I had a terribly exciting (in a nerdy, geeky, look-I-can-do-this way) altering the blog’s Facebook page the other day, so that I can ‘like’ other blogs and sneak around their pages in disguise, seeing what they’re up to and stealing ideas to be used in the future. I’ve always liked Facebook and though I know there are issues with it (the latest one I heard was that the cool kids have moved on and only old farts still use it), but the fact that in addition to blogger and Bloglovin I can get updates from some of my favourite blogs (though sadly not my absolute favourite, as there’s no Facebook page for it yet *hint hint*) and see what the authors are up to in addition to writing their posts.
I had a conversation with one blogger the other day about the ways to remember what you wanted to write about. I suggested a pen and paper (a practice I heartily condone yet don’t subscribe to (just like going to bed at a reasonable hour)) to prevent against forgetting something awesome which JUST happened, yet gets lost in the detritus of the day. She has a tablet for this.
Not being technological, I nearly went into ‘Wait, there’s a pill for that?’ mode before realising my mistake. Not medicine; a fancy technobobble which aims to replace pen and paper with something which serves as a jotter you can also play Bejewelled on.
I’d be absolutely no good at this. I love paper too much. The laptop has a place, sure. The phone (an old model which only just sends texts and does phonecalls and definitely does nothing as fancy as use the internet) also has its uses. But all that plastic’s a bit clinical. You can never love a Kindle (I don’t have one, nor will I, but I have several dear friends-and-relations who think theirs are great; all for valid, sensible reasons) in the same way that you could never build a relationship (of sorts) with a plastic chair, whereas a person and their favourite spot on the sofa can have a deep and lasting bond (just ask Sheldon Cooper!).
You can definitely love a book, and a book will, in its way, love you back, by providing whichever world it is you want to step into; the maintenance of treasured illustrations and texts; the comforting, familiar weight in your hands.
It’s not just books either. I love to write, and yes, I do that here, using the laptop, but that’s more a conveyance for my thoughts to become formed on the screen. Hand-writing is fun. You can play with it, you can do mad things like write a section upside down; write a story on the back of the envelope you’re sending to someone; make the words into pictures themselves; revel in it. And handwriting is so personal, like your fingerprints, though, in the same way as looking at old photos, you might see a glimpse of some of the writing styles which have influenced it (I, for one, can see evidence of my Mum, WonderAunty, Dad and ex-boss in my writing, as well as the bits which are all my own).
Husby loves pens, which I think is a little odd, if understandable. He has a variety of pens (fountain, rollerball, ballpoint, marker and goodness knows what else) in a very neat pen roll. He may even have some pencils in there. I have one beautiful fountain pen – an engagement present from Husby – which (to his chagrin) is rarely used. I’m a messy, enthusiastic writer and I tend to get ink everywhere. He also likes notebooks and having everything in one place.
I don’t mind what I write with, a ballpoint is usually the choice for the immediacy it offers; my hook is definitely the paper. Bits of paper. Lined sheets of A4, plain paper, post-it notes, scraps of paper, cardboard torn from cereal packets in the recycling – all these are fuel to my fire. The textures, the colours, the smells, the level of resistance; all these things matter to me and fascinate me (and, occasionally, upset me, as when Husby tried to get me a new jotter pad for college and the paper quality was so appalling I couldn’t bring myself to write on it) and I just plain LIKE it.
I’m sure it’s linked to my love of books. The weight of them, the feel of the pages, the paper rustling as I turn over to absorb more gorgeous words.
Paper’s not all, either. I write on most things which might hold a word in a tight spot. Have you ever used a ballpoint pen to write on a banana skin? It’s a glorious feeling. Absolutely magical, and if you’ve never done it, please go and try it. Right now, if possible!
I’m also an absolute terror for writing on my skin. Hands, arms, possibly legs once or twice (if I knew I was going to see children and set them a bad example if they saw it) and last night was no exception – I suddenly remembered a ‘Thank you’ note I needed to write to someone, so I wrote their name on my hand in non-permanent whiteboard marker. I’d already washed, so it was still there at bedtime.
So today (and not first thing, either) when a college friend turned to me, having been giving me a few sidelong glances and said “Hey, are there letters on your face? It looks like a ‘G’ and an ‘l’.” I knew exactly what had happened. I’d slept on my hand, and overnight the letters had transferred.
We had a giggle and I went to the bathroom later and stood in front of the mirror. There, plain as day, just below my hairline in front of my ear, in blue; ‘Gl…’.
But I love words and letters and I’m not self-conscious about a little pen, so at the moment it’s still there…