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Keeping up Appearances

In the interests of motivation, I treated myself to a fancy new notebook this week, to jot down notes for my latest - ahem - masterpiece. (Look, if I don't believe in it no one else will.)

Now that I've taken to hunching over tea in our local Costa's every week, slurping from a giant cup and staring into the middle distance, tapping my pen against my chin, I decided I needed something more swanky than the 99p recycled reporter's notebook I was using before. Plus the reporter wanted it back. Ho ho!

Trouble is the new one is far too posh to write in, and I don't want to spill tea on it, so I have to slip an old, tatty one inside for the actual writing.

It's all about appearances dahling. But the words are flowing, which is the main thing. Whether or not they make sense is a different matter.

In case you're wondering, the story of our kitchen still hasn't got its happy ending. In fact it's becoming a misery memoir.


HelenMHunt said…
That is a beautiful notebook. I can quite see why you don't want to *actually* write in it!
Gorilla Bananas said…
What you really need is a secretary who'll take dictation, so you don't have to bother with writing. Let the words flow freely from your mouth to somebody else's pen. I hire a chimpanzee for such lowly tasks.
Christine said…
I was wondering about progress on your kitchen.... Hope it gets sorted soon.

If you write one or two (carefully chosen) words in your notebook, then it will no longer be new and you will be able to enjoy using it. :-)
Debs said…
Love your notebook. My sister gave me a gorgeous one several years ago and I loved it so much all I've written in it was my name! Not quite what she intended when she gave it to me.

Can't believe your kitchen is still not finished.
Anna said…
You always bring a smile to my face. Wishing expedient kitchen thoughts your way...
joanne fox said…
Lovely notebook. Nice stationery is oh so tempting. I could spend a fortune on it. I just have to keep telling myself it's the words I write that matter, not the beauty of the notebook!
Dumdad said…
I wish I'd kept all my scores of reporter's notebooks that I had when I was a reporter years ago; I remember that every bit of the paper was used (both sides). Although I probably wouldn't be able to read my shorthand back these days!
Tom Foolery said…
Clarkey, What a bugger regarding the kitchen, sending positive thoughts across the airways to you. Tommox
Susie Vereker said…
Well, yes. Somehow I don't count words I write in a notebook because they're easier to spew out and don't have to make much sense.
But in a notebook as beautiful as that....
I have a notebook that I've been going to write in for years but I just can't bear the thought of actually making a mark on any of its perfect pages.
As for the kitchen - maybe you should write a book. In the charity shop that I work in we always have a shelf full of misery memoirs.
Amanda said…
Ooh, Karen - I love your notebook and am very jealous. I want one for Christmas! :-)
Lane said…
You've got to be ruthless with new notebooks and break them in very quickly. Otherwise they tend to rule you with their uppity, pristine ways.

Hope the kitchen has a happy ending VERY soon.
Fran said…
I'm the same ... buy lovely notebooks and then can't bear to use them. I just stroke them now and again. I'm very weird.
Madeleine said…
I can identify with you there. I guess the more you make yourself write in your swanky notebook the less daunting it might be? Having said that my Noteworthy Advice post: agrees with you. Enjoy your Costa tea an I hope it inspires the magnum opus. :O)
Suzanne Jones said…
That's a lovely notebook. I have a few myself that I'm too scared to write in.

Denise said…
Ooh, that is a good one, but you have to be ruthless. Just imagine how much better to be flashing that one in the pictures of you at your desk in Writing magazine, instead of the tatty one that falls out when they take the picture!

Then again I'm not much better with mine. When I do manage to write in them it's usually a few pages in...
brokenbiro said…
Do you find, being a writer, that people insist on buying you lovely lovely notebooks which are too lovely to defile? It's cruel of them really...
Lorna F said…
Karen, ever since childhood I've been a notebook addict - I have drawers full of the things and very lovely they are too. Strange, then, that notes and ideas end up on backs of envelopes, margins of newspapers, backs of receipts! So sorry your kitchen sink drama is still going on. There'll be a novel in it one day.Take notes. In your lovely notebook. :)
Anna May said…
You have to show that notebook who is boss and dominate it. Start with a shopping list or a stream of consciousness about your kitchen......
Anna May x
It sounds as if there's a race between your kitchen and the publishing of your book. I hope they both win! ~Miriam
Jean said…
I love the notebook.

Btw your kitchen will be fine. All misery memoirs have happy endings.
joanne fox said…
Hi Karen. Just to let you know you can pick up a 'Sweet Friends' blog award at mine if you so desire!
Ann said…
I am so sorry to hear the kitchen is still a subject of angst.

Love the notebook. I have many beautiful notebooks and like you don't want to ruin them, so I continue to use the school copy books.

Still the most important thing is you are writing words, no matter the where. Good luck with the masterpiece.
Rachael Harrie said…
Tee hee, love how you still write in a ratty old one, even after you've bought such a beautiful new notebook!

Lovely to meet you, glad you've come on board my Crusade :)

Charlotte said…
What a lovely notebook! I'll write on or in anything, but it is nice to have something beautiful to write in.

As for sitting, sipping coffee and tapping chin with pen, that's me, except at my favourite coffee-house in Heidelberg.

I'm a new crusader, BTW, coming past to say hello. Out of interest, why do you only let people sign in with their google accounts? I blog at Wordpress and would prefer to sign in with my blog name!
Hart Johnson said…
BUWAHAHAHAHAAH! Totally sounds like something I would do. I LOVE notebooks, but some are too special to use... you know... until your MASTERPIECE comes to you complete in your sleep and it is time to write the next Harry Potter... while the first draft will need two dozen revisions, best to use cheap paper... but you still want to LOOK like you're serious!
Adina West said…
Yep, that's a beautiful notebook. Reminds me of orange juice and creativity all in one.


I also have a collection of beautiful notebooks I can't quite bring myself to use, but I'll get there one day...
L'Aussie said…
I'm addicted to stationery. Yummy. There are so many lovely shops now. I love Typo..:)

Keep it up fellow crusader.
Karen said…
helen - Exactly - glad you understand :o)

jenny - They do a great range actually, I was spoilt for choice!

gorilla bananas - That's a damn fine idea, except I'd be too embarrassed. I can just imagine her (or him) thinking 'what a load of baloney' and having a laugh behind my back. Maybe I need therapy ...

christine - Kitchen still not sorted, but lots of words written in new notebook now :o)

debs - I've got lots I've never written in, but I do like looking at them!

anna - I need some more thoughts quickly - it's still not done!

joanne - I'm trying to tell myself that now and to stop being so precious!

dumdad - I spent 2 years learning shorthand when I was a slip of a girl and was very good at it, but never used it once after I left college!

tommo - Positive thoughts much appreciated, but ruddy thing still in limbo :o(

susie - It should really inspire me to write poetry or something deeply meaningful. I definitely won't be writing shopping lists in it!

colette - I have written a short story based on my kitchen angst - will be interesting to see if it sells!

amanda - They're by illustrator/designer Rachel Bright, she has a lovely range :o)

lane - That's wise advice - if I can let myself be beaten by a notebook is it any wonder our kitchen still isn't finished?!

fran - Stroking and sniffing of new notebooks is perfectly acceptable behaviour :o)

madeleine - I LOVED the way you broke in your new Moleskine - very inspiring :o)

suzanne - Me too, but I can't bear to give them away either!

denise - Bless you - I love the way you're thinking :o)) Although maybe I should drag out the Moleskine for the photo - looks more businesslike somehow.

brokenbiro - They do and you're right, it is cruel. Plus it's a bit of a cop-out if you ask me. Oh she writes, I'll buy her a notebook. (Just kidding Mum, if you're reading ...)

lorna - You're so right, I often end up writing on receipts and scraps of paper, even the odd serviette, or rushing into a newsagents and buying the cheapest notepad they've got! No happy ending for the kitchen yet :o(

anna may - Good advice, but I daren't start writing about the kitchen or my poor notebook will be ruined!

miriam - Welcome:o) It's certainly turned into a race and I've a feeling they're both a long way from the finishing line at the moment!

jean - I love that comment. You're so right :o) Although it could turn into a crime story any day now ...

joanne - That's so kind, thank you :o)

ann - That's so true. It's funny how writers can find any excuse not to write, but not wanting to spoil a new notebook sounds a tad weak, even to me!

rachel - I'm afraid I'm a bit peculiar like that! Good to 'meet' you :o)

charlotte - Thank you for dropping by :o) I didn't know that about google/blogger, but have amended my settings now so it shouldn't be an issue in future.

As for the notebook - it has now been broken in!

hart - Thank you for popping over, and that's the best excuse for using cheap paper I've heard :o)

adina - Hi and welcome :o) It is a great combination - maybe that's why I was drawn to it sub-consciously!

l'aussie - Thanks for dropping in :o) I always assumed it was a 'writer' thing, being addicted to stationery, but I've decided it's human nature to like a nice new notebook.

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