Archives: Writing

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook: Review 4

Poppin-Sot-Small-NotebooksThis week I’m looking at the Poppin Soft Cover notebook. In previous reviews I’ve simply mentioned that a product is widely available without providing a link because I’m pretty sure you all know how the search function works. (If you’ve questions about my criteria, that preceding link should take you to a page than answers them.)

In the case of Poppin, though, the notebook is currently only available through the manufacturer, so you’ll probably have to pay shipping costs. And that’s okay, because even with shipping the Poppin is a bargain. Here’s the link.

Price: $6.00

Notebook Writing

Poppin bindingOne of the reasons I’ve been talking about writing notebooks so much lately is that I’ve been using them more than ever.

It’s just too danged easy to be distracted while on a computer and lately I’ve been extra distractible. E-mail checking, looking up data that I didn’t have any interest in a few moments before, following links from Facebook to articles I didn’t know I wanted to read, etc. I’ve been failing the Dr. McCoy test pretty miserably. Sometimes I promise myself I won’t be distracted and get good work done, and sometimes I fall prey to Resistance.

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook: Review 3

Rhodia exteriorThis week I’m reviewing the Rhodia Web Notebook. Although its referred to by some as the “webbie” you’ll never hear me say that aloud. For previous pocket writing notebook reviews or my criteria, click here.

Pricing: $15.25 and up

The Rhodia Web Notebook is on the high end of pocket notebooks, which means that once shipping is added in it’s pretty much priced out of my criteria (and yes, there are some pocket notebooks that are even more expensive).

New Outlining Thoughts

one more thingJust last year I was pretty firmly convinced I had an outlining method that was working perfectly. To be honest, it HAD worked pretty well. It saw me through the composition of two new Pathfinder novels that I’m pleased with.

As with any writing method I’ve ever used, though, I’ve discovered that it doesn’t work in every instance. Sometimes what looks good in an outline doesn’t work as well when I set it down on paper.

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook: Review 1

Leuchtturm1917 pairI’ve previously written about the reasons I find pocket notebooks useful, and my criteria for judging what makes one ideal.

With all that in mind, from time-to-time I’m going to feature some pocket notebooks that meet my criteria. I’m not going to bore you with notebooks that don’t work, just get right to the ones that do.

First up, the Leuchtturm1917 hardback and softback models.

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook, Part 2: Criteria

Poppin-Sot-Small-NotebooksAs I mentioned in part 1, I think a pocket writing notebook is a vital tool for a writer, or at least for THIS writer, and I’m detailing my ideas about about what makes for a great one.

It may seem like I’m over thinking this, but If I’m plunking down fifteen dollars to get an important tool for my job, I want that tool to be designed in a useful way – lines that aren’t too close together, pages that don’t fall out, a binding that’s going to hold up until I fill all the pages, etc. And there are other considerations as well. For instance, I’ve never been big on style, but I don’t want my writing notebook covered with kittens, or pictures of a woman’s boot.

Here are the qualities I consider when picking out a writing notebook:

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook, Part 1: Purpose

Poppin-Sot-Small-NotebooksWriters write; they don’t just compose when it’s convenient for them, when the stars are in alignment, or when they happen to be sitting in front of their computers.  Snatches of dialogue, scenes, or entire outlines can be lost because the muses don’t wait to inspire you until you’re in just the right place with just the right tools.

I don’t mean to suggest that we’re powerless before the goddesses of inspiration, nor do I mean to belittle the ability to simply sit down and focus and make writing happen even when you’re having a slow day. Writers have to be able to make writing happen, not to wait for it to happen.

Rabbit Holes and Writing Notebooks

Cute White Rabbit leaving burrowMost of us can be defined in part by our obsessions, those things we’ve spent immense amounts of our lives practicing or researching or observing or collecting. The older we get, the more interests we’ve accumulated, or practiced and discarded. Some obsessions we continue to explore, others go by the way side, and some linger on the back burner to be occasionally re-ignited, as my own interest in The Beatles was when  I finally read The Beatles Anthology this winter.

I really threw myself down that particular rabbit hole. I already knew a LOT about The Beatles, but when I climbed back out and wiped the dirt off I knew so much I was a little dismayed. And yet there are people who know EVEN MORE.

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John LennonTake any given topic you love and the odds are that there’s someone out there who knows more about it, probably to a frightening degree. The Internet makes it very easy to search out and discover everything you want to know (probably beyond that) about any subject. And if you’re not careful, you might find you’ve fallen into someone else’s rabbit hole.

Return to The Desert of Souls

Desert ZeusEvery once in a while nice surprises float up from the ‘net. I just read an enthusiastic new review of The Desert of Souls from a mystery review site, and there’s discussion in the comments page wondering if there are to be more stories about Dabir and Asim.

Well… Sooner or later there probably will be. Certainly my wife would love me to write more, because she likes Dabir and Asim more than any other characters I’ve ever used, even the ones I’m writing about now. At the least, I’ll one day write a third novel and resolve what happens between Dabir and the love of his life, from whom he was separated at the end of the first book. Maybe I’ll launch it as a Kickstarter or something.