Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Hello, hello, hello, hello. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. That's all there is...."

(from Simon & Garfunkel's "Leaves That Are Green")

Goodbye to my darling Super Conquerant 80-sheet hardback spiral notebook made in Spain by Enri. For years, we've had something special, you and I... but now my trusty neighborhood stationer, Bob Slate, tells me that you've been discontinued, probably by the importer. Alas! No more will I fold you over my knee and cover you with a thousand sweet scribbles. No more will you travel with me everywhere I go, simply because I cannot bear to let you out of my sight. No more... *sniff*... will I tuck you in to sleep at night in the fireproof, waterproof safe! Oh, my darling! *weeps; rends clothing*

*.....*

So, I'm not so precious about my writing process that I'm going to try to figure out how to get my exact brand of notebook from Europe. Actually, I'm slightly that precious, but it'd be a lot healthier to just accept that the notebook is no longer available, don't you think? So this means I'm in the market for a new hardback, spiral-bound, college-ruled (those are my three priorities, from most important to least) notebook. Happily, I have 2 more of my notebooks in the supply closet, so there's plenty of time to do this search. This is something I need to do in person, not online, so if you have any recommendations for stationery stores in the greater Boston area or in New York City, please let me know! I actually had some luck with Kate's Paperie in New York last week -- found a real possibility, also made in Spain -- but I like stationers, so any excuse to poke around looking at fine paper is always welcome. :o)

Are you picky about anything the way I'm picky about my notebooks? I'm also this picky about tea, oatmeal, umbrellas, Italian pastries, and... most of my favorite things, really. ^_^

Finally, if you're enjoying the music, I'll leave you with one more Simon & Garfunkel tune, particularly suitable for a weathery day. Art, your voice is the prettiest.

34 comments:

A. Grey said...

I LOVE Simon & Garfunkel! I was the only girl my age in middle school jamming out to them...

I'm sorry to hear about your notebooks. I was a bit worried that something of that sort would be occurring as I've not been able to find them anywhere online. I've been looking since Sirens because I thought I might finally give up my loose leaf paper... but alas, it is not to be. Seeing as how I've never been to either Boston or New York, I'll just send you good juju on your quest and wish you fun in your stationer adventures. :)

I'm picky about almost everything I love, surely everything in my writing. My number one obsession is my pen. That said, if I've got dialogue in my head that I need to get down, I'll use lipstick on my own arm to secure the thought...

But as far as the pen I use all the time, I'm picky. Mostly this has to do with my bum knuckles and the ring splints I have to wear. Fatter pens are better and when I find a comfy ball point I love, I cling to it. My dad gave me a great Papermate pen years ago, way before I needed the ring splints, for Christmas. I used that pen to write thousands of pages (which will never see daylight :) and I still have it tucked away although it no longer works and it's too thin for me to use now anyway.

Angela Craft said...

I was just thinking the other day that I wanted a notebook EXACTLY like this! Only I was thinking idly; I didn't know if they actually existed. I want a sturdy notebook to carry around with me until I save up enough money for my own netbook - regular notebooks don't hold up well in my bag.

When I was in school I was very picky about my notebooks and pens - every time I started a new paper, I needed to have a new notebook and, if possible, a new, different type of pen. Something about the novelty of something new encouraged me to start my research earlier than using my old stuff! Totally weird quirk, but I passed all of my classes where I did this, so it worked!

Debby said...

There is not a stationary store where I live, in rural, rural Texas, but I found these great hardback (cardboard) spiral notebooks (college-ruled too) that are made of recycled paper and the ink is amber-tinted vegetable ink. I had to get used to the amber-tinted lines, but I now love them! I got those notebooks at Staples.

And I love S&G!

Becky said...

I'm picky like that about...well, almost everything. I get teased because it drives me nuts if I have to write something on my calendar in a different pen than everything else. There are just some things that have to go together!

I collect notebooks. Unfortunately, there's nowhere I can recommend, as I pick them up at odd little stores here and there: an airport in Prague, a street vendor in Jerusalem, a tiny college campus store in Dublin. Stateside, I tend to have to get them from Staples, Office Max, Barnes & Noble or Target. B&N goes through phases where they don't have anything I like, then they have tons. I do prefer to buy them from small, more personal places, but sometimes you get desperate!

College campus stores usually have a decent choice, though. There are also usually one or two cool little places near campuses where you can find amazing notebooks.

Good luck!!

Leah Cypess said...

Long-time reader, first-time commenter -- breaking my silence because I'm completely obsessive about my writing notebooks, so I sympathize! About six years ago, a friend went to Japan for the summer and brought me some notebooks she had picked up in a convenience store for probably less than a dollar. Since then, those have been the only notebooks I'll write in -- the lines are slightly closer together than in American notebooks, they fold over perfectly, they're thin and light, they're the right size for my backpack. I have spent hours on the web looking for places to buy them. I once ordered a bunch directly from Japan, spending about ten times as much on the shipping as on the notebooks themselves.

I hope you find a good replacement! Or that the importer changes its mind. :)

mysteryflavour said...

I am SUPER picky about my journals. Must be the right size, must be hardback, but open easily. Must have blank pages, because when I journal I go in all kinds of crazy directions (sideways, diagonal, spiraled, etc). Right now I'm using a red moleskine, and I am completely in love with it because YOU SIGNED IT. :D

I'm also really picky about watches, water bottles... all the practical everyday items I have around me at all times. Not clothes so much, though.

Sorry about your notebook brand. But hey, now you're in the market, and that's always fun. I have many empty journals waiting on deck, but I still like to shop for new ones.

faye said...

I am picky about everything too! I agree with your choice of notebook--hardback, spiral-bound and college ruled. I have small handwriting, and wide-ruled looks like such a waste of space.

When I was taking calculus, I absolutely insisted on having unlined paper. It was so frustrating to see my integrals straddle lines. I also needed a specific type of mechanical pencil or dixon ticonderogas.

I also second the moleskines... right now I use a trio of half-page softcovers with unlined paper (thanks to the calculus days) for my field notes. They open easily because they're softcover, I can draw in them, and best of all they fit inside a small handbag.

AndrewsMommom said...

Hello darkness my old friends! LOL

Love the Simon and the Garfunkel...and still think they're underrated.

I was thinking about your obsession with notebooks and was having a hard time coming up with anything. Maybe it's because I'm not a writer. But there is one thing that I'm very particular about: salt and pepper. I know, I know - that's totally strange and weird. Even those who know me and love me find it a little 'off'. There are certain salts for certain things like: salads need kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. V-8 or tomato juice in the a.m. need Tajin (which is a salt hybrid of dried lime, chili, and salt) with regular table pepper. When making a prime rib roast, you need the larger sea salt and partially ground pepper corns for the dry rub outside.

See what I mean?

I don't find the need to have WHAT you want to be at your best odd or picky - I just think it means, you're a woman who knows what she wants and needs. And there aren't many people who do!

Hope you find the perfect replacement.

Anonymous said...

Oh golly, but how I love Simon and Garfunkel. And oh how fun to be the only high-school aged fan within at least a two-hundred mile radius . . .

Things I am extremely picky about:

-Pillowcases: open edges must be long enough for me to twist my hand into at night -- yes, I'm strange . . .
-Flashlights: for reading with in bed at night, of course
-Oatmeal: only stone ground/Irish cut!
-My Cross mechanical writing/sketching pencil
-Various small OCDisms: keeping the top of my desk clear, keeping cupboards ALL THE WAY SHUT, keeping dish towels wrinkle-free, etc. . .
-Creme brule: must have a high custard to sugar ratio! (so many establishments overdo the crusty top . . .)
-My watch: must be analogue, have date, ability to glow, must be kept an hour and five minutes slow(the five minutes because it always makes me feel on time, the hour because I am a passionate summer-lover who spends summertime in the Pacific time zone and stubbornly refuses to fix her watch when she returns to Mountain time . . . as stated above, yes, I am strange)

--Sycamore

K. L. Howard said...

Sorry to hear about the notebook. At least you have a few spares to last a while. My notebook has been with me for a few years (I don't write in it as much as I used to now that I have a computer all to myself). I like looking at journals, but I'm picky about them if I'm actually going to buy them. Notebook sized, decently ruled, durable, and a small line for the date at the top of the page preferred. You don't find those easily, so I hope you find the perfect notebook for your writings! Nothing's better than an empty, perfect notebook!

Andrea Adams said...

Picky about...
Notebook/sketchpad: Moleskine
Oatmeal: McCann's Irish steel-cut
Umbrella: the cheap black one I got in Paris
Tea: Melange Mysterieuse from Hediard or PG Tips
Italian pastries: Cannoli from Mike's in Boston

Paige Chartrand said...

I'm very sorry to hear that you're notebook is no longer available, I had a very hard time when the quality of the Scholar pack of Prisma pencil crayons was reduced. (...and when they changed the packaging. >.< it used to be so pretty!)

Books, I'm massively picky about my books. Whatever format or cover I buy the first book in, the others HAVE to be the same. ESPECIALLY if it's a hardcover/paperback thing, to the extent that, when my boyfriend wanted to get me the last two books of the Twilight series for Christmas(don't kill me! It's a guilty pleasure!), I wouldn't let him because I had the first two in paperback, even when he said he'd get the box set of all four in hardcover I said no. I wasn't getting rid of the ones I had, and I wasn't mixing paperback and hardcover. REFUSED.
The only exception to this is The Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane (AMAZING SERIES!!), the first book is an older version of the cover than the rest of the series, because I bought it before the redid them, and when I went to get the second, they had changed the cover. It makes me sad, but is somewhat acceptable because they're all still paperback and it's only happened with the FIRST book.

Hope you find a happy replacement.

Jennifer said...

I love S & G! So sorry to hear about your notebooks; I feel the same way with a few of mine. Unfortunately I don't have any recommendations for you, so I hope the others can help you. -sniffles- I feel so useless to you now. :~( Oh well, I can't always do everything for everyone...

carterbham said...

Is this the same one?

www.signaturestationers.com/Notebooks/Notebooks_1.html

Carrie Ryan said...

Oh no! I LOVE LOVE stationary and pens and especially finding the perfect match between the two. I'm actually quite jealous that you can write your books longhand because I'd love to be able to do that. I just have such a hard time thinking/keeping up with my thoughts away from the computer! Perhaps I need to work on that...

When I was in NYC a few weeks ago my editor took me to Kate's Paperie and I could have moved in!

Good luck on your quest for a new notebook (and I'd have prob been the person trying to find a new importer for them).

Glynis said...

I like my ink pen, I would be horrified if they stopped making the cartridges for it.

I walked down the aisle to 'Bridge over troubled water' and danced our first dance to 'I only have eyes for you', in 1979. I am a fan :)

kristin cashore said...

ZOMG! Carter!

*flails in confusion*

That doesn't look *exactly* like my notebook, but it's clearly the same company... I might have to call them and ask what it's like inside. (I can't write on that French paper that's cross-lined, or whatever you call those little boxes.) And Lexington isn't even that far away! Thank you.

And thanks to everyone else for your notebook sympathies, and for telling me your particularities :o). I'm enjoying them. I'm a Quaker Oats oatmeal gal myself, but it has to be the slow cooking kind, not the dreadful 1-minute kind.

Emma J said...

Your blog is great (and in answer to your question - I am only picky about my ergonomic keyboard and posture chair - oh, and pens that don't run out of ink),

I'll have to come back when I have more time and browse around a little more - I saw a reading list that looked like it needed a closer reading. But I stopped by this evening just to tell you thanks for the novel writing pep-talk. I'm setting out an extra chair by my desk for Self-Doubt to come sit and watch me disprove her.

(Thanks!)

Kimi @ SoManyKidsSoLittleTime said...

I know exactly how you feel about the notebooks. It is like finding that one shade of lipstick that doesn't make you look like a clown only to have the company discontinue it a month later.

Your Nano pep-talk was great. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

-f. said...

Kristin,

I just read your pep talk for NanoWriMo and it was very helpful. Then it left me wondering, where do I know this name from? Sure enough, a quick look at your bio confirmed our shared experience in the purple valley. Congratulations on your success! It's wonderful to connect with you again.

-frank.

Kirsa said...

Ha! Art's voice is *so* the prettiest. And when he had all of it, his hair was, too. Thanks very much for the excellent pep talk on NaNoWriMo.

Amy said...

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place for this, but I just had to say thank you for your NaNoWriMo pep talk - it was perfect!! (I've been here many times - I'm a big fan of Graceling in particular - but I don't think I've ever left a note.) This is my first year, and my word count is absolutely pitiful. But you know what? I am on pace to finally finish the first draft of my early middle grade book, and that's what I really want. This is real progress for me, even if I don't "win".

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I know the feeling. Back in Canada, I'd stocked up on as many leatherbound lined spirals as I happened onto at, of all places, The Bargain Store in Creston, British Columbia. They were remaindered for $2.99 per book. I was in heaven, and bought up the store's entire stock of a dozen books. But tha was it. When I hit the bottom of the pile, I went looking for more, right straight to the manufacturer, but with no luck. "Lady, remaindered means remaindered...we don't make them anymore."

And then we moved to the California coast, and I rediscovered Barnes and Noble. My new favorite, the store's uberthick Black Perpetual Journal, isn't spiralbound, and it isn't covered in leather, but it's reasonably affordable, and not likely to be remaindered soon. It will hold me over until I can find one bound in leather that will sit open on my lap or the table, and not cost me my firstborn.

Good luck in your search. Kate's Papierie is a wonderful treasure trove. I visited there once, just to drool.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pep talk... its like you truly knew where i was at in this novel. Your words are very appreciated and taken to heart. It helps to know that someone else might be at the same place.
i think pickiness is great. i like to best observe it in others. Learn their idiosyncrasies that endear them to the heart.
I must admit, i have heard my name and picky in the same sentence many times...
as far as notebooks...i am not so picky about the way it looks...but i am picky about the words that fill it up. Once the story has been written i become very picky about seeing that it is taken care of. It becomes much more than a notebook. It becomes a 'novel'. I am picky about the quality of the depth of the novel created. i.e. was 'life' given to the notebook? or is it just pages with words...
I love books. I am really enjoying learning to write. Its so hard to do. But the pep talks really are so helpful!! You have no idea...maybe you do...the talks seem pretty spot on. I always go and try to write more everytime i get them.
thank you,
gknee :-)!

parwatisingari said...

hi Kristen just read your pep talk on NaNoWr and what you have described is exactly what i'm going through. This is the first time I"m with NaNoWr. and I'm chickening.

kristin cashore said...

Welcome to everyone who got here from NaNoWriMo!!! I'm so, so happy to hear that my pep talk is... appropriately peppy, I guess is the word? :o) I'm also at that place in my WIP, so I understand COMPLETELY how hard it is to keep going when everything feels like such a mess. I'm thrilled to be hearing from everyone. Good luck, don't let the voices stop you, and keep the faith!

silvakreuz said...

Hi, Kristin :) I actually don't know (exactly) where I should be commenting, so... I just read your little pep talk for NaNo novelists. You crack me up big time and make me realize that I'm actually not alone on how I do my writing (i.e. post its and longhand writing). I've been browsing through your blog, too, and find that I like what I read :) I'm adding you in my flist in LJ. Thanks! :D

CLM said...

I love stationery and as a child always wanted to have my own store full of delicious pads of paper, notecards, notebooks, wrapping paper and sealing wax! Betsy Ray in the Betsy-Tacy books used sealing wax, and I was thrilled one year to get some for Christmas (until I burned myself and nearly set the letter on fire). Bob Slate's has been my favorite store since I was in high school and started hanging out in Cambridge. Kate's Paperie and Paper Source are nice but expensive. At Bob Slate's, I always feel as if I can buy myself a nice pen or pad without feeling guilty. And the staff is just as nice when one spends $2 as when much more.

As someone else mentioned, I hate when the editions of my books don't match. Sometimes it is the publisher's fault - for instance, SMP changed the trim size of Julia Spencer-Fleming's mysteries after book 2. How annoying.

Kristin, hoping to make it to your signing on Tuesday! If not, I will come to Peabody in December.

Anonymous said...

I'm now curious as to how you like your oatmeal. Please share! :)

Anonymous said...

Kristin,
Thanks for your encouraging NaNoRiMo blog post.
In case it helps, I've been using environotes recycled comp book (80 sheets, college ruled, not spiral bound) for the last few years and liked them.
Hope you find the write ones for you!
Laurel

Shannon LR Dunham said...

I so know that feeling. I yearn for my favorite notebooks that I have been unable to find since college... about the same time I quit writing. I am writing again and cannot find anything similar or that I quite like that much so I guess the search continues for any of us in this position. If they only would warn us a year ahead we could stock up before they disappear.
Thank you for all you advise and comments. It is helping me believe I can do this.

Diane said...

??!! Why on Earth wouldn't you try to source more of your favorite notebooks in Europe if you love them that much and they help you get the work done? (You should hear my husband about his notebooks. OMG. And as for me, there's this Magic Graph Paper from the Swiss Migros grocery chain that I use exclusively for novel/screenplay outlining. It seems to work...) :)

Check your most recent notebook for a part number / ISBN / serial number / whatever and email it to me, and I'll see if I can source you a few of them locally (or at least find out whether they actually have been discontinued). Our local (Irish) stationery store is very good at tracking down things for us, and inside the EU, a few countries east or south hardly matters...

Diane said...

BTW, is this what you're after? The closeup of the cover does seem to say "Enri"... Look at the image on the right.

http://www.signaturestationers.com/Notebooks/Notebooks_1.html

Or is this possibly it? (from a French online stationer...)

http://www.welcomeoffice.com/Products/productdetails_V3.aspx?StoreId=1704&ProductId=120378&utm_source=shopbots&utm_medium=leguide&utm_term=229524&utm_campaign=1704

Let me know...

Anonymous said...

I'm really picky about my google for swimming. I always buy Speedo Sengars, never any other type, and i've been that way for years.

RAM