a Moleskin. I've never had an unlined poetry notebook but I'm thinking it might be fun to try.
5a 5b

My "observation" journal. This is a new idea for me. The hope is to record three detailed observations per day with no intention to, at the time of recording, to "create" anything with it. It's smaller than my poetry journal and still lined. I love the leather wrap.
3a 3b

Basic school notebook for my morning pages.

Garden journal. I've never kept a garden journal though I really meant to from the time we leveled the yard and started over. I found this in a gift shop and it seemed like a good way to get into the habit for this first year. It has places to record the weather, what's blooming, plant notes, tree notes, yard notes and visitors.
1a 1b

My gratitude journal. This was a gift given to me after a speaking event. It makes me happy just to look at it so it seems like the perfect gratitude journal. Inside the gratitude journal are very lightly lined pages.
2a 2b

I bought a few of these for some collage books I want to do. I'd like to do a collage a day in them but I don't think that's going to happen this year. But a collage a week is possible.

What about you? Are you partial to a particular type of pen or notebook? Do you keep everything in one notebook or do you categorize things like me?
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There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 8 comments — Leave comment )
January 1st, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
I LOVE those notebooks!!! I'm a sucker for notebooks and pretty boxes.
January 1st, 2011 08:14 am (UTC)
Barb, I'm a sucker for notebooks too. Ooh, and pretty boxes. And old wooden oak boxes. Oh heck, I'm just one big sucker!
January 1st, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
Susan, love your intent to blog more.

And that observation journal: the ribbony thing makes it my favorite, though all have something compelling...

Happy year of new words!
January 1st, 2011 08:16 am (UTC)
Thank you, Jeannine! I have missed the blogging world and feel like I have to climb back up to where I was all over again. But I'm going to try and leave the negativity at the side of the road.

I also resolve to have more time to chat with friends. I hope we have some phone calls in our future.

I adore that ribbony one too. It feels so soft and I can imagine carry it with me all over. I got it originally for a daily journal but I realized that I just don't do the daily journal stuff very well. Perhaps I can on the blog. We will see.

Happy year of new words to you too!
January 1st, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
What lovely notebooks!

I work much more simply. Each project has its own composition book (one of those with the black and white marbled covers). I have a separate journal for basic ideas/concepts that might turn into projects. Poetry I write on lined loose-leaf paper, which I keep in a specially marked manila folder.

But I do love paper and bindings. The problem is, I hate to use them, for fear I won't fill them. It's totally irrational, but that's the way it is.
January 2nd, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
For projects I would have another notebook too. Ideas usually go on index cards until the turn into something. Poetry on loose-leaf is an interesting idea. I might have to try that.

I love love love paper and am trying to overcome my own fear of not using the pretty stuff.
January 2nd, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
I love those notebooks too, but I can't write on lines. All my notebooks are unlined except for the funny ones I use for my daily inventory. I don't care if they have lines. I use these small notebooks with the covers of sensational fifties novels. (She knew she was bad...)
I have a tiny notbook I keep in my pocketbook for ideas, and I got a couple of new ones from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild: Passport to Oz and Passport to Hell, suitably illustrated on the covers... They have lines too...
I hate lines, having trained myself to write in tiny handwriting in straight lines...
Anyhow I am glad to see you posting again and I wish you a most happy new year.
January 2nd, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
Interesting that you can't writing on lines. I'm not sure I can write without them....so many years of my mother stressing the importance of good penmanship (and me failing at it again and again).

Thank you for the supportive reading of my blog. It means a lot to me. A very happy New Year to you too.
( 8 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
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"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
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