Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Writer's Pen

This morning I slept very late after staying up very late watching TV and resting my back.  I woke up a little groggy from the muscle relaxant I took before bed.  The more coffee I ingested this morning, the more tidying I did with a cup of coffee in my hand, the more ideas entered my mind. 

In the shower, I had it - the missing piece for my last novel, the scene I was missing.  I went to my desk and pulled out the binder for this story that has been waiting for me to figure it out.  I grabbed a notebook because sitting at my desk typing (even just this much) makes my back hurt and sends me back to the meds that make my mind a little blurry. 

I looked in my pen holder on my desk.  Not one pen.  The holder had two screwdrivers (thanks, honey, for finally returning them), one pair of scissors, a big eraser (I don't use pencils and don't know why it's there), two highlighters, and several dry erase markers.  Not one pen. 

When you have an idea as well as a house full of children that could need you any second, it's good to write fast.  I had more than an idea this morning, I had the text of a chapter monologuing in my head, begging me to write it down - the missing chapter that will finish my novel.  And no pen.  Not one.

I have spent my lifetime searching for the perfect pen.  I found it a few years ago.  The Uni-Ball Vision Elite.  In black.  The pen moves at the same pace as my mind and the color doesn't distract me.  It smears if you use anything but normal paper.  I have colored ones for edits.  But not today.  Today, I would have written in green to be able to quickly jot down the chapter while my mind was on it.  Clearly that time has come and gone, or I wouldn't be here.

I went downstairs to find my pens.  My toddler, who is two and a half, very verbal, and believes himself to be much older than he is, informed me yesterday that my pens were his pens.  He loves them too.  So I knew where I would find them.  Whenever I have taken them away from him, I put them in the pen drawer downstairs in the kitchen.  I searched through the drawer and found twenty of my pens.  I collected them and placed them back in my pen holder with my screwdrivers and scissors, well out of reach of his little hands, further back on my desk. 

Over the last year, I generally have been writing directly into my computer because I have a tendency to lose notebooks and have lost two stories that are quite likely hidden in one of the two dozen notebooks on my bookshelf.  But I have learned and have a special notebook for each of my novels for days I don't feel like writing in the computer.  For days I want to go to the coffee shop to write without having to lug my laptop with me.  I put the notebook on top of my laptop so I don't forget to type it up later.  Today my back hurts to sit in my desk chair, so I will be writing with a pen for sure (I stand to type this now).

Now I have my pens but my kids need some attention now.   At least I can write later today - maybe whatever I get down in words will be better than what was streaming through my mind this morning.  Nothing to do about it now....

I know how important the perfect pen was to writers before we did most of our writing on computers.  I wonder if it matters that much now to other people.

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