I don't typically handwrite manuscripts; I'm a pretty speedy typist, so it's considerably faster and more efficient for me to type into my trusty Apple. But there are times, particularly when I'm trying to figure out how to end a novel, that notebooks come in handy. Switching up the mechanism of writing--from clicking keys to having a pen in hand--sometimes helps to joggle my brain and get out the words.
I've got a handful of favorite notebooks, including anything by Mnemosyne, and the paper in classic Black'n'Red notebooks are great. (Ed: I've ordered from JetPens before, but had no idea their selection of Mnemosyne was so huge...Maybe I should start writing long hand.) I love Bienfang Notesketches, which are half lines-half empty space, which leave room for outlining or sketches as things progress. (Sketches of the floor plans of Cadogan House are included in one of my first Bienfang notebooks.) I'm looking for a sturdy front and back, and thickish, slick paper that takes ink well. I don't like normal notebook paper--too thin, with too much bleed-through that I find visually distracting when I'm trying to write. And the fewer distractions, the better. Even beyond their usefulness (or not), I love notebooks and paper and binderies. I recently visited the paper boutique PULP, where I picked up a tin of lovely Mateo Ilasco filing clips. Here are some other favorite paper-esque sites:
1. Photos of Paperislovely's paper collection. (Via simplesong). I love how simply they're organized in vellum wrap. I save almost everything that's potentially nostaligic--movie tickets, theatre programs, etc.--so this might be a good way to store.
2. I recently ordered some Cadogan House coasters and would-be bookplates from My Own Labels. Instead of going the traditional bookplate route, I'm trying some interesting beer and wine labels with custom script. They've just shipped today, so we'll see how they turn out.
3. Present + Correct has the most luscious notebooks. Sure, they're all the way across the ocean, but still...
5. And speaking of Jamaica (yes, we were, see No. 4 above), the Effer Dares do lovely things to paper...and on paper...and with paper.