Sunday, November 28, 2010

2010 NaNoWriMo by Pencil: Week Four Report

Weapons of mass erasure

My random thoughts are going to be even more random and thrown together than usual, I'm afraid.  Had no time to think any of this out ahead of time.  It's been a crazy week!

1. Oh, Happy Day!
I was at Fred Meyer today (Fred Meyer = a Northwestern chain of big supermarket/drugstore/everything else under one roof stores--like a Super Wal-mart but nicer) looking for a lantern to prevent further power outages ('cause you know as soon as I get a good one, the power will remain rock solid for the rest of the winter), and happened to walk through the art supplies section.  I noticed first of all that they actually carry a pretty good supply of sketch books (which make good blank books for pencil, especially if you kinda *like* having no lines).  And then I spotted these!

Cedar Pointe Pencils from Fred Meyer

I really liked the Cedar Pointes that came in the goody assortment of pencils Speculator sent me awhile back, but until now, the only real source I'd found for them was Dick Blick on-line, and the shipping charges were exorbitant, and I decided I'd live without them.  But hey, I can get them locally!  They weren't cheap at $2.75 for the package, and I'd rather have had a full dozen pencils rather than yet another pencil sharpener, but still...Cedar Pointes!  Locally!

But no, I still don't have a lantern.

2. Erasers and paper
I had a dream a few days ago that a) I had moved into an apartment right next door to a coffee shop, and b) I had invited all of my siblings over to the new place for an eraser showdown.  In my dream, the Black Pearl melted into tarry goo if used strenuously, whereas the Mars Plastic worked like, well, a dream.  My brothers (who would never do this in real life) spent most of the dream passing the Mars around, scribbling heavy lines and erasing them and saying, "Where have these been all our lives?  How come no one told us????"

Ahem.  We will not analyze the dream.  But I will say, that Mars Plastic is a wonderful thing.  I could only dream of such erasers when I was a kid.  I'm also fond of the Pentel Clics, especially for quick mistakes.  And actually, in real life that Black Pearl works almost as well as the Mars Plastic, and the shape--with a pointed rim  all the way around the oval--means it can get into small areas pretty well.  Also--and this is a big plus--it doesn't get grungy looking.  The Mars Plastic flunks that category big time.  If I was really going to keep it clean, I'd need to spend as much time erasing blank spaces as erasing mistakes, to work the mess off of it.  I probably should have done so before taking the photo, but that's another story.

Paper: I'm now working my way through one of the Norcom composition books, after writing the first big chunk of the story in a bagasse composition book from Staples.  I have to say, although the bagasse paper is marvelous with fountain pens, it's less than great for pencils.  I had a great deal of ghosting between pages in the bagasse, pencils wrote lighter than on other paper, and it's sort of hard and smoothish compared to regular paper.  It didn't feel good.  The Norcom paper is much better.  Now I know.

Quick stats:
  • Composition book pages killed: 281...but the day isn't over yet.
  • Pencils obliterated: none this week, but the first Palomino will be the next to go.
  • Words written: 43,555, but I'm hoping to get in another seven hundred to a thousand tonight.  We'll see.  I really intended to get a ton of words in yesterday, but I gave blood in the morning, and my right arm (where the needle stick went in) felt...funny if I wrote much.  No pain, just felt really tired, like I'd lifted weights.  So I cut it short.
I'm not out of this yet.  If I have to, I may resort to (gasp!) using the computer in the next few days, just because there are more times when I can squeeze in two or three minutes of computer writing than there are times when I can grab a pencil and my notebook for the same amount of time.  But I really, really want to say I pulled it off by hand.  And I'm awful stubborn...

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