** There is now a www.pensetc.tk shop (click here) or use the link at top of page **
1986. A “Wuzzles” notebook and pencil. My first session at The Brownies. I took notes.
1987. A blue, A5 hardback lined notebook. Torquay, Devon on a family holiday. I wrote poetry.
1989. My cousin’s pale green typewriter from the late sixties and handmade paper fashioned into a book with punched holes and string. I wrote a horror story.
1993. A petite flower print, cushion covered journal with cream lined paper, each page edged with gold. I wrote secrets.
Just a few of the pivotal writing books I encountered on my journey from childhood to adolescence. They set in stone a path I continue to follow to this day. You might call it an addiction; Or perhaps an obsession? If Paperchase were a person I’d be a stalker. Sometimes, when I know I don’t have the money to buy, I’ll avoid going in, but walk past it several times and gaze longingly at the sale section near the front. If Waterstones were also a person, I’d probably be in jail, on account of the times I simply go there to wander the bookcases, trailing my fingers over the many covered stories and breathing in the heady smell of paper filled with words.
My obsession ensures I now have a pile of notebooks; all different sizes, shapes and types of paper within. Some are lined, some are not. There’s a selection of A5 and A6 ones that are perfect for handbags.
You never know when you might get the urge to let the pen take over. The hardback maroon and gold one is good for tales of adventure, because it looks like it may have been designed in some far off ancient land. The A6 one with the dolls on and the plastic cover, that one’s good for writing introspectively. Probably because the dolls are all identical; Many versions of one girl but although they look the same, they could be very different underneath. The purple one has glitter crushed under the plastic cover. I like a bit of sparkle. That one’s for the stories that have a bit of sparkle too.
Every Christmas and every birthday I ask for more. They are probably the one thing I know will never go to waste, because I will always write. Part of the writing process that I enjoy the most, is opening a book and staring at a blank page. The possibility; the promise. The feel of the paper, and how it might feel to someone else one day, when they find my notes and stories and poems and say “this is an original D A Pegg piece!”, because yes, one day I intend to be a fully-fledged writer whose work attracts attention.
I will walk into Waterstones and see my name on the shelves and I will watch as others come in and buy my stories. And I’ll still go to Paperchase, maybe in disguise, to buy more notebooks. More pads and pens.
I’m the one who in a service station or newsagents, will always check out the notepads and envelopes. I’ll hold the queue up picking out 1 black Bic, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 green and a 15cm ruler; Things to go with my nice new, clean notebook.
Nowadays we have laptops. Tablets. Desktops. Even phones to record our thoughts, and yes, I do use them, but I still find the best writing always begins on paper.
2013. The poet’s notebook, soft, thin black card cover. Cream watermarked pages with quotes decorating headers and footers. Quotes from poems. I wrote the opening of a masterpiece. If it doesn't turn out quite as I hope, there’s always the next new notebook to fill.
Thanks to Danielle Pegg, a published writer who also loves sparkly things, poetry and lots of lovely things, why not check her out www.apeggortwo.webs.com