A Wirebound Notebook and a Pen

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

~~A wirebound notebook and an inkpen are looking better and better to me tonight. My computer has a headache and that’s giving me a bigger headache and making me think fondly back to the good old days before electronics took over our lives. When I started writing back in the olden days, I loved filling up wirebound notebooks (some of the relics are in the picture above) using fountain pens filled out of an ink bottle of blue black ink. Alas, I no longer have any of those pens, so that why there’s a ballpoint pen in the photo. What is it about writers that makes us obsess over just the right pen and color ink?
~~Could be the right pen and paper wakes up the Muse inside you. I loved getting a new notebook and thinking about all the words I was going to write on its pages. You could fill up that kind of notebook. And I did. The stories inside me had to spill out somewhere and the notebooks were enticingly blank and waiting. Those blank pages never gave me the shivers. Those blank pages were begging for the words tumbling out of my head. It didn’t matter all that much what the words were. I was writing for the fun of it – just a rush of story sliding from my brain down my arm and out my fingers into the pen and onto the lined page. No rewriting. No worry about what anybody was going to think. Nobody ever read those stories but me. So there was just the magic of words forming a story.
~~The desire to be published didn’t come until I got a little older. With that desire came the need to improve my writing, to polish the words and sentences, but more importantly to try to tell stories other people would want to read. A good story, that’s what readers want and that’s what I wanted to write then. That’s what I still want to write today all these years and many stories later.
~~In the process of writing my stories, I’ve gone from the notebooks and pen to typewriters to word processors. The computers are nice. Typos are easy to correct. Words can flow across the blank screen with nearly effortless typing. When the computer works. But when it gets a headache and maybe even gets, heaven forbid, a virus, then a writer has problems. Problems I’m having as my computer threw a little fit Monday and has been sulking ever since. The spell check has disappeared. The thesaurus won’t come up. It sticks its tongue out at me and says find your own word and didn’t you learn to spell in school? Thank my teachers I did.
~~But what strikes the most fear in a writer’s heart is that it might just go black and not fire up again. That’s because this writer doesn’t really want to go back to those notebooks and pens.
The ten-cent store where I used to buy bottles of that blue black ink is long gone, replaced by Wal-Mart stores. And no editor is going to read notebook writing. They want files they can get across the internet with a few clicks of a mouse. There’s no going back to the simpler times when you could look at a typewriter and see it needed a new ribbon or had a broken key. Now you look at a screen that says stuff like “fatal error” or “we need to shut down now” or “we can’t find a solution to this error” or “throw the thing out the window.” Oh wait, maybe that last is something I feel like saying sometimes. But I won’t throw it out the window. I’ll keep trying to figure out ways to keep it humming so I can keep putting words on that blank screen to tell my stories.
~~Hope all your computers are humming and clicking and doing all the things good computers are supposed to do. Thanks for reading.