I count ten notebooks in my pile to be packed and schlepped to Europe with me. Ten. Before you think me completely piggish on the notebook scene, let me explain what they're for. And keep in mind I'll be gone for at least six months. And that the trip's creative purpose is to make illustrated journals. So I feel justified. I could even squeeze a few more into my carry-on.
As you can see by the photo, the notebooks are mostly Moleskine. I have a Moleskine fetish, which I have confessed before. I have a secret mission (oh, I guess it's not secret if I announce it here.) to infiltrate the Moleskine offices in Milan.
So we have the large cahier, which I usually use as my work notebook, tracking projects, notes from meetings, and weekly to-dos. Since I hope to be less tethered to that work structure, I may crowd my work life into one of the smaller cahiers. I'm bringing three of those: one for work, one for my professional art project (more on that at a later date) and one for notes on the revision of my novel, Chasing Sylvia Beach. You can see that notebook has a photo of Sylvia Beach on it. She's at her desk in her apartment with a pen in her hand. I'm counting on this image of Sylvia to bring me some powerful revision juju.
Then there are three art books: a sketchbook, a watercolor book and the Japanese Accordion Notebook (with the ECRIRE - write - card on the front), which is also part of my professional creative project. I can't say more about that yet but it's a big new step for me and my work and it does involve prolific use of Moleskine notebooks to help change the world for the better.
The other small notebook is my reporter's notebook, which I always carry with me. In it I capture important info like films to see, music to tune into and books to read. It's a magnet for great ideas, people's contact info and recommendations. Every writer should always carry a notebook like this.
Then there's the one non-Moleskine notebook. I fell in love with the spiral notebook with grid-lined paper and a beautiful purplish cover with gold design. I'll use this for writing my private thoughts.
I've begun customizing my notebooks with the bright bubble stickers on my notebooks. I bought them at Two Hands Paperie and I love them! They're made from the prints on homemade Japanese paper. I got a pin from the NY Public Library shop a few years back and love the design. Now my notebooks carry the elegant and colorful circles.
I showed my friend Janine the bubble sticker and she loved them. She called them 'mon', the Japanese family symbol similar to a family crest in the West. From Wikipedia: "It is thought that mon originated as fabric patterns to be used on clothes in order to distinguish individuals or signify membership in a specific clan or organisation. By the twelfth century, sources give a clear indication that heraldry had been implemented as a distinguishing feature, especially for use in battle. It is seen on flags, tents and equipment."
I'm not going into battle but I like thinking of the stickers as my creative mon, my symbol of my magical creative adventure.
Okay, they're not in the photo but I have to confess that I'm also planning to take a tiny Clairefontaine notebook with Paris info as well as two packets of watercolor postcards and a small stack of watercolor paper that forms a book when bound. I made this little book years ago and haven't filled the pages yet. On this trip I will.
Have I missed any notebooks? If you were going on a long trip like this, how many and what kind of notebooks would you take?