Creative Writing Prompt: Summer Vacations – Then and Now

Rhodia Pencils

It has been historically close to impossible for me to take a staycation without feeling like I *have* to do work but this past holiday weekend I think I did a pretty decent job of tuning out the world and just enjoying myself. I spent time puttering around the garden, reading, cooking delicious food, watching fireworks and contemplating life.

As I took several long walks around the surrounding neighborhoods, I noticed that things seemed very quiet and my assumption was that a lot of people were either on vacation or visiting with family and friends for the holiday.

This started me thinking about the types of vacations that people take. We didn’t travel much when I young girl, but I can distinctly remember two trips to the Jersey Shore- (Long before Snooki…) then in my mid to late teens, all I wanted to do was to go to Wildwood or Seaside Heights. Nowadays, I’d rather be in the woods or by a nice lake in the middle of nowhere. Nature, quiet, solitude. Ahh…

Today’s creative writing prompt centers around this:

Do you still frequent the same vacation destinations that you did when you were young?

Why or why not?

What format do you use for taking the minutes at a meeting?

Meeting Notes

I just left a meeting where I had volunteered to take notes. I probably captured more information than was really necessary, but who determines how much is enough? While I’m guessing more is probably better than less, a lengthy list of notes might be too much to review for those not in attendance.

Do you have a specific format that you follow for taking meeting minutes? No? Check out the links below for tips:

How to take meeting minutes

Taking meeting minutes

How to take notes in meetings

Friday Link Share: June Edition

Rhodia R Pads

The Traveling Muse – Inspiring Pocket Notebooks at European Paper

The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints at The Well-Appointed Desk

7 Letters to Write Before You Turn 70 at The Art of Manliness

48 great examples of doodle art at Creative Bloq

Can You Call Yourself A Writer? at Thought Catalog

Rhodia Ice 80th Anniversary Notepad at Office Supply Geek

Lamy CP1: Quick Look at Ink Nouveau

5 Ways to Develop a Consistent Journaling Habit at Kaizen Journaling

Review: The Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool Mechanical Pencil at Woodclinched

TWSBI Teases with More Eco Info and Images at FP Geeks

The Stylographic Pen of Edith Wharton at Palimpest

Rhodia Ice at A Penchant for Paper

Uni-ball Signo: A Comprehensive Guide at JetPens Blog

A Hand-Drawn Interview With the Man Behind Adobe’s Pen of the Future at Motherboard

The Illuminated Sketchbook of Stephan Schriber (1494) at The Public Domain Review

Mailbox Goodies: Pen Jewelry at Gourmet Pens

Esterbrook Dollar Pen Review at The Pen Addict

Yellow

Rhodia Yellow

In need of a writing surface last night, I found myself reaching for the yellow Rhodia tablet that I was sent a while back to compare against the standard Rhodia white paper. Someone had mentioned that the paper seemed different in more than just color, and the general consensus from the few folks who helped us perform a side-by-side comparison, is that the yellow paper is slightly toothier than its white counterpart. This to me, makes writing with a pencil simply sublime.

My only complaint is that the color of this paper is a little harsh for my eyes – which I think is ironic because yellow paper is supposed to be easier on the eyes than white. It seems to lean a little more greenish-yellow than what one may be used to from a standard yellow legal pad.

Fred Pitts Review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Pencil Revolution review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Clickthing review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Ed Jelley’s comparison photos yellow/white Rhodia paper

Geometric Doodles on a Rhodia Graph Pad

kaiser5081

Charles – could this be one of your old graph pads?

Last week, Charles Barilleaux voiced his preference for our dot paper stating, “The grid doesn’t work for me, as I wind up spending meetings filling in the squares.”

Anyone else enjoy coloring in the squares like this?

(This image actually belongs to kaiser5081 on Instagram.)

Razor Sharp

Razor pencil

My artist friend Angie Snyder-Lande uses a razor to sharpen her pencils and for some reason this always amazes me. A razor seems like a good idea, even though the potential exists to hack a pencil to bits until one learns the right amount of pressure to apply to each cut. I’m guessing that once you get the hang of it, a lot less of the pencil would be wasted to sharpening. (Where to dispose of the shavings… maybe a small Altoids tin?)

Do you prefer to sharpen with a knife or razor? Please share your process.

I own at least a dozen pencil sharpeners but can never find one when I need one. I’m wondering if a small pocketknife might be easier to keep track of.

Razor pencil

Friday Link Share: May Edition

augustanissss

The Pen of Maya Angelou at Palimpsest

Ink Review: J. Herbin Vert Olive at A Penchant for Paper

Autopoint Interview at Dave’s Mechanical Pencils

The 2014 Chicago Pen Show Report at Fountain Pen Geeks

You Win, Pilot Metropolitan at The Pen Addict

So I picked up a broad……..nib. at From the Pen Cup

J. Herbin Lie de Thé Ink Review at Write to Me Often

271 Year Old Manuscript Colours and Penmanship at Pentamento

Evolution of the Pencil at Pencil Revolution

How to Get Ink Off Your Fingers – Amodex or Mr. Clean at Office Supply Geek

20 Common Words You Could Be Using Incorrectly at Inc.com

This Is Why Everyone Should Write Poetry at Thought Catalog

The British Library Puts Online 1,200 Literary Treasures From Great Romantic & Victorian Writers at Open Culture

Elizabeth Gilbert: How to Find Your Creative Home at 99U

Journals from Yellowstone. ~ Jill Pendergrast at Elephant Journal

Image courtesy of  augustanissss on Instagram

Tracing Paper

Tracing Paper

Tracing paper is a product that hadn’t been on my radar until I needed to purchase some for a workshop I attended last fall. It’s purpose is simple yet multifaceted. It can be used to “test” potential changes to a drawing without altering the original. It can be used to isolate individual elements from a series of sketches and also allow you to play around with composition. With a little effort, tracing paper can also be used to transfer a drawing onto another surface. Watch the video below to see how this is done:

How do you test a pencil?

Rhodia Paper Pencil Test

I prefer hexagon shaped pencils sans eraser. I like the wood to sharpen cleanly and a lead that is slow to blunt for writing, I want the lead to erase cleanly with minimal effort. 

For writing, I like an HB, B or 2B depending on the make of the pencil. Light sketching? 2H. I’m happy with a 2B for drawing & doodling. If I want dark, soft & smudgy, I use something in the range of 6B-9B. Overall, I prefer a certain amount of smooth regardless of the grade.

I think that the best way for me to test a pencil isn’t a side by side chart like the one above but to actually spend time writing and drawing with a variety of pencils on a variety of papers. (any old excuse to keep buying more art/writing supplies) The ones that don’t make the cut are banished to a coffee can in my studio for other people to use.

What particular features are important to you when selecting a wooden pencil for writing, drawing or doodling? What is your preferred method to compare one brand against another?

(#2 pencils are typically graded HB.) 

Link Share Friday: April Edition

my_name_pesca

Gratitude Journaling (by Kathy Paper Pumpkin) at Art Journaling

Monami Handy Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper

More about Pencil Tourism at The Well-Appointed Desk

Pilot Kaküno Fountain Pen Review at Write to Me Often

A Ferrule to Arms: Erasable #2 at Pencil Revolution

Weekly Loadout Submission – Alia L. at Ed Jelley

20 Creative Writing Careers at Writing Forward

The Handwritten Note at Daily Writing Tips

New Habana Notebook Cover Colors at Quo Vadis Blog

Journaling As Healing Process at Create Write Now with Mari

Guide to Choosing a Pair of Scissors at JetPens Blog

10 of the Most Controversial Productivity Tips That Actually Work at Buffer

Journaling Exercise: Question of Faith at Kaizen Journaling

The Library: A World History Presents a Stunning Visual Survey of The World’s Great Libraries at Open Culture

Office Size Clam Paper clipper at My Supply Room

Faber Castell 9000 HB pencils vintage matchboxes spotlight at Lung Sketching Scrolls

Montblanc Meisterstuck : The Masterpiece at Pen Boutique Blog

Featured Pen – Kaweco AL Sport – Stonewashed Black at Pens Paper Ink… Whatever!

Smooth As A Baby’s Bottom – Or Not at The Pen Addict

Image courtesy of my_name_pesca on Instagram.

Guest Blogger Fred Pitts: Yellow vs White Rhodia Paper

Pitts4-2

Fredric Pitts: Review of two Rhodia No. 19 pads of lined paper – one white and one yellow.

“When I sat down to write with these two papers I will admit that I had preconceived ideas about how the experience would go… and I was wrong. I thought that the white paper would be great for fountain pens and, thus, my favorite. The yellow, reported to be toothier, would be great for pencil but not fountain pens and I rarely use anything but fountain pens. On both pads the lines are nicely spaced for my hand and the page has lots of real estate to write upon which is great for the desk top, not really my favorite size for travel. Continue Readering »

A Change in Handwriting?

image

Has anyone else noticed any changes to their handwriting over the years? Has it become neater, messier, or perhaps more stylized? I know that I began to use a combination of printed/cursive letters sometime when I was an early teenager. Since that time, I believe that my writing has become somewhat more stylized and I am now able to write straight across the page when using blank paper. My signature on the other hand, has disintegrated into only a few recognizable letter forms. 

(This is one of those times when my notes about a post actually becomes the post.)

 

Permission to Doodle

butch_gordon

Are you a doodler?

By allowing yourself to be creative in a way that is not dependent on any particular outcome, you can focus on the process itself and simply appreciate your hand moving the pen across the surface of the paper.

The next time you find yourself waiting at the doctor’s office, the DMV, or when picking up your children after school, I’d like challenge you to reach for a paper and pencil and allow yourself to doodle. If this is something you don’t normally do, I think you might be surprised at how calming and meditative the process may be.

Image courtesy of butch_gordon on Instagram

 

Link Share Friday: February Edition

laurazigman

Rhodia Meeting Book at Office Supply Geek

J. Herbin Encre Rouge Ink Review at The Pen Addict

Preventing Hand Fatigue During Long Writing Sessions at Pentorium

More on Finishing Notebooks at Notebook Stories

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen – White Body, Black M Nib at No Pen Intened

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker at A Penchant for Paper

Quo Vadis Exatime 17 (personal size Filofax compatible) 2014 week + notes diary insert at Plannerisms

Review of the Clairefontaine Calligraphy Pad at Life Imitates Doodles

15 Quick and Dirty Writing Tips at Writing Forward

Faber-Castell brings two new colors to the affordable Loom lineup at Fountain Pen Geeks

Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing at Brain Pickings

Review: Rhodia No. 18 Uni-Blank Pad at The Well Appointed Desk

Sketchbook Exercises at Nordljus

Responsive ‘Hexi’ Wall Ripples and Wobbles Based on Nearby Motion at Colossal

Family Connection — Another Reason To Write Our Memories at Writing Through Life

Faber-Castell Loom Fountain Pen at Write to Me Often

Intro to the Monteverde Impressa Fountain Pen at Ink Nouveau

Rotring 800 0.5mm Pencil Review at Ed Jelley

Image courtesy of laurazigman on Instagram

 

The Sharpened Pencil

jdee

While I probably own at least half a dozen manual pencil sharpeners, I am always misplacing them. When I do find one, it’s usually the one that consistently chews the point off my pencil requiring me to re-sharpen them again and again leaving me with half the pencil I started with. I have a really awesome electric sharpener in my studio but I always seem to forget my pencils at home. I also have an older battery-operated unit which doesn’t seem to have the gusto (chewing power) that it once had which probably should be retired.

Do you have a favorite tried and true pencil sharpener? What brand? I may be looking for a new one… (I keep eyeballing those retro glass sharpeners by Alvin- especially the red one.)

Image courtesy of jdee on Instagram

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Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.