Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Notebook

I love a blinking cursor and a blank page, but sometimes I wonder how pretentious my notebook appears whenever I'm sitting in a bar or a coffee shop, nursing a glass of whiskey or a hot chocolate I pretend is a macchiato if anyone asks--even though I don't even know what a macchiato is.

This, apparently.

It sounds vaguely like the sort of thing that gets bricked up in someone's wine cellar.

It's frustrating, feeling like a cliche, I wonder how people do it sometimes.  But I enjoy coffee shops for the atmosphere.  Most of the remind me of the library from when I was a kid, except with a much better chance of hooking up with someone.
Eh. Maybe not that much better.

It isn't as though I really need to carry a notebook around, though.  I tend to do my best writing, and the bulk of all of my writing, between midnight and four in the morning.  There aren't many coffee shops open that late.

I don't mind if someone asks me if I'm a writer.  Nine times out of ten I'll tell them no, which leads to a lot of confused expressions and the ten percent chance that someone asks me to read their screenplay or Kirk and  Spock fan fiction.

"I, uh, I don't even know what that is."

I'm not looking for the attention, generally.  I just like the comforting weight of a few bound sheets of paper. Just in case, I suppose, I got struck by an unexpected bout of inspiration.  But worse still, I carry a smartphone and an iPad with me nearly all the time, which means I'm not exactly begging for something to write on.  Neil Gaiman posted some images of his pens on his Tumblr, an occasion that was only slightly overshadowed by Christina Hendricks' hacked photos.  After I finished looking at the pictures, I went back to bask in the glow that comes from knowing you aren't the only person to still write longhand.

I have the worst handwriting in the world, a near unintelligible scrawl that turns transcription into a long translation session involving headache medicines and random guessing, but I still write anyway, because the feeling you get watching words crawl across a page is unlike anything the electronic medium can feign for us yet.

Anyone trying to work out a block should find some kind of notebook that draws their eye.

Not this one.

With any luck, it will inspire them.  Carrying around an empty tablet and a pen almost forces you to find an occasion to actually use them.  All of my novels (one of which is published, find it here) were written in moleskines using a Parker fountain pen.  In the worst case, coffee shops happen to be great places to meet people who will actually sleep with pretentious assholes.

"At one poetry reading, I banged three chicks in the bathroom...fine.  
It was one chick, and it happened in my head.  
Did you want another macchiato?"

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