We had a lovely weekend in Kennett Square, and while there, we bopped into The Paper Market, where we met a dude named Doug, who has a crazy vibe all his own. It’s infectious, this vibe. Like syphilis, but without all the lesions and insanity? I dunno. What I do know is that Doug’s a good dude and runs a bad-ass little stationary chic place there, and you should go there and peruse his wares. (Actually, I guess you should really buy his wares. Perusing doesn’t put food in the man’s stomach.)
I found a little journal thing, some free trade notebook bound together by the dainty hands of Nepalese 4-year-olds or something, and I fell in love with it. So, I now own it, and you’ll see the picture of this new purchase over yonder to the left.
What’s the problem, you ask?
Okay, I’m not one of those notebook fetishists. I’ve never held a Moleskine, and up until recently, had little idea what constituted a Moleskine notebook. Mostly, the phenomenon escaped me. Modular notebook made of recycled plastic and lacquered yak hair? Cool. Whatever works. The pages pressed from orchids grown out of soil composted from unicorn feces and corn-cobs? High-five. (And, may I recommend that you tapdance over to Re-Paper, which is Sara Hindmarch’s “hackbooking” site?)
Mostly, I guess it’s because I’m a big techno-guy, and am happy to bang away on my keyboard and fill up the nigh-infinite canvas available before me on a glowing screen. Oh, and as I may have noted, my handwriting is for shit. Literally. You’ll have an easier time reading a shaky tract of worm poop.
I used to hand-write things. Poetry (which was on par with medical refuse), journal entries (I should go back and marvel at those someday), some short stories. Despite the tangled chromosomal abortion that is my handwriting, I can actually read my own scrawl, so that’s good.
So, this takes us back to the present, where I bought a notebook. Once more, you ask, what’s the damn problem, Wendig?
The problem is, what the hell do I do with it? It’s really super-cool. I get an awesome journal like this, and I don’t want to waste it on whatever garbage I’ll smear across the pages. “Dear Diary, had a great bowel movement today, I really miss Gilmore Girls, I should totally learn how to windsurf, do you like me, or do you like-like me, check YES or NO, oh holy crap math class was hard today poop stupid OMG la la la wooo snargh mmmnnggh, ZZZzzzZZ… huh?”
Sure, I can use it for fiction, but again, I feel like I’ll be sullying the pages. It’s just too nice a book.
So — what? To-do-lists? Hateful screeds against my enemies? Rejected pirate names? Sudoku? What the heck do I do with this notebook? I’m seriously asking, here. Maybe I just put the book up on a pedestal and marvel at its raw potentiality. I am overwhelmed by possibility, it seems.