Scribbles Blog Hop, Noland edition

It's time to get Old School, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, today is a day to celebrate that hallowed institution of the writing trade, the writing journal.
As part of the Scribbles Blog Hop, writers who use pen and paper for some (or all) of their writing are posting pictures of their journals, along with some behind-the-scenes discussion about how and why they use them. I have a few different notebooks, including a mini-sized Moleskine which I carry around in a shirt pocket. This, however, is my primary notebook for writing fiction:

It's a Black n' Red wirebound notebook. I've used others, bound and unbound. I like this model because the covers are stiff and the wire rings allow it to lie open or be folded back flat. That makes it convenient to write on in almost any kind of chair, bench or barstool. It even works pretty well for writing standing up. The 8.5" x 11" ruled and perforated paper is 24 lb bond clean white, a good heavy paper that takes gel inks and fountain pen inks very well. It also holds pencil leads of 0.9, 0.7 or 0.5 mm without smudging.

Click to enlarge. Go ahead and read, I don't mind.
 I use this notebook for writing exercises, such as the all-dialogue piece up above...

This is a scene from Just Enough Power.
... and for working on pieces like my sci-fi/noir serial, "Just Enough Power". The scene in the picture is from Episode 16. Just for fun, try reading this rough draft, then see what it eventually became. I like to write directly into my computer, but I also like the tactile feel of pen and paper, especially when I don't know yet what I'm trying to say.

More scratching than a poison ivy outbreak!

Sometimes, I have to scratch out a lot of text before I find the phrasing that works. In the scene above, I was trying to describe the despair among the workers on a moon base when faced with an almost certain death. The funny thing about this story? Almost all of this stuff got rewritten, re-rewritten, then cut from the final draft. Sic transit gloria fiction. Sometimes it takes longer to construct and then remove the scaffolding than it does to do the actual painting of the ceiling.

For more handwritten fun, read my #FridayFlash this week, "Pleasurebot, Parts 1 & 2". My handwriting isn't the best, but I think you'll be able to follow along.

~~ ~~~~ ~~

My thanks to Danielle and Anne for organizing the Scribbles Blog Hop! To see the writing journal/diaries/notebooks/notepads/etc. of other writers, and to learn a little about their approach to writing, check out the websites for all the participants, listed below.

Danielle La Paglia:

Anne Michaud:

Marianne Su:

Victoria D Griesdoorn:

Ren Warom:

J.A. Campbell:

Tammy Crosby:

Maria Kelly:

Chrissey Harrison:

Natalie Westgate:

Tony Noland:

Larry Kollar:

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. You had me at Moleskine. Pure yum stationary with good paper and solid binding.

    Your handwriting is so neat, Tony - makes me envious...

    Happy Scribbles Blog Hop ♥

  2. Really enjoyed your post and pics! And Julie also has a lovely moleskin as well. I too enjoy a good sturdy bond paper, i prefer 0.7mm, fat and thick, a lasting impression. lol! So glad to meet you. :)

  3. Love it, thanks for sharing! Your notebook looks awesome :) Love the name too.

    Julie/J.A. Campbell

  4. Portability is so important… at least to me.

    Black & Red? You're qualified to live on Planet Georgia! ;-)

    The "Pleasurebot" #FridayFlash was inspired, by the way. So cool that you just scanned the pages and posted them. So many good ideas, now if I do them people will think I'm just being derivative. :D

  5. @ annecmichaud: Agreed, the quality of the paper makes such a huge difference to me. Also, Anne, I believe that is the first time in my life anyone has said that my handwriting is neat. Dost thou mock? O.O

    @ tammywrites: I use 0.5mm when I'm feeling fussy & precise, 0.7mm for editing and general fiction and 0.9mm for writing sex scenes.

    @ J.A. Campbell: Thanks, Julie!

    @ FARfetched: "Black & Red? You're qualified to live on Planet Georgia! ;-)" Um... what? I'm going to have to ask for some interpretation of that. I'm glad you liked "Pleasurebot", by the way. I wasn't quite sure where I was going on that one, other than the unintended consequences of people who think only of themselves who created a being that thinks only of others.

  6. Black & red are the color for Univ. of Georgia. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a society with the same name as your notebook. ;-)

  7. I like the look of the Black 'n Red, it's pretty, but I'm not crazy about hardbound journals. I just like the feel of softbound. It's a quirk with me. I'll give them another look, though. The paper sounds exquisite!

    One of these days, I'm going to get educated on fountain pens and try and find myself one that a lefty can use without clawing up the paper.

    Great post!

  8. I'm with you and your scratching! bad as that sounds lol! It's good to go over something again and again, even if the page ends up looking like a bottle of ink spilled on it.

    I think the reason I can only write poems by hand is because of the feel of a pen to paper. Things seem to flow more, especially if you're not sure where you're headed, as the ink flows. So, I agree :)

  9. It's nice to see your notebook. Thanks for sharing part of your process with us!

    I also enjoy the feel of a nice soft moleskine!

  10. Thx for opening your books to us. There is something about a page full of words that makes my heart race a little bit. :)

  11. I think in most shock that you actually write on both sides of the paper. That would drive me crazy. Probably because I write so hard, the indentions are too much to write over on the back side. :)

    I love that you use pen and paper to work out difficult scenes. I find that I put a lot more thought into each word when I'm writing longhand, too.

  12. I saw this blog post when it came out but life, the universe and everything got in the way.

    So, I didn't get to take part in the blog hop. But it was good to see how many others also use pen and paper regularly for their writing.

    I like your notebook, Tony. And, as with others, Moleskine is very attractive to me. But I haven't sprung for one yet. One day.


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