One of my favorite bloggers lives by the sea in
, and puts down exquisitely-crafted lines, evoking time and
place and music, elegant dinners and
memorable books and wonderful gatherings with friends. In a note recently, he termed himself “an
impatient writer,” and says that he always feels he should go back and change a few
things after he’s posted. Scotland
I graduated from WriteRight to Big Chief and Hopalong Cassidy, and thence to the Grand Marvel: legal pads. And all that wide-open free space stretching on for page after page caused me to scribble, trying to keep my fingers’ pace with all the words flying out, and I’d put them down and flip a page, fast as I could stand to press the little pencil corners into that lump developing on my finger. I couldn’t ever seem to hit a flat side, and the keen little painted edge would dig in and hit the same old tender spot a hundred times, as I’d quit for a moment, and give a big fling of all my fingers like my hand was asleep.
And I think I broke more pencil leads than an entire class of first-graders anywhere, so I learned to sharpen two #2 Ticonderogas. I’d be just going along, and the point would give a little crack and break under my hand, either flying off onto the desk or leaving a little smooch-track across several lines. And pencils were never wasted---they’d be sharpened down and down into little doll-pencils, so that I’d have to hold them between curled index-and-middle with the eraser just kissing my palm, so as to get every smudge of lead onto the page before starting with a new one.
And when there was a particular moment or scene or conversation I wanted to set down before it left me, I’d just fly and flip and write and flip, not even getting the pages smoothed under, til I’d sort of shake out of my trance and see that I had a great big ole paper pompadour all rolled at the top, like Elvis’ hair had been rolled on Minute Maid cans. Only closing them all neatly and putting a heavy book or two on top for the night seemed to get them in place.
And these days with keyboards, I'm even worse.