Category Archives: Writing

Thoughts on Field Notes, Platinum and Pilot Highlighters

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Lately (okay, always) I’ve been trying out notebook and pen brands to see which fit my taste the most. Not only taste, of course, but also practicality, portability, and availability since I do kind of fall under the “starving artist” category regarding bank.   (Haha, tiny sob.) Therefore, on my most recent visit to San Francisco, I picked up a cheap Platinum Preppy pen to see why it was so popular, and a Pilot Frixion Highlighter. I also purchased a pack of Field Notes and a Black n’ Red notebook a few days before on Amazon. Here are my thoughts on these products:
imageI always carry a pocket notebook wherever I go, jotting down random thoughts and ideas and later transferring them to larger, designated (according to topi) notebooks. However, I never had the chance to try out Field Notes until now, when I ran across these on Amazon. The covers are real, flexible, wood (almost like balsa wood but much thinner) adhered to craft paper, and the gold staples on the spines are a nice tough. (Though I’ll admit, I’m a fan of the stitched spine regularly.) The paper, a paler off-white compared Moleskine’s cahiers, isn’t anything special in my opinion. Fountain pen bleeds through, just like it does on regular paper. But I like the grid pattern that came in these. Overall, they’re a nice, inexpensive, on-the-go notebooks and I plan to get a few more once these are up. I did see the Ambition line on GouletPens.com and am really considering getting a set. They’re just that pretty.
imageAt Mido in San Francisco’s Japan Town, I purchased this blue Platinum Preppy and Blue Pilot Highlighter, the Frixion kind. (Erasable via friction type, in case you’re not familiar.) The highlighter is pretty cool, but what I was really looking for was a red highlighter. A while ago, I tried out Sharpie’s highlighters and fell in love with the red one to the point where I finished it out fast. However, a pack costs over ten dollars in most places, and I don’t feel like paying that much for a single highlighter. (The other colors are nice too, but I don’t use them as much.) One day, I hope Sharpie makes a bulk pack of reds just like they have with the other colors. Anyway, the Platinum Preppy is made of sturdy plastic, and thicker than I originally thought. (Not a bad thing though.) One thing to note, however, is that though the nib says it’s a 03, this doesn’t mean it’s a .3 nib. It’s bold, laying down medium lines. I emptied out the cartridge that came with it and loaded it with Noodler’s Ottoman Azure (which, FYI, is a pretty dry ink.) and it write’s pretty well. Mine does skip now and then, but that’s to be expected for a three dollar pen.

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This Black n’ Red notebook remained on my Amazon Wishlist for the longest time, thanks to their add-on program. It’s both a blessing and a curse if you ask me, because, sure, the items in it are cheaply priced but the kick in the pants comes when you hit the checkout button and learn that you can’t get it unless you buy $25 worth of other merchandise. Otherwise, it remains in the warehouse until you’ve made such purchase even if you’ve already paid for the darn things! So, when my sister treated herself to a boogie board this month, I added this notebook onto her checkout list. Don’t ask me why she’d get a BB, I see no reason to get one when one already has a phone or tablet, but hey, like the Spanish saying goes “cada loco con su tema.” (Every crazy with their own theme. More specifically, everyone’s got their own hangup, or every crazy has a thing.) I really like the look of this notebook, especially the color scheme. However, it’s note really cloth-bound on the side, and though the paper is a smooth thick white, and treated specifically to withstand many kinds of inks, it makes it so fountain pen inks and gel inks take a while to dry on it. This makes note taking (my intention for this notebook) a bit of a slow process as I have to wait for the ink laid down to fully dry before flipping the page.

In all, I like these products. I would probably buy them again (except for the Platinum Preppy, I like Pilot’s cheaper pens better). Thanks for hanging in there with me, and if you use these products yourself or have any other questions, please comment below. I’d love to know wha you think or what you use them for!

Have a good week all!

August Notebook Challenge: Everything Goes Composition

I hope this August started off well for everyone, and that you’re all enjoying the weekend outside. (My neighbor’s definitely are. I’m watching their driveway tennis match as I write this.) Well, for many of us this month marks the beginning of the school year, and the begrudging farewell to summer break. Luckily, I still have another month! So, do you think me stupid for giving myself some homework? (Okay, maybe insane, more than stupid.)

August always reminds me of high school, and especially of a few writing courses I took in the college across the street. My professor was post-modernist poet Catherine Webster, and I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t a little strange. I loved her classes, and since this was still in the early 2000s, many high schools in my area were exposed to the whole Freedom Writers movement. Ms. Webster then thought it only right that we do a similar project, and so, handed all of us our very own composition notebooks. (We even sent the finished anthology to the foundation.) Sadly, Ms. Webster passed away a few years ago, may she rest in peace. Now, every time I see a composition notebook (or Moleskine, since she gave me my first one . . . which I still have), I think of her and of the pure excitement and fun my classmates and I had working on them, and working together to complete our collaborative anthology. Because of this professor, I can honestly say that high school wasn’t so bad. And don’t get me wrong, I’m as socially awkward as they come, and even now I still find it hard to be in large groups of people, let alone talk to people one-on-one.

And so, to shorten this increasingly long post, I meant to let you all know that I will be challenging myself this month. By its end, I hope to have completed an entire composition notebook, and I invite you all to join me as well. (Why the hell not, right?) I plan to use it as a personal journal, and fill it with thoughts, ideas, transcriptions of songs and poems, original works, collages, drawings, notes, lists, and whatever else comes to mind. Not only is this a great way to get the creative motor running every morning, but it’s a great therapy. Composition books are cheap and readily available, and so there’s no fear of ruining the paper. After all, it isn’t a PaperBlanks, Moleskine, Rhodia, or any other more expensive notebook.

I plan to keep you updated on my progress, and if anyone else wishes to join (Please do! It’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear!), please let me know so I can follow you. If you have a blog, or some kinds of social media to follow, send me a link. It’s never too late.

Well, have a great night guys. Here’s a picture of my cover page to send you off.

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Minor Improvements

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Hello all. Just wanted to show you how I’ve finally started decorating my second Midori Traveler’s Notebook refill. A few days ago, I posted a video of the first completed one. All your positive feedback has given me the encouragement to personalize my notebook more. I originally went with simple layouts when journaling (except for those few crazy days) because I always worried that if I went crazy with the decorating, it would take away form my writing. And, frankly, I had this horrible misconception that “adults” didn’t put glitter in their notebooks. Now though, I’ve started to let loose and just decorate my notebooks however I like. Everything goes! (Granted, no glitter has been used thus far. It’s too messy, even for me.) Well, for all of you journalers out there, what do you use in your own notebooks? Also, if you have pictures please send me a link!

For those of you who never saw my first flip, here’s a link to the Youtube video. Well, hope you all have a wonderful day!

Journal Flip Video

Thought I would share with you all a video I uploaded to Youtube. It’s of my first completed Midori Traveler’s Notebook refill. A few days ago, I blogged about a few of my writing techniques, or more specifically, things I do to keep myself motivated; and so I thought it would be nice to share one of my smaller notebooks with you. This gives you some insight into my journals and even mind. (Please, do not be afraid.) 

Well, have a great weekend everyone!