July 3, 2011

Scribblin' Notebooks

Although technology has all but displaced writing whole novels by hand, most writers still carry notebooks around with them for scribbling ideas in during the day. Some people are more comfortable writing this way; some people prefer typing. I like a mix of both. Some sections seem to want to be written by hand - especially scenes that take place beyond the point at which I am in the "actual" writing - while others like to be typed and won't flow on paper. I always carry a notebook with me in what my family calls "Abigail's little red bag." "Did you get your little red bag?" "Where's your little red bag?" "Don't you have your little red bag?" During Wednesday night Bible Study, Thursday night theology class, and Sunday evening worship, I'll pull my notebook out and write, which actually helps me pay attention rather than distracting me. I currently have three writing notebooks - two completed, one in progress.

The middle one was my first, and not decorated by me; those are Elrond's twin sons, Elladan and Elrohir, up at the top, by the bye. It has some of my planned novel Sunshine and Gossamer but is mostly full of Wordcrafter - lots of messy scribblings on Wordcrafter.

The one on the far left was my second, this time decorated by me. The sketches of the two women are of Lizzy and Jane Bennet, drawn by professional artist Niroot. The drawing in the bottom right of the anthropomorphic cat sitting at a burning typewriter is from the webcomic Lackadaisy. The middle image is a drawing of Legolas with "If You Can Read This, The Dwarf Fell Off" written on the back of his tunic. Over on the right and at the top are some signature graphics (original art not mine); the one on the left says "blue jeans in Tera" (Wordcrafter), the silhouetted man says "Justin King" (Wordcrafter), and the woman up top says "Marta Rais" (White Sail's).

And the one on the right is my current notebook. Like my second, it has an Arabian horse on the left (for Marah from Wordcrafter). It also has a couple signatures - one for Justin (again), one for Ethan, and one on the right that says "I answered you in the secret place of thunder." It also has an adorable picture by a gal who...seems to have deactivated her deviantART account. Then I've got a cover for Sunshine and Gossamer and another for Tempus Regina, my other planned novel.

I write the scene on the right-hand page only; it's easier that way. At the top I mark the story and sometimes the chapter, if I'm actually advanced enough to have a chapter list.

I also write notes on the top of the page, usually having something to do with the teaching. (The top note, for those of you who are peering curiously at it, is the quote from Wives and Daughters, "I'm not saying she was very foolish. I'm saying one of us was very foolish, and it wasn't me.") On the left-hand page I write the location of the scene, more for the fun of using elaborate fonts than for anything else, although with White Sail's it is helpful. For instance, the scene I was writing in the right picture took place in Boston; others take place on the schooner Enterprize, and I'll note that and the location of the ship at the time (if in port). I also use this space for writing more notes, or for scrawling furiously when I can't think of anything to write.

And sometimes I write on the bulletins our church has for Sunday mornings. This is for Tempus Regina, but I'm not going to translate it for you.

*The cat featured in some of the above photos is Buster. He was more interested in lounging than in posing, however, so he looks a bit...well...loungy.


  1. I love your notebooks! :D I have a few notebooks in progress, in addition to countless documents on the computer. Actually, I also have a legal pad I just started writing in...my major notebook-in-progress is a brightly striped composition book. :) Sometimes the words just seem to come easier when accompanied by the smooth movement of the pen over the paper.

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm not enough of a writer to have any notebooks, but I know what you mean about the difference between typing and writing by hand. When I started at Uni, I used to write all my essays by hand because I felt my hand writing style was much better and more flowing than my typed one. That might have had something to do with typing in an uncomfortable computer LAN. Since getting my own laptop, I've learnt to type my essays first time round - which saves me a lot of time, and I am now satisfied with my typed-style of writing (typing posts on TLC might also have helped with my typed expression. ;-) )

    I also find certain keyboards are much better for typing than others. I used to go to the LAN with the funny old computer monitors simply because it had nicer keyboards.

    And a last note - you have me completely fascinated by that unusual script in the last picture.

    Ajjie >'.'<

  3. Keaghan - I agree! And I like having something to occupy my hands during long periods of sitting; it helps keep my mind from wandering off. Your notebook sounds cute! ^.^

    Ajnos - As a matter of fact, we just got a new keyboard for this computer. It's different from what I'm used to, but it suits my hunt-and-peck typing.

    Glad the weird script caught your eye! I wrote that out during a Wednesday night Bible Study group.

  4. Yay! It's the Abigail notebooks! I saw one and the little red bag while I was there. (The questions lurked, what lay beneath the covers of Abigail's notebooks in the little red bag?)
    I was also wondering where you got the little red bag. I hope that's not too rude of me. I, myself, have two writting notebooks.

  5. Jenny bought the bag for me at a store downtown. I think it was a seasonal thing, though; I'm not sure the store still carries them.


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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