Category Archives: Moleskine

Long Time No Moleskine!

I haven’t talked about my moleskines in quite awhile. This seems like a great day to do so, because I am using my new one.

My Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal.

 

Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal - Roses by Seayard

That is not mine. That is from Flickr. I will post pics of mine when it has something in it to see.

Which brings me to the point of this post.  Did you know that for free you can join moleskine.com and once there, you can use templates to customize your moleskine pages to be whatever you need them to be? You can even print out your own slipcover.

Cool, huh?

You have to print them out and then attach them into your moleskine, but that kind of makes it fun.

Like kindergarten!

Aw, come on. Admit it. Cutting and pasting is totally fun.

The helpful expert at the local organic nursery told me I needed to do math.

MATH.

The nerve!

Okay, so I’m doing math.  I’m checking the date of the average first frost in Dallas, and then looking at my seed packets to see how many days they need to mature, then counting backward from first frost date so I know when to plant.

Nobody told me there was math in gardening.  I much prefer cutting and pasting.

I have a popsicle and you don’t.

Neener!

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Filed under Garden, Moleskine

Three fun things.

People who know me well know I love my Moleskines.  So I was delighted to run across this today:

Alas, I am not even artistic enough to write fun font-y sayings in a Moleskine, but I enjoyed seeing what this man has done with them and what the blogger intended to do with hers.

Oh, to live in Australia where there are Eco Faeries! (Okay, I don’t really want to live in Australia; I want to live in England, but still, Eco Faeries look like so much fun.)

And finally, care for some gun powder for your toothpaste?

What fun things have you run across lately?

 

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Filed under Moleskine, research

This is not the new post I promised.

Not exactly. That will require the finding of the camera.

But as an experiment, I attempted to recreate the photo here using the camera on my MacBook.

Erm, not so successful.

But, anyway, a few notes and a picture to hold this space until I put the real post together.

Blood? Check. Fountain pen? Check. Novel-in-progress on Kindle? Check. Notes in Moleskine? Check.

Picture backwards… Okay, that?  I have no clue.

[Note: And don’t think I’m not going to blog the Dallas Cowboys being the best, and Hollywood proves it, anyway. Ahem.]

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Filed under Dallas Cowboys, Fountain Pens, Kindle, Moleskine, Office gear, Writers, Writing

Oh. My. Guh.

Take two of my loves, smash them together, and what do you have?

Moleskine® Kindle Cover

I think they should also make one with the Kindle on the other side, to make it easier for righties to write.  Maybe.  Might be more clumsy to read.  I’m not sure.

I do know I want one, though.

And speaking of Kindles, two more bits of info.

One, even though I haven’t mentioned it here, I did finish my rough draft of the novel that ate Detroit, and am now close to finishing editing it, which means I will be converting it and uploading it to the Kindle again, as I mentioned here, to help me read it with fresh eyes.

Two, prices have dropped on the Kindle and Nook, and from what I continue to read, the Kindle is still the superior product.

My goal: To finish the edit before the week is over, and oh what the heck let’s go a little crazy here, to finish a first draft of the synopsis, too.

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Filed under Kindle, Moleskine, Writers, Writing

Stupid writer tricks.

No, I don’t really think these are stupid. But I called them that because, well, whatev.  I just did.

The first time I sold a novel, I wrote it with a certain voice in my head, a voice that ran on and on in endless sentences.  (Well, okay, that voice is still there.)  Sometimes I’m not even sure the sentences had verbs. Somehow that book sold.  It was a pretty good story.  The story, adapted, won me my Nicholl.  (I make that point because talking about my endless sentences-maybe-without-verbs might make you wonder.)

And when I got the galleys–the page proofs that look like the book will look, because it has been typeset and now all we’re looking for are typos and such–I suddenly heard the book in a different voice.  It was no longer the voice that crooned the story into my ear with dulcet siren tones.  It was a crisp, professional voice that made every little odd quirk stand out and scream “unprofessional” to my ears. It was a wakeup call and a learning experience. (I hope.)

From that point forward I played games with myself, trying to trick the voice in my ear.  I have printed out my completed manuscripts on colored paper (pretty purple, guess what color I’m buying next!) and using a different font so that it looks totally different, and that really helps.  It rattles the voice a little, and makes it easier to spot problems. When I first started writing the current novel, I printed the opening chapters in a pretty copperplate, just to get a historical voice in my head when I was reading. And these stupid writer tricks help me, help me a lot.

But my Kindle.

Oh, my Kindle.

My Kindle has opened up new avenues of voice-trickery.

I routinely convert documents to pdf files, then import them into calibre (a free conversion program) which in turn, converts them to mobi and loads them onto my Kindle.

And… wow.  This is like getting galleys for myself.  Seeing the book all looking book-like on my Kindle screen. It’s like holding the published book in my hands.

The voice, she is different when I read this way.

Oddly, I’ve gotten so hard on myself, the book sometimes looks better on the Kindle, reassures me that it actually is working.  Other times it makes problems stick out. I can highlight and make notes with the Kindle if I want, or just keep a moleskine handy to scribble on. (And by the way, that moleskine? The large with lines? Is impossible to find any more. I looked in various local stores and finally had to order from Amazon.)

But today.

Today I learned a new Kindle trick.  I mean, I already knew it. Text-to-speech. Yes, it’s a computer voice, but the male voice isn’t awful. (The female is.)

It has taken me a while to write the last 25,000-ish words, and somehow going back to reread felt like scraping my fingernails on a chalkboard. So I loaded them into the Kindle, and let the Kindle read to me.

It was astounding. Computer voice, yes, but that meant it didn’t rise and swell and dip and whisper with emotion or rhythm, just spit out the words. And listening to the words… helped.  Helped in new ways.

I know people who read their work aloud and swear by it. That doesn’t help me. I hate my voice, and when I read aloud I hate that words that are being spoken by an English girl in 1811 sound ridiculous when spoken by a middle-aged Texan. Stilted and awkward in a way they don’t when read silently. Somehow, listening to the computer voice doesn’t bother me as much. Don’t ask me why. I can’t explain.

But more to the point, when I read, I see individual words and remember the struggle to find the right word, and does this one really work, and I get caught up in word-by-word reading.

When the Kindle reads to me, the words simply flow. The story flows. I hear the big picture flowing over me, without pausing to ponder, worry, re-edit.

Tell me a story…

My Kindle was telling me a story, and to my wondrous ears I realized… I love it. I love this story as much now as when I started it. And more importantly, things that I struggled for weeks to get right with all sorts of tweaking and massaging and slicing and dicing and suddenly thinking of a description that might improve things and sticking it into a scene I wrote last month and–

Yeah. I did mention the runon sentences, didn’t I?

Instead of seeing all that on the page, I simply hear a story read into my ears.

It’s magic.

I love my Kindle.

I love my story.

And right now? I love writing.

Ask me again tomorrow.

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Filed under amazon, Kindle, Moleskine, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, Writing

A return to the Moleskine and pens and writing and more…

As I’ve mentioned before, I love moleskines, the pocket sized, with lines.

But where I used to use them only as a capture device, I have finally branched out. I have sort of suddenly started using the large soft-cover moleskines for writing. By hand. Which is tricky, since within minutes my hand starts cramping and within hours I can no longer read or remember some of what I’ve written.

Yeah, sounds like a good plan, huh?

[“Writing content?” you ask. “Is she finally getting around to a bit of the promised writing content? And this? Is it?”]

Oh, hush. I’m getting there.

Sometimes when the muse is playing hard to get, I find that I can go to the local Tex Mex cafe and sit with a bowl of chips and salsa and pull out my favorite fountain pen (except I have the extra fine nib) and–okay, sometimes, the iPod, too, with music that fits my story and mood–and somehow, words come there that weren’t coming at home.

Maybe because they don’t count. They’re unofficial. They aren’t even allowed to show up in the manuscript yet, not even in the rough draft. They are just messy words in ink that might even smear, that might not ever make it to prime time…

And they show up.

It’s odd how that happens.

And more often than not, those words go home with me and get typed into the manuscript and wow, they are good.  Good enough to keep in that rough draft, anyway.  Sometimes several hundred of them.

Do you realize how many years I’ve been writing? And never, ever wrote by hand? And suddenly, I’m doing it with regularity?

I guess you can teach a drinking aged Pooks new tricks, huh?  (Did you really think I was going to use the o-word there?)

And to my delight, you can now get Noodler’s Black Waterproof Fountain Pen Ink from Amazon. Free shipping (since I also have Amazon Prime, that is very cool, because I can order it and not pay shipping, which I used to have to do when I ordered it elsewhere. Plus, I’ve never bought this black before, and was actually kind of wanting Hunter’s Green, but I am pretty sure black is the only waterproof ink, and I’ve found that when I use highlighters (have I mentioned that I love highlighters?) they sometimes smear the ink and, yeah, I decided my next bottle of ink would be waterproof, because if I can’t read my own writing when it’s not smeared? Smearing is not an option.

And while we’re at it, I stumbled across another cool site that pays attention to notebooks and such.

Notebookstories.

Check it out.

Pssst. By the way, I just ordered a new Lamy fountain pen.

It’s purple.

Excuse me while I squeee.

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Filed under Fountain Pens, Moleskine, Writers, Writing

Storyboarding the Moleskine

I love this. This guy took his Storyboard Moleskine and actually used it to storyboard a film.

And this is how it looks.

I’ve actually been thinking about a short project recently, and thinking of storyboarding it.

Maybe I’ll get around to it yet.

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Filed under Moleskine, Screenwriting, Writing