Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blank pages

I have a fascination with paper. (Okay, it borders on being a fetish but just work with me here.) I love paper - craft papers, office paper, art paper, watercolor paper, hot press, cold press, handmade papers, even some wrapping paper. I particularly love journals - bound books with lovely covers and blank pages.

But here's the catch. I can't bring myself to mar those beautiful clean surfaces. My sketch book is a sad and sorry sight because it pains me to cover all that potential with my scrawls and scratches. I actually use pads of tracing paper instead of my sketch book for roughs and jottings. And a collection of 10-cent notebooks for interview notes and fiction writing. I have tried to get over this but still look at the used pages with a twinge of regret. So I have a collection of blank journals and gorgeous sketch books.

Now, let me say - I don't consider them empty. Just like I can look at a bolt of fabric and see the garment or quilt that could be cut from its length, those blank journal pages are chock full of my imagination and dreams. They run rampant with characters and scenes and plots and techniques that I hold in my mind. They are even categorized according to the cover and the content - the hand-stitched silk cover around floral-embedded handmade paper carry romance and literature. The fuzzy bee cover has the dancing elephants, merry-go-rounds and tablecloth tents of childhood. The classic Canson covers hold charcoal and graphite wonders with a vintage feel. And the recycled papers and "green" covers hold the few sketches I've been willing to commit to paper.

Then today I came across this quote in the Funds for Writers newsletter:

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." -- Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Wow. What a challenge for this new year.

So it's time to fill blank pages. Just maybe not the bound ones...

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