Thursday, October 28, 2010

NaNoWriMo Weapons of Choice

NaNoWriMo Arsenal

Did some playing with pencils tonight, and I think I have my NaNoWriMo arsenal lined up. Going to be another handwriting year this ninth (!!) time around, possibly with some typewriter spells if my hand really gets tired. Paper will be two cheap composition books--they each hold about 30k words. For pencils, I was going to get more Helix Oxfords but ended up ordering a goody sampler of three CalCedar pencil varieties from instead...and while I was waiting for that package to arrive, I got impatient and bought some others locally. What I'll probably use:

1. Palominos, if I can bring myself to use them. I couldn't resist grabbing a pack since they're so raved over, and they really are a different breed. I love how smoothly they write and how little pressure they require, but they're a lot pricier than your average pencil-from-Walmart. On the other hand, they're bought and paid for now, so I might as well enjoy.

2. Some very pretty orange California Republic Golden Bear HBs with blue erasers. These are actually pretty cheap, and I like the way they look and write. These will probably be my go-to pencils.

3. Forest Choice HBs. Good lookin', relatively cheap, and seemingly a tiny bit harder than the others I've mentioned, which means they hold a point pretty well. Some Papermate Mirados (Classic and Black Warrior) I found at a drug store right near my house (woo-hoo!), my one remaining Helix Oxford (providing the lead behaves--I love the dark line of these, but I had some issues with the lead breaking off inside one), a few General's Cedar Pointes, USA Golds from Wal-mart (probably the best value going in pencils right now), and whatever else is on hand.

The truth is, you could probably finish NaNoWriMo with no more than three or four pencils, but variety is the spice of life, right?

Now if I only had a plot.

Casual Group Shot
Casual group shot...


Anonymous said...

We'll be on the road for part of November and I just assembled the "go-bag" for the trip. It's a cheap compostion book, several Ticonderoga #2 HB pencils, and a good little sharpener. That pencil has the smoothest feel and best eraser. The only drawback to using a pencil is that, to be legible, I have to write slowly, about the speed of a fountain pen. Actually, I enjoy that pace; it's theraputic. And while driving a few thousand miles, that therapy will be welcome.

Most of NaNo will be on manual typewriters, desktops and heavy portables. They are the only ones that can stand up to my pounding when the words start pouring out.

Plot? It's overrated. (At least that's what I tell myself.) This year I'm going in with an initial idea that gets my blood up and see what happens. Characters, observations, and weird stuff can happen as they occur to me.


Little Flower Petals said...

Cherish those Ticonderogas! The US made ones are no longer available, and from what I gather, the Chinese and Mexican replacements aren't the same. I have some Ticonderoga Tri-writes, and though they're comfortable to hold, the lead is on the pale and scratchy side. I'd guess that the USA Golds are a not-too-bad replacement, albeit without any of the amazing legacy. They smell wonderfully cedar-y and have sort of pleasantly chalky dark lead. It does transfer a bit because of the softness, but I like them a lot just the same. I keep thinking maybe I should buy up a few more boxes next time I'm at Wal-mart in case they too disappear.

As for plot, I have two characters with names but no personalities, a few planets (going for sort of kitschy sci-fi this time around) and the vague idea that there's a revolution going on. I don't think I've ever been this less prepared, which means this will either be the easiest NaNo ever, or the hardest. With the way my scatterbrain works, it may well be the former.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the mention of the USA Gold pencils. Just picked up 48 of them at Wal-Mart and tested one. You're right. They are almost as good as the Ticonderogas and certainly good enough. I may pick up some more soon to have a BIG supply. I prefer to buy American when possible. Fortunately, most of my hobbies allow for that.

Good luck with NaNo.