Pencil Sharpeners

In 1971 my parents bought a house whose previous owners had left a hand-crank pencil sharpener attached to a stud near the head of the stairs to the basement. The sharpener had a red plastic shaving container, and it was old. I think it was a Berol. Unlike the sharpeners at school, it didn’t chew… Continue reading Pencil Sharpeners

Favorite Pencils

I am in the final stages of a general re-organization and purge that I started in the fall. That re-organization meant not only swapping around furniture to make a work area, given the continuing necessity of self-isolating because of COVID-19, but going through every item that I have in my current living area and trying… Continue reading Favorite Pencils

BaronFig Dateless Pocket Planner

When 2020 began I was using an A5 hardcover notebook as a bullet jourrnal, tracking appointments, tasks, reading, birthdays, due dates for publishers—a lot. In late summer, I realized it was just going to depress me to track cancelled plans, cancelled publication dates, and furloughed projects as publishers and corporations scrambled to stay afloat. I… Continue reading BaronFig Dateless Pocket Planner

Musgrave Pencils

Musgrave Pencil is a family-owned and operated pencil maker in Shelbyville, Tennessee that’s been making pencils since 1916. The Musgraves began by selling Tennessee Red Cedar slats to European pencil makers; remember that, it’ll be important later. Musgrave’s Heritage Collection While Musgrave Pencil Company makes a wide variety of custom and specialty decorated and branded… Continue reading Musgrave Pencils

The Commonplace Book Lives

In one of my earliest blog posts on  February 8, 2002, I compared blogs and commonplace books. Since then a number of other bloggers have made the same comparison; it is in fact, now a commonplace to compare blogs and commonplace books. Many are echoing Dori Smith’s discussion of her blog as her “Backup Brain”; something… Continue reading The Commonplace Book Lives

Another Batch of Pencils for Writing

When I refer to “Pencils for Writing,” I’m making a distinction between pencils suited to writing vs pencils better suited for drawing. There are far more high-quality affordable wooden pencils than I ever realized. I’ve tried four more for more pencils since my first post about wood-case pencils. I’d happily use any of these four… Continue reading Another Batch of Pencils for Writing