Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Paean to paper

After writing last time about keeping a diary, what of the notebooks themselves? While my Writing Diary is an unromantic Word document, I have an ever-increasing collection of notebooks, some of which I can't bring myself to write a word in. They're simply... too lovely. Let me take you on a photo-tour of just some of the yet-to-be-spine-cracked notebooks currently occupying my desk, and others that I only seem bold enough to write in when I'm abroad. Perhaps there's something about the sense of rejuvenation and discovery that makes a beautiful notebook the perfect travelling companion. New climes, clean sheet.

These are top of my 'too gorgeous for words' pile. Vintage traveller, cloth-bound, Liberty print... it'd take a brave writer to start scribbling in their pages. Perhaps 2013 will be the year.

I've a penchant for most things French, including these old school style jotters. With their wafer thin paper and scant pages you'd think they'd retail at just a few centimes... mais non... which is probably why I keep them for best. 'Au cerf' contains early notes on The Book of Summers, but it wasn't until I was on a lakeside holiday in Hungary that I dared to jot in it. 

Girl meets boy. Ryan Gosling, actually. The one on the left is too lovely, and the one on the right too silly, and neither contain so much as a scribble. Yet. 

These I file under Precious Notebooks or Leather-bound Lovelies. The red one was a gift from my mum, it's delicately printed with butterflies and came all the way to Rwanda with me. A six hour delay in Nairobi airport flew by as I wrote up our travels in it, wholly occupied in trying to find words for sights and experiences that left me mostly speechless. On the last page I've listed handy Kinyarwandan phrases and phonetic pronunciations. I can remember writing them down one balmy night on the shores of Lake Kivu, with our dear friends Steve and Kate and their driver, friend, and best Kinyarwandan teacher Claude. And the blue... a very limited edition notebook made by the brilliant Headline. It took a trip to Italy for me to write a word in it; a messy brainstorm for titles for my second novel. Maybe I thought The Book of Summers would bring it luck.

Right now, with my second novel finished, my mind is buzzing with new ideas about what to write next. New words deserve new notebooks. My current stationery crush is on Rifle Paper Co. I discovered their notecards in Anthropologie and I've now got my heart set on their delicious Botanicals journals (above). No listless scribbles or meandering To-Do lists for those pages. If I ever dared to put pen to their paper, I like to think I'll be writing something beautiful. Or at the very least, be writing somewhere beautiful. I need to plan a trip.