I have had several inquiries about the writing process I use, so here are the details and some pictures.
The majority of content starts as handwritten notes, outlines and a rough draft. I use a “working journal” that I’ve designed and store in a 3-ring binder. I created this because I needed a specific structure. The pages are created from a template and printed on Crane Bond in 28lbs ivory. I have found that Crane’s 100% cotton, tree-free stock is consistently the best paper for writing with fountain pens.
For journaling and note-taking, I use Moleskine journals. I actually use several of the Moleskine products:
Volant Pocket Ruled Notebook, which I always carry with me for quick thoughts and quotes I run across.
Moleskine Large Ruled Journal for daily personal journaling.
Moleskine Pocket Daily Journal which I use for maintaining my daily cancer journal, including blood work, test results and notes on how I’m feeling.
Moleskine Large Weekly Desk Planner which I use rather than a Palm, which I replaced with a Moleskine some years ago.
The Moleskine works very well with my fountain pens and my mechanical pencils — can’t recommend them more!
I tend to use specific fountain pens for certain functions. For my note-taking and “working journals” I use my Sheaffer Balance II fountain pens. I have three matched fine-point pens, which have been modified and are maintained by Fred at The Fountain Pen Shop in Monrovia, California. I use Sheaffer Script blue ink exclusively in these pens. I also use a Pelikan M-1000 Souveran customized by John Mottishaw at Classic Fountain Pens in Los Angeles. This is a beautiful pen and John always done an amazing job of modifying the nibs to suit my preference for a fine-point and a dry-line.
I do a significant amount of marginalia, which I do with either a Parker Duofold pencil or a S.T. Dupont Orhpeo Palladium pencil. I prefer the weight of these pencils.
Once I have a working rough draft, I move to the computer, which are both Apple G4 PowerBooks — 12″ and 15″ with a 17″ Studio Display. For software, I use Nisus Writer Express . I personally like the ease of use of Nisus, especially when compared to Word, Mariner Write or Mellel. For my bibliographic needs, I use EndNote v. 7, which I used for creating my online version. I frequently compile quotes using Circus Ponies NoteBook, which was originally a NeXT application, now available for OS X. This is a great tool.
Once I have a digital draft, I usually print a few versions for editing by myself and Krissy, again, using the Sheaffer’s or pencils. Once we have a final draft. An archive version is created in RTF, an Acrobat version for the web and a converted version in TXT (text). I use the TXT version to post to this site, which is running on TypePad. Finally, I modify the TXT version to incorporate basic HTML tags and then use MaxBulk Mailer for notification of subscribers.
Well, that’s the process!
View to the Woods
Image and text: Copyright © 2003 CM