A #2 Pencil and a Dream

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 8 Comments

pencils-0011“A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.” ~Joyce A. Myers

Things are a little crazy, per usual, around here this week. I’m getting ready for my twin grandsons to come visit this weekend. That, along with this book I’m supposed to be writing  and my Hometown Book Launch coming up, made me totally forget Wednesday’s post. So here’s a rerun of a post about pencils from 2012. Sometimes it’s just rerun season. 🙂

With one pencil you can write 45,000 words – a short novel. Actually not quite half my own novels, but then I’ve been accused of being a bit wordy at times.

I heard this interesting fact not long ago on the radio about how many words were in a pencil, and it started me thinking about all the pencils I have laying around. Pencils no doubt full of stories if I’d just pick them up and apply the lead to the paper. William Faulkner must have liked that style of writing if this quote from him is any indication. “I’ve got to feel the pencil and see the words at the end of the pencil.”  You have to wonder if he would be saying I’ve got to feel the keys and see the words spilling across the computer screen these days. That’s more the way I write. The way many writers write. Some still pick up pen and paper. Some dictate their words.

Did you know that you can get computer programs that enable the computer to record your spoken words? Of course I can’t even get my phone to understand when I want to call my husband, Darrell. The irritating little woman who lives in my phone comes back and says, “I can’t find barrel.” So it’s no telling what a computer would type if I was dictating a story to it.

But I do think I need that feel of the keys and the words appearing on the screen in front of my eyes. Anybody want to hazard a guess to how many words are in a computer? That takes the pencil’s 45,000 to a new level. However, computers have been known to have untimely deaths – usually right after the best scene you’ve ever written. The one you forgot to back up. Pencil leads break, but a little sharpening and they are right back to work without letting the paper lose a word. Unless the dog eats it or something. Or does that only happen with homework?

Even so, most of us began forming our letters with a pencil. Then the magic of words was at our fingertips. We could write down stories. I never tried to write a story with a pencil. I was partial to ink pens when I began writing, but it pokes at my imagination to think about being able to write a short novel with one pencil. It would have to be the right pencil. The one loaded down with imagination and nice soft lead to make the writing easy. I’d have calluses back on my fingers like when I was in school. Then again maybe I’ll stick with the keyboard.

How about you? Has it been a while since you wrote anything with a pencil? Coloring is popular for adults now with color pencils making a comeback. Maybe writing with a pencil will too. So, how do you like to write? Ever written a long story with one pencil? You could you know, but I doubt if the eraser would last for me.

“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.” ~ Robert Brault

Thanks for reading.

Comments 8

  1. Phyllis Miller

    This post was from May 12th but I just read it as I do not check my e-mails as often as I should. I just enjoyed this about the pencils, you see I love pencils. I have so many and I use them everyday. With a pencil, if you make a mistake you can erase and correct, with a pen you cannot. I like to use a pencil in my address book, I find if someone moves and has a new address, all I have to do is erase the old address and put in the new one. I like to buy the #2 pencils made in the good old U.S.A. and they are out there, you just have to look. The last ones I bought were from Walmart. Why buy a pencil made in China when you can get one made in the U.S.A.? Thanks for a great read about pencils. Phyllis

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      I like the way you think, Phyllis. I haven’t bought a pencil for a long time. Seems like somebody is always ready to give some away. Plus, when we went through Mom’s things, she had many, many pencils. Some may have been antiques. Of course, I couldn’t throw them away. We did give some to a lady who collects pencils. I don’t collect them. I just accumulate them. LOL. But I love eversharps. Those are my pencils of choice. Glad you enjoyed my pencil post and if I do buy some pencils, I’m going to look for the made in USA tag.

  2. Karen Jones

    Very interesting tribute to the pencil l!!! I use one every morning to record my weight! I have decided that writing down ones thoughts is a God given talent. Thank you for yours!

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      So glad you liked my pencil story written totally on the computer and without the aid of a pencil, Karen. 🙂 But you are absolutely right about writing things down to keep yourself accountable to goals. That’s how I started writing many years ago. I kept a writing journal and felt bad when I had nothing to record. That helped me stay on course with my writing.

    1. Post
  3. Mary Herrnstein

    I really enjoyed this story today…took me back so many years ago…I have written some short stories with a pencil…but mostly my writings took on the form of poems…sitting back now…I wonder what became of my “unpublished works”? I do find myself picking up a pencil more often nowadays…to total up my bills, write out a list for the grocery, or help my great great niece learn to write in cursive. There’s nothing like the feel of a new pencil when you open the pack and insert it in the sharpener for the first time! Thank you for a trip back through my younger years!

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      Right, Mary. And the smell of that sharpened pencil and the eraser. I have to admit that many of my school day pencils had bite marks. A stress killer perhaps. I use ever sharp pencils for my bookkeeping. Maybe I should go back to the wooden ones for that stress relief. LOL. My problem is using up that eraser too soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *