Moleskines and a meme. . .

Now and then I do something to push and inspire me to write.
As I said in a previous post, February has always been a brutal month for me in terms of creativity. Anything I can do to root myself in the right direction seems the thing to do.
It can be something as simple as a new (cheap) pen or as complex as listening to a Charles Ives piano piece.
That said, I found myself at Borders in Copley Square last Saturday morning with a 25$ gift card I’d received at Christmas.
I had about an hour to kill and began my search for the perfect whatever.
It didn’t take long before I found a Chuck Klosterman book I’d been wanting for sometime. Klosterman is a psychedelic version of David Sedaris and one unique author you should consider reading at least once.
I absolutely love the way he writes.
The book was $14.
I had more money to spend.
And spend it I did.
I’m writing this post in a Moleskine journal that I bought, a writing paper used by the likes of Hemingway. (no, I’m not implying I’m a pseudo Hemingway wannabe but damn he had a great name for a writer)
The quality of the paper we write on is obviously not as important as what we write.
But the line spacing in the Moleskine is a bit different than what I’m used to and I can’t help but wonder if that will affect the way I write.
The paper is smooth as silk, to be honest.
More words are finding their way onto the page and I’m hoping that my writing flow improves in some way.
Obviously, I have to write for this to even have a chance to work. (duh)
I have also decided to read for at least 45 minutes to an hour every day, a minuscule allotment I realize but with my working hours it’s all I can reasonably spare.
I’m thinking about doing a writing exercise modeled after Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” called “Night Pages”– three pages of continuous long hand writing about anything; basically it’s a free-write that’s crazy out of control.

I’m hoping to empty out any extraneous bullshit swimming around in my gallon or so of cerebrospinal fluid; a purging of thought and a mental dusting of the long forgotten cranial shelves that possibly harbour literary gems I can (for right now) only dream of.
I am committed to this writing thing, (and should be committed. period.) but I’m also curious . . .
What keeps you writing against all odds?

Here’s an awesome meme from Red, do it if it feels right… (I refuse to tag you!)

“If your life were a film, what would your soundtrack be?”

So, here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

Opening Credits: Kid Zero – Fourplay

Waking Up: I got the news – Steely Dan

Life: Angel in the House – The Story

Falling in Love: Morph the Cat – Donald Fagen

Make-out Scene: Embraceable You – Joe Sample (how perfect)

Breaking Up: All you need – Mike Stern

Mental Breakdown: The Border – Mr. Mister (Richard Page at his finest)

Driving: Late Night Duke Street – Acoustic Alchemy

Getting Back Together: All I know – Jimmy Webb ( I love this man. . . kinda)

Wedding: Panama – Van Halen (David Lee Roth, rocked)

Birth of Child: East of Eden – Michael McDonald (no words)

Final Battle: Sneaking up on Boo Radley – Bruce Hornsby (again, no words)

Death Scene: Route 17 – Lee Ritenour

Funeral: Blue Monk – Thelonious Monk

End Credits: Eraser – Nine Inch Nails

If you do this meme, puuleeese let me know.
I’d love to see your tunes


16 thoughts on “Moleskines and a meme. . .

  1. I like the notebook idea and the evening pages. Sometimes stuff like that get you past the ‘think’ connected to the writing. Instead of ‘thinking’ of something to write you just write – yeah, that works for me often. I’m seduced by the description of the paper the pages are made of – I may have to buy one just to try it out. I”ve also noticed that I’m turning to the pad and pen more than the computer keyboard – it sort of sets it apart from the blogging mode. Which is good I think.

    Would have loved to do the soundtrack thing but have no Ipod or anything resembling – so couldn’t participate. Oh well.

    Good post.

    Thanks, Annie.
    I’ve been an advocate of the pen, paper and hand combination for years.
    Long ago I tried to write by using MS word first. I didn’t like it. The computer allows for screw-ups; backspace and you’re all set. With ink, you have to think before you write or you go squiggle crazy. Does that make any sense?
    I have some writing that if I look back on it today it makes me go, “huh?” because it looks like a roadmap of NYC.
    Yeah, check out the Moleskine. Pretty nice.


  2. I think your posts flow beautifully, and no I’m not trying to gain brownie points; your writing amazes me.

    Thanks, Red. Much appreciated.
    Thanks, too for the meme.


  3. I still recommend Anne Lamott’s book “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.” It’s very inspirational and just down right funny, and I’ve found it to be a good pick-me-up when I feel like I’m in a writing slump. It might be worth looking at.

    The music idea is fun; I’ll have to give it a try.


    I just checked my local library online and they have the Lamott book (the computer says so, anyway)
    I’ll pick it up today.
    Yeah, try the meme.
    It’s a pretty cool one.

    ps. Just read about 50 pages of the Lamott book.
    I am enjoying the hell out of it.
    Brilliant. Thanks for the tip.


  4. Sounds like Stella’s well on the way to getting her groove back 🙂
    Great to hear your taking proactive steps but not actually thinking about it too much…

    It’s when you think about it that you do nothing.
    Are you calling me Stella? 😎


  5. this post just flowed michael…it’s obvious the subject is one you’re passionate about (yes, i know, DUH!!) but if i’d never visited here before i would have picked it up just from this post, without reading anything else is what i mean….so i’m thinking you’re on the way to where you want to be 🙂
    as for the meme, i’ll have to do it on the comp, don’t have anything else dammit…will do later tonight and let you know…..

    It’s really interesting to hear another opinion on the rhythm in writing.
    I often wonder if something ‘flows’ or seems more ‘stop and go’.
    Keep me posted on the meme, Moe.
    And yeah, I’m on the way (to the funny farm perhaps) {heehee}


  6. I LOVE MOLESKINES. i swear, all my diaries over the past four years have been Moleskines. The smooth flow of the pen on the paper, the simplicity of design…. *sighs with utter enthusiasm*

    Julia Cameron is brilliant. Her advice has helped me through a serious dry spell and continues to inspire me today. i’m so glad that you’ve modified it to work for you! Yea!

    Oh, and totally dig the new layout. *kisses fingertips and then raises shakes hand in the air in a very Italian way*

    Cameron has a new book out along the lines of ‘The Artist’s Way’.
    Something about perseverance…
    Looks pretty good. I may have to check that out.
    Moleskines rock.
    Nice to see you MS…


  7. i saw my old friend Michael a few weeks ago- and what struck me most was the fact that he is just as kind and clever and funny and caring as he was over 20 years ago when I first met him. no matter what happens in this world-there is always my good friend Michael, with the voice of an angel, the humor of the devil and a soul that is a true reflection of God- how lucky we are to know such a person.

    You’re a sweetheart, Susan.
    It was wonderful to talk and have lunch.
    We need to figure out a dinner date for four.
    I’ll be in touch.
    Thanks for the warm comment. You’re welcome here anytime.
    ~m (aka RemyBoy)


  8. I have NEVER handwritten a blog post! LOL I’m a real computer junkie, I even make my grocery lists in Word!

    I simply LOVE writing. No matter what my mood or circumstance, I HAVE to write. Before the computer, I used to journal in sprial notebooks. Don’t think I’ve ever had a really NICE notebook to write in – I bet it’s great!

    Terrific post – thank you for sharing! Still recovering from death and illness here. I have a day home so I am trying to say hello to my Internet friends! Hope all is well with you and you have a wonderful day!

    I’m okay but ‘death and illness’ doesn’t sound good. Are you okay?
    Email me and keep me posted.
    Prayers are on their way…


  9. So you like Fourplay, huh?
    I actually had a DJ ask me that one time when I called requesting their Xmas song, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and i didn’t know their name.

    I’ve been a Bob James fan forever.
    Check out the ‘X’ album. Wonderful stuff.


  10. Moleskin…. I am with Evyl on this one, at first I thought it was something else (probably not the same thought as Evyl though… on second thought, well, nevermind)
    Hm, brings up memories, memories of a close friend of mine, how he used to write, how I used to joke about the moles, to the point where I didn’t want to touch the book…… you would have liked him.
    Great Post, will have to try that….

    They are very nice journals.
    Glad I could evoke some memory for ya…


  11. I’m going to post my version of the meme but here’s a sneaky-peeky for you:

    Opening Credits: Amerika-Rammstein
    Waking Up: Shut It–The Damned
    Life: Drank My Wife Away–David Allan Coe
    Falling In Love: Private Idaho–B52’s
    Make Out Scene: Head Over Feet-Alanis Morissette
    Breaking Up: Talk Talk-Talk Talk
    Mental Breakdown: Jane Says-Janes Addiction
    Driving: Blues from a Gun-Jesus and Mary Chain
    Getting Back Together: It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere-Alan Jackson
    Wedding: Breaking the Law-Judas Priest
    Birth of a Child: Personality Crisis-New York Dolls
    Final Battle: Out All Night-The Pietasters
    Death Scene: Genius of Love-Tom Tom Club
    Funeral: Only Want To Be With You-Hootie and the Blowfish
    End Credits: Ferry Cross the Mersey-Pat Metheny

    What a lovely ending!! Thanks, that was fun!!!

    You like Pat Metheny.
    You’re alright with me. I don’t care what anyone says. 😉


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