Catching up

Again I have some posts sitting in Drafts that need some TLC before I push the Publish button. But I wanted to take a minute and reflect on how the creative process works for me.

I usually walk around every day with a pocket notebook and a pen. My current pen of choice is the Parker ’51 I purchased last year at the antique store. I write anything in the notebook, which includes lists, snippets of prose or poetry that comes to me, songs I like or books I may want to read.

But working my way from the back page forward, I’ll usually have a list of items that I want to look up. These include words or phrases (such as feedback loop or parsimonious); authors; artists; organizations; etc.

Many of these become posts eventually, or they sit in drafts. I don’t know that this matters to anyone, but it’s a glimpse into how I work these posts out a day at a time.

Purchases

I’ve been on something of a spending moratorium. (I’m feeling broke, though I don’t like using that word. It implies something is wrong with me, rather than my financial footing. So when I’m telling myself that I need more work; that I’m broke –  I’ll usually stop and say, “I feel like I don’t have enough money.”)

Anyway, it seems that all the money I’m making goes towards bills, which has been the case for the past couple of months. However, there are some purchases I’ve made that have been well worth the investment.

First, my Sony noise-canceling headphones. I bought them just over a year ago now. They have been used while traveling, in meditation, for walks and occasionally exercise, and when I’m working at home. They are a marvelous invention, and for years I said I didn’t need them. Now I’m so glad I have a pair.

A Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Vest. I think I got this early in the year, maybe around February. It was just starting to get warmer, and in Florida, we don’t think about cooler weather all that much. But again, I’m so glad I have it. I wore it for much of my time Alaska this summer, and it just hit the sixties here last night. Besides, I’ll be up in Pennsylvania later this month as well.

And finally, another purchase I’m loving this year, my Parker ’51 Fountain pen. Now, I bought this at an antique store for $5, so it wasn’t really a splurge. But I cleaned it up, and it works perfectly. My morning journal entries are written with a Lamy AL-Star fountain pen, but everything else I use my Parker for. I carry it with me everywhere. Currently, I’m filling it with a Pilot Iroshizuku teal ink.

And over the past twelve months, these have been my most used items. I was gifted a pocketknife that I carry with me everywhere. So that gets used a lot as well. But these items bring me a lot of joy. Every time I look at them or use them, I’m so glad that I have them.

That is what purchases should be. Something that will bring you continued joy over the course of their lives. Otherwise, it could just become clutter. (Don’t worry, I have that too…)

Weekly rundown

Now, that doesn’t actually sound horrible to me. “The Weekly Rundown.” I’m sure it’s derivative of something else, but I may stick with that.

What I’m reading: Spook by Mary Roach. “What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that’s that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?” In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.

What I’m listening to: Halloween music. Or more specifically, classical pieces of music that has a spooky tilt to it. You can try these out for a start.

What I’m spending my time with: The AFI 100. They’ve been on my list for a while, and I’m checking them off. So far I’m fifteen films in. I’m planning on getting them all watched by the end of the year.

Other things of interest:

  • The Fountain Pen Network. Here’s a place to nerd out over fountain pens. If, you know, you’re into that sort of thing…
  • A24’s screenplay books. The first run of three books has sold out, with second printing arriving December 13th. These are attractive books to add to your screenplay collection – if you have one.
  • And in my continuing struggle to find a good night’s sleep, here are some suggestions from Huckberry’s Brooke Vaughn.

Week’s Highlights

Some of the things that caught my interest this week.

  • Stu Larsen’s “I Will Be Happy“. This may be my new travel anthem for a while. I had listened to George Ezra’s Wanted on Voyage, especially on my last trip to Europe. (Barcelona was a particular favorite.)
  • Fountain Pen usage. After listening to Neil Gaiman’s interview on the Tim Ferriss Show, where he talked about Moleskine and Leuchtturm notebooks, and the fountain pens he uses, I decided to look into breaking out some pens that I’ve had stashed away for quite a while. I usually use Uni-Ball Vision Micro, but I’m always willing to try something new.
  • “How Not to be Boring”. This was an interesting video that I think came to me from one of the few newsletters I didn’t unsubscribe to. There’s a lot going on here, and I think it touches on charisma, introversion, honest and truthful exchanges with others, and self-discovery.
  • Godel, Escher, Bach. This is a book I came to through Seth Godin’s blog some years ago, and I started reading it but never finished. While perusing a used book store a couple of weeks ago I found a well-thumbed copy, and I decided to give it a go. It’s been my go-to nonfiction for the past week, and I’m excited to make a dent in this tome.