For various reasons, I've found myself returning to some old posts, reviews, and thoughts, and I thought it might be fun to do a little recap post.
1. Remember this leather composition book cover I was so excited about? I'm still thrilled with it. For the last little bit I've mostly used it as a cover for my journal, since I keep coming back to using cheap composition books as journals--fancy notebooks intimidate me, I guess. The cord has held up well, the leather still feels and smells great and if anything has become more beautiful with time. I look forward to using it for years to come. Have any drawbacks arisen? One minor one, I suppose: it left what look like slightly oily spots on the inside cover of a few of the first notebooks that passed through it, maybe from the adhesive used where the edges fold under? A small price to pay for the use of that lovely leather, I'd say, but possibly a concern.
2. The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener: a few months in, I'm still pretty psyched about this thing. I love the point it produces and the way it stops when a point is reached. No additional downsides have arisen since my initial review, but just to reiterate the two that I encountered: first and foremost, the gripping mechanism leaves little bite marks on the pencil, which may or may not bother you. Some days it bothers me more than others. Secondly, though this isn't really a fault of the sharpener and can happen with other sharpeners as well, if the pencil lead is off-center, the sharpener won't automatically stop sharpening after a point is reached...because the point will be lopsided and still sort of catch the mechanism. Just something to be aware of--if you run into a pencil that has this issue, just turn the crank a few times when sharpening and then stop.
3. Index cards: I admit, for story ideas, quick notes, poems, etc., I've mostly returned to using the small notebook I carry everywhere. Why? Because even though it's cluttered and jumbled and can't be reorganized, it's all in one place, bound together so it can't be lost unless I lose the whole thing (an idea so scary I refuse to let it fully take shape in my mind). I like being able to flip through it when I'm looking for inspiration, and not having to search for a card I used last week. I still use index cards a lot for to-dos, lists, addresses, etc., so they are always with me...but not as I had envisioned. I tried to use them for story outlining a few more times, and again found that no matter how much or how little detail I tried to include, once I started writing the story, the story veered away from any outline. Maybe this dooms me as a writer, I don't know. I have stacks of scene cards and character sketches that meant nothing four or five pages into the actual writing. Will this prevent me from trying again to plan ahead? Of course not. There's a fine line between an eternal optimist and a fool, and I walk that line.
4. My use of Circa things has also undergone some revision. I use Circa for my work notebooks quite a bit, since I like being able to move pages around and like that I can reuse scrap paper by just Circa punching it. I still use it some for binding typewritten pages, too: one of these days I'm going to put all my old typecasts into a Circa notebook, I think, since I can easily mix all the different sizes of pages I use for typecasts--not something I could do with a three-ring binder. But for everyday scribbling-in-a-notebook use, I keep coming back to the composition books. No, I can't reorganize the pages, which means I have page number references and arrows everywhere as I try to make sense of the jumble. But I like the size, the sturdiness, and they soothe my paranoia about pages going missing. And they're just so doggone cheap and friendly.
5. Yesterday I stumbled across a post I wrote about a lumberjack throw I made for my first little nephew, who's now...um...three. Actually had to check the date of the post to remember. Time flies when you're having fun! I had every intention of making several more of these in different color combinations for other family members, since they look pretty cool, work up pretty fast, and aren't too terribly difficult to do (I'm not exactly a master of crochet). I bought at least some of the yarn...but never started. Story of my life. Last night I decided to take the first step toward remedying this situation, and finished the first few rows of a second throw, which will use a slightly darker red. Crocheting is soothing--the rhythm of stitching, the feel of the yarn as it moves through your fingers, the way the piece slowly grows in your hands. Nice to come back to that.