Like most writers and many teachers I know (that’s correct, I am both), I have a distinct and undying obsession with stationery. I love it. I have notecards that I put in people’s letterboxes when I’ve dropped in to say hello but they’re not home. I have special paper upon which I send notes to the child’s teachers. When I send signed copies of my books to people, I usually also slip in a happy little note thanking them for their interest and telling them how I hope they’ll enjoy reading my work.
Why send ugly notes when you can send beautiful ones?
More importantly than any of the notecards or papers though, are my organising notebooks. These are the books in which I scribble and plan my novels. Usually they become compilations of images, quotes, timelines, song lyrics, data and so forth. If I wake up from a dream or get out of the shower with a new idea, I jot it in these notebooks. If I’m busy away from my laptop and a fabulous piece of dialogue comes to me, it goes in the notebook too. As you can imagine, these notebooks are important to me. I keep them even after the book is published. True, I am a scrapbooker’s worst nightmare, but I love these notebooks. The colour and the sense of texture. The slow progression from jumble to cohesive, ordered story. From noise to music, if you prefer.
These are no ordinary notebooks. Because of that, they can’t be housed in any old cover and can’t be filled with blinding white paper that screams with blue lines. I need a soft background for my thoughts.
There’s a story I’ve had not the backburner for a couple of years now. It’s completely written but following some dealings with a publisher, it was suggested that I rewrite the second half of the book. Sadly, I could never quite figure out how else the second half of the book should go. I knew the publisher was right, I just didn’t know what/how to fix the problem. So I put the book aside and let it go.
Lately, it’s been sneaking its way back into my consciousness. Ideas, dialogue and locations have been murmurring behind my daily thoughts of food and school holidays, and I’ve had nowhere to put them. I’ve been storing them, reciting the details in my head, over and over. I’ve been meddling with plot and practicing descriptions, desperately worried I’ll forget (because I do forget things, even important things, on a regular basis).
I hung on until today when grocery shopping got me to the mall, but the call of the stationery department lured me away (I did get enough groceries for dinner). So here they are. I present to you. Notebook One – Seth – (oh yeah…it’s a series so one book per boy/brother)
Note the scaly appearance for a boy who becomes involved with mer-people and maenads? The texture, the soft colours and the creamy pages inside make me happy. I might have preferred for the cover to have had a silvery blue sheen, but then again, shiny things are not my boy’s style…yet.
Then we have Notebook Two – Anteus (Ant for short)
Consider Anteus my ‘earth’ boy. He finds most peace when his hands are dirty. So the plants and the string binding suit him well.
Then lastly Notebook Three – Finneus (Fin)
This book is actually white with a gold/silver sheen (poor lighting, oh well). Fin is a ‘child of the air’. His eyes are clouded but his thinking is clear. He’s shiny clean in has lack of social niceties but super clever when it comes to inventing, creating and knowing.
So that’s it people. All of this from the stationery aisle at Target! Who knew they sold such grand ideas?