March 10, 2012

This morning I found myself at Jerry’s Artarama in Virginia Beach, my favorite store on the planet, and I bought a certain notebook with an aqua cover. It is the 5th notebook of this brand and size that I’ve bought in the past few months. They come in bright clear colors and the first one I bought was pink, followed by purple, spring green, and bright blue, plus a smaller purple one to serve as my Lenten prayer journal. Pink and purple are all filled up and green and blue are getting close.

It's not that I haven't done any writing lately. These notebooks prove it.

I was not sure of the exact purpose of the aqua notebook but I woke up with an intense desire to buy a new one. After a lifetime of searching for the perfect notebook, I have finally found it. It’s made in Japan by a company called SeptCouleur according the label. The B5 size is not too big, not too small, and the lines are perfectly spaced. And the paper texture! That is the most important thing.  It is silky smooth so that my Sharpie pen flows smoothly with just the right “grip.” Plus the plastic cover is pleasant to touch and stiff but not too stiff. The whole thing has a satisfying heft and weight. If you could be in love with a notebook I’d be in love with this one. Maybe you can and I am!

After my heavenly trip to Jerry’s where, besides the aqua notebook, I bought a Strathmore Bristol-Smooth Visual Journal (another love), five new Prismacolor art markers, and a pack of envelopes for my art trading cards, I was hungry and stopped by Schlotsky’s for lunch. Panera is my usual Saturday shopping lunch place, but it was so crowded today, and seeing a Schlotsky’s in the distance, I felt the urge for one of their sandwiches which I used to enjoy but have not had in years.

Whenever I get new colors I always draw a few flowers to get familiar with them.

The veggie on sourdough was fairly good and the broccoli cheese soup was delicious but could have been warmer. The last time I was at Schlotsky’s I was not a vegetarian and used to like the turkey sandwich. While eating my sandwich I read a few pages in Susan M. Tibaghien’s One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer’s Art and Craft. In the first chapter Tibaghien mentions several of my favorite writing book authors: Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones), Julia Cameron(The Artist’s Way), and Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write), so I know I’m going to like this book.

By the time I finished my sandwich, I knew what my aqua notebook was for. An idea has been percolating under the surface of my mind for a month or so that I need to renew my commitment to writing, and a few words from Susan Tibaghien brought the idea to the surface. Of course all of my notebooks are for writing (what else?) but the new one will be explicitly for the free writing part of my renewed commitment.

Even when we are doing something we love and it is going well, every now and then we get bogged down by life and distracted from the path. In the last few months, between job transitions and my husband’s hear surgery, my writing life, though not demolished, has been sort of slogging along. And what a perfect time to start fresh: it is the eve of spring and my birthday is Wednesday, March 14th. Rather than lament that I am a year older, I will use this occasion as a time to renew. I am even taking leave from work and will probably spend much of that day writing. I may need to make another trip to Jerry’s soon.

6 Responses to A new notebook, an inspiring book, and impending spring

  1. Love the notebooks and the flowers! Broccoli cheddar soup is so good, but last time I ate it I got sick. Don’t worry, it wasn’t the same place you got it.

  2. Darian wilk says:

    I just love those notebooks, so colorful and inspiring! Congrats on your renewing your commitment, it’s that determination that helps our writing lives thrive!

  3. Fi Phillips says:

    I never need an excuse to buy more notebooks. Happy birthday for next week and good luck with your new commitment.

  4. Well Carol you’ve inspired me about writing too, and Spring, and cool notebooks, and colors! Love your sketches and thanks for a great writing books list.

  5. Bella says:

    Carol, I love the idea of seeing your birthday as I time to renew! Good for you! I think the aqua notebook is going to be quite special! Free writing sounds like the perfect thing to inspire your creative muse. I love buying journals, notebooks, stationery. There’s something about the fresh pages of a new notebook that opens a realms of writing possibilities, isn’t there? :)

    • CJ Carol Apple says:

      Yes I think the feeling of possibility and new beginnings is definitely a big part of my love of buying notebooks. Thanks for stopping by Bella!

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