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 COVID-19 cancelled plans, cancelled publication dates, and furloughed projects as publishers and corporations scrambled to stay afloat.… 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