Monday, March 31, 2008
Laini Loves Notebooks
I don't just love notebooks. I kind of rely on them. I mean, my writing brain is a high-maintainence little machine and it needs certain things, like Pilot extra-fine Precise V5 rolling ball pens (in all colors) and Clairefontaine hardcover notebooks (collaged, as above). Of course, primarily it needs my computer. That's where "the real writing" happens. Notebooks are for notes, right? Who could write a book in a notebook??? That's crazy talk. Right? Right?
It's a symptom of my affliction (stultifying perfectionism) that things must be Just So. I like writing on a computer because I can edit myself as I go, neaten things up, futz with sentence until they satisfy me. Writing by hand, well, it's messy. And, it's hard to make corrections, handwriting can get out of control, hands sweat, and substances might even get spilled on the pages. The horror! I'm actually being serious. These things bother me. I would like to be the kind of writer who only needs their brain, a writing implement, and a notebook -- I think of Neil Gaiman writing chapters on airplanes bound everywhere in the world -- but I have not so far been able to be that writer. I'm caught up in my mild insanity, my rigid, precise little world of Just So.
But I am going to rebel. I'm going to try something mad. Something radical. I am going to write a horribly untidy, perfectly imperfect first draft of the new book in a notebook! I've even got the notebook:
It's the purple one. It's not just any random notebook, not any thin-paged thing from the drugstore. I'm still me, still mildly insane. I had to find a fat, tidy notebook with nice thick smooth paper, and this one is it. I feel a mild terror at the prospect of trying this new thing, writing in a new way, but I'm really excited too, and also a little fretful that my brain won't let me do it.
We'll see. I still, of course, have my "notes" notebooks. Those are the Clairefontaines. Here are the two newest ones:
Filled with ideas, names, strange facts, etc. Most recent little research ramble: Nimravids, a long-extinct sabre-toothed mammal that is thought to have evolved parallel to Smilodon and the other sabre-toothed cats. It was not a cat, it walked plantigrade, which is a new term to me. We walk plantigrade; it means our whole foot, heel and all, touches the ground when we walk -- unlike cats and dogs, who walk on their toes.
And those crazy big saber fangs? Those evolved three separate times, so they must have been useful and functional, but as far as I've been able to determine, no one really knows how those critters used those big fang choppers. I mean, there's speculation they'd have to be able to open their mouths 120 degrees just to bite. How did they eat?? Look:
Speaking of critters, behold the beginning of my CLAW COLLECTION (my thumb thrown in for scale):
Top row, l to r: Grizzly bear, Polar bear, Mountain lion, Wolf
Second row, l to r: Harpy eagle, Bald eagle, Red-tailed hawk, Barn owl
Claws are cool, no? Can you believe that harpy eagle talon? It's actually bigger than the Grizzly claw! Want to play "What would you rather get attacked by?" No? Aw, you never want to play!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 8:45 PM