Bookpacking is Such a Great Word

winter readingI first heard of the word, bookpacking, in the Suite101 post which I have linked to below. I think it is great to have an actual, understandable, word for something I have been doing since I learned to read.

In the bookpacking post the writer combines bookpacking with exercise. I haven’t always done it that way, at least not deliberately. I do take the bus, walk along downtown, go shopping or even take a day trip or road trip. I always pack a book with me (and my camera for the past several years).

Bookpacking is such a great word.

Are you one of the people who typically carries at least one book around with you, where ever you go? Even if you might not get a chance to settle in somewhere and have the alone, or quiet time to read… do you always have a book, just in case? I do.

I don’t think you can take an eReader on a bookpacking excursion. It might get bumped and banged around, it could get wet or you may not have enough battery power to keep the lights on. Besides, there are always times when the old reliable paperback is just what you need.

The Elements of Successful Bookpacking

First, the book you want to read. Not just any book you happened to pick. You need a good book and a book you are in the mood to read. You could pick a book which is well written and seems to have a great story… but you just aren’t in the mood to read it for some reason. So, you need the right book at the right time.

Second, you need something to carry your book and other accumulated gear around with you. These days we often carry around more stuff in order to be green. I keep a backpack with cloth bags for grocery shopping, sometimes a reusable coffee mug too. The mug doesn’t work out so well if you stop at a second place before you have washed it out.

My backpack gives me space to stash my purse inside it too. If I’m on a longer trip I carry a map book, my camera, paper and pens and assorted other standard stuff (for me).

Make sure whatever you use to carry around your stuff is easy to carry around. Don’t pick something which is already a bit heavy, even before you pack it up. It’s only going to get heavier.

Next up is location. Not everyone can read just anywhere. I like semi-quiet. A little distraction with people watching is nice too. I tend to pick coffee shops. I really like enjoying a coffee while I read. Other nice places are libraries, museums, restaurants… pretty much any place with a comfortable chair, table and a niche that blocks out noise if it’s a busy place.

Assorted Extras

Bookmarks. Of course, you can turn down the top of a page. But this contributes to making books dog-earred. Meanwhile you can use anything slim enough as a bookmark. You could even use a real, actual bookmark.

Those real on-the-go sort of bookpackers might want a portable chair. However, this isn’t practical for the added weight of hauling it around yourself. For those with a vehicle to haul a portable chair around for them, it seems a bit redundant when you already have a nicely padded chair in the vehicle. But, it could be nice if you are on a bicycle or motorbike and want to take a break to read in the great outdoors. (Even then it occurs to me that a picnic blanket would be a better choice for it’s weight and multi-purposeness).

One thing I can not do is read on a moving vehicle. So, you may find yourself enjoying to read on the bus, ferry, and so on. There really are endless great locations to pull out your book and read a few pages or a few chapters if you have the time. If you do discover you can’t read on a moving vehicle either, just put your book away and try to look off into the distance for awhile. You may need to abandon the vehicle for at least a short time. Stop off at a coffee shop and read awhile, outside the vehicle or while the vehicle is parked.

On a Side Note…

There are a few times and instances when you shouldn’t bring out a book and read. Your brother may not think well of you if you bring a book to his hockey game and sit in the arena with your nose stuck in a book, not really watching his hockey game more than the odd quick glance up. Every once in awhile this comes up in my family. But, I am the only true bookpacker in the group. Still, its good to remember that not everyone is into bookpacking.


Bookpacking Combines Travel With Reading | Suite101  by Nelson Shogren

People of the Book

“We are the people of the book. We love our books. We fill our houses with books. We treasure books we inherit from our parents, and we cherish the idea of passing those books on to our children. Indeed, how many of us started reading with a beloved book that belonged to one of our parents? We force worthy books on our friends, and we insist that they read them. We even feel a weird kinship for the people we see on buses or airplanes reading our books, the books that we claim. If anyone tries to take away our books—some oppressive government, some censor gone off the rails—we would defend them with everything that we have. We know our tribespeople when we visit their homes because every wall is lined with books. There are teetering piles of books beside the bed and on the floor; there are masses of swollen paperbacks in the bathroom. Our books are us. They are our outboard memory banks and they contain the moral, intellectual, and imaginative influences that make us the people we are today.”
— Cory Doctorow


Bookpacking is custom made for people who like to read. Many backpackers have packed a tattered paperback novel into their rucksack in case they are held hostage by rain pummeling the outside of their tents.

Packing a book for a bike trip, a hike or boating excursion engages both the body and the mind into an outing.

via Bookpacking Combines Travel With Reading | Suite101.

I think it’s great someone has come up with an actual word for this. I bookpack every day. Even when I’m not hiking, exploring or road tripping.

From the The Brass Bed Trilogy

The Brass Bed Trilogy |

“Some men want a relationship, and they think they know about sex, and they think that should be enough for us. Really they’re desperate, ’cause they don’t have us figured out, and they don’t understand themselves, and sex is easier than love. They’re praying that sex is enough. And it never is.”

I’m surprised at how smart this is. The book itself is pretty silly, I’ve been debating whether or not to read the third book in the series and then this… It really sums up my own observations about men, sex and dating, better than if I had summed it up myself.

If you were writing your best men, dating and sex advice, what would it be?

Easy ways to Stay Motivated…

Here are some easy ways to stay motivated….

  • Treat yourself to a new supply, book or tool
  • Recognize your progress
  • Pick ONE goal
  • Give yourself a reward

Getting things cleaned up is a much bigger help to motivation than anyone who is already tidy and organized would think.

I work in chaos and clutter. I have piles of paper related items all around me it seems. I’ve got them on the surface of my desk – where I could have my little scanner set up and just keep the gear for my camera and nothing else but a hot mug of fresh coffee, if I cleaned it all up. I’ve got books in stacks on the floor because I was going to get to them much sooner than this. Something else comes along and they are moved, shuffled around and soon become part of the landscape rather than something I’m working on currently.

I’ve even got clothes to put away, sort out and disinter from my closet. It’s time for the clothes I haven’t worn in ages to make an appearance out in the world, where someone else can use them.

Clean is a big deal. Not being clean is nothing but a monumental distraction and a drain on your energy.


Bookbinding is already becoming an obsolete, lost art, even before eBooks and eReaders. This was originally a free ecourse on SuiteU. Preserved here for my own interest, before SuiteU is taken down.

By Kez van Oudheusden


Bookbinding can be inexpensive, easy to do and can produce some unique and individual works. There are many basic techniques that you can use to create books and we will be starting with the simplest of all, a single section notebook that you will use for class notes and ideas. These techniques are easy to master. These are the basic techniques that you can use to build on to more difficult techniques. You can research other book artists work and combine with your own techniques to create unique books. This course will show you the basic techniques and help you get started. Once you have finished this course you will have the information you need to tackle your first project with confidence.

Don’t be afraid to experiment
There are many different mediums available to be made into a book – thick or thin papers, textiles, even bark or metal

HINT: Safety with chemicals: never combine eating when mixing chemicals; remember some are toxic. Don’t blow the dried chemicals off your work as they will rise and be inhaled. It is better to gently shake your book when dry if you are using the rusting method in Lesson 2. There is no mystery about bookbinding. It is a learning process for anyone. Take what you learn and be creative. Do you have the creative urge to express yourself but are nervous about how to begin? Simple bookbinding is inexpensive and one can begin with a very small outlay. COME AND MAKE A BOOK FOR PLEASURE!

Lesson 1: Making A Simple Notebook

This lesson will teach how to make a single book section and cover to be used for class notes. You will also learn to make a 3-hole single section of between 5 – 8 pages and manipulate the paper by various methods to create a unique book for each student. You can use this book for class notes, recommended reading, tips and tricks you learn along the way.

Materials needed:

about 10 sheets of standard size writing paper,
larger sheet of heavy cartridge paper,
large-eye needle and good quality heavy duty cotton to sew with,
inks, paints, oddments ie. old magazines, ribbon, string, buttons or other old pieces you have been saving for just such an occasion.

The one tool I consider an essential for any bookbinding is a bone folder to make sure the folds you make with paper are smooth clean folds. They are obtainable from bookbinding supply stores or online.

Instructions for Sewing

Step-by-Step Instructions for sewing section:

Measure the fold line and mark 3 holes evenly
Thread large eyed needle with strong linen thread and with outside cover facing you insert thread into center hole (#1) through pages.
Pull thread through hole #2 (to find this point easily from the inside, first push the needle through the marked spot from the outside to make a hole right thru)
Push needle and thread thru hole #3
and bring out thru hole#4 (which is hole #1)
Pull thread firmly and tie over the center thread securely.
Cut about 5cm (2inches) from knot.

Instructions for manipulating the finished book:

Tear pages, burn, drop ink, wax, cut windows, sew pockets. Use some of these methods for adding personality to your blank notebook.
Tear along page edges – wet edges for a different torn effect
Dip, splash or paint part of any or all pages with any of the following: eyeshadow, lipstick, tea, coffee, wax, ink, shoe polish, mercurochrome, gentian violet, gesso, shellac or bitumen paint – try wetting some pages first for different effects
carefully burn along some torn edges or make burn holes in pages
Melt a candle and dip the edges of pages into the liquid wax
Cut or burn a window in a page to highlight a feature on the following page
Cut a slot across page to insert small notes, photos etc.
Make a miniature one section-book to insert into a page.

Now that you have used your own imagination – download this PDF file and you may be inspired to have another go!…

Have a look at some of my books online for more ideas.

Lesson 1: Making A Simple Notebook
Making a Concertina Spine

In this section you will learn 5-hole sewing of book sections and how to attach sections to a spine to form a book containing 50 -100 pages. You’ll also learn to make covers for this concertina binding and end up with a book ready for decoration. Read the instructions below before beginning as you will need to follow these sewing steps with the folded sections held in place on the spine.

Materials and Sewing

quantity of papers,
heavy cartridge paper,
heavy cotton or linen thread,
firm cardboard or book card (from bookbinding supplier),
general purpose glue,
cutting knife,
bone folder

Step by Step Instructions For Sewing Five Hole Section

Measure the fold line and mark 5 holes evenly
Thread large eyed needle with strong linen thread
and with outside cover facing you insert thread into center hole (#1) through pages.
Pull thread through hole #2 (to find this point easily from the inside, first push the needle through the marked spot from the outside to make a hole right thru)
Push needle and thread thru hole #3 and back thru 4 (#2 hole) .. brings you back to outside cover.
Take thread thru hole #5 and back thru hole #6
From outside again, needle thru #7 (hole #5) and finish up on outside thru #8 (hole #1)
Pull thread firmly and tie over the center thread securely. Cut about 5cm (2inches) from knot.

Lesson 1: Making A Simple Notebook
Attaching the sections to a concertina spine

To sew sections onto the spine (which needs to be a bit less height than your book spine wide) and about 40cm (34 inches) long,

fold the spine piece into a concertina length being careful to fold as evenly as possible
make as many folds as you have sections folded
mark the holes to sew on the back side of the spine and hold the sections in place as you sew each one into place
push the valleys out to sew
leave threads tie-off at back for added effect
experiment further with manipulating the paper; cut burn, tear, sew, splash, paint or rip

At this stage you might like to download some extra class notes. They will give you a clearer visual idea of what you are trying to achieve and hopefully add extra inspiration!…

Lesson 2: The Last Step – Making Covers

You will learn about materials as well as methods of making book covers suitable to use for books made in lessons 1 & 2. These will be folded covers, glued covers and wrapped covers. Click to enlarge We will start with simple book covers to use with books made in lessons 1 & 2. Then let your imagination move on to experiment further with manipulating paper – cut, burn, tear, splash, paint, rip and scorch!
Materials and Techniques

heavy cartridge papers,
strong cotton or linen thread,

You can probably think of other odds and ends for use in decorating your covers! Be imaginative!

Cut 2 pieces of heavy card about 1/2cm (1/4 inch) larger all around than book.
Using bookbinder’s glue or a good quality all-purpose glue, spread evenly onto end pieces of your cartridge paper spine.
With plastic between the end pages, fold book into shape and press firmly under a heavy weight (a board and bricks) until glue has dried.
Cover can be decorated with the items listed above or aged as discussed later in this lesson.

Instructions for making fold-around cover with tie fasten

Lay your sewn book section onto a large piece of heavy cartridge paper
Mark about 1/2cm (1/4 inch) above and below the book and tear or cut along this line
Wrap the cover around your book to overlap a bit on the front. Tear or cut this size.
Sew a button/bead or decoration that can be used to wind thread around to the under side of the wrap. making sure it is clear of the foldover.
On the foldover side secure a double thread in line with the button holder.
Wrap thread around button

How about experimenting further with manipulating the paper! Cut, burn, tear, sew, splash, paint or rip!

Have you started using the book you made for class notes and ideas? Here’s another way to change the appearanceof your book. Roughly tear off the edges of the pages and dip the book into shallow wax. A candle melted in a frypan is one way to do this. I love the feel of waxed paper and will often wax a whole page. Looks good with waxed notes!

Lesson 2: The Last Step – Making Covers
Decorating Covers for a Rustic Effect

Treating the books and/or paper

In this section you’ll learn some methods to give your book an individual look – ageing the book. I have included a recipe to age paper for various uses.

If you would like the whole book to look aged, dip the whole thing into the mixture following the recipe. Lay on newspaper to dry, checking often. When the pages are just damp, using your bone folder between the pages, gently separate them. This might have to be done a few times while they are drying, to prevent them sticking together. Follow the same process after rinsing under running water to remove chemicals. It requires a bit of time and effort but is well worth it. Put on your rubber gloves and get ready to have some fun!

The Rusting Recipe

Here’s the basic recipe which is called Rusting and gives the paper a very aged and interesting surface. You can use any paper – I used plain photocopy paper for most but also some nice textured papers and heavier ones.

You’ll need to experiment to get the effects you like best. It works differently on different paper.

It’s a 3 part process so you need 3 trays about 2″ high and bigger than the paper.
You also need a couple of 5 litre (about 1 gallon) plastic containers to store the made-up chemicals.
Always wear rubber gloves as it can be dangerous on your skin.

You’ll need:
Ferrous Sulphate (or may be sold as Iron Sulphate, available in a good garden supply shop)
250grams (8 ozs) in 3 cups of water dissolved in a plastic ice-cream container.
Pour into large container and add water to make up to 5 litres.
Fill one tray about halfway.
Caustic Soda (sold in most supermarkets) – 2 tablespoons gently sprinkled onto water in plastic container than made up to 5L same as above and pour into another tray.
Strong Tea – take 30 – 50 teabags and pour boiling water over in ice-cream container. No need to store this, just pour into labelled tray (make sure the trays are all labelled)
First – dip your paper into the ferrous sulphate, drip the excess off over the tray – a minute or so
then dip the same paper into the caustic soda. Drip that over the tray again
then dip into the tea tray and do the same.
Lay on newspaper to thoroughly dry – maybe overnight or longer.When dry – fill a sink with water and wash the paper (don’t rub it, just make sure it is really wet) – and again leave to dry thoroughly before using.
Read previous notes on keeping the pages of a book separated while drying.
As an added protection against any chemicals rubbing off you can spray the finished paper with a fixative or even lightly with hairspray before using it.
I sometimes add a varnish to book covers with Shellac (from hardware stores)- mix half and half with methylated spirits and lightly paint book or paper with a soft brush.

Lesson 2: The Last Step – Making Covers
A Few Last Words

I hope you find this as exciting a process as I do! You never know exactly what will take place as the chemicals dry and you’ll create some accidental wonders for sure!

We have now completed the final lesson of Creative Bookbinding and you have been challenged with a variety of techniques and papers during this course. We have covered different simnple binding methods and techniques and once you are confident you have mastered these you will be ready to go on to learn more. I am sure you will derive much pleasure from the books you make. Remember to look in this course resource section for different ideas on ways to fill your books.

a. observe.

b. experiment and explore.

c. apply.

Above all enjoy your books!


It Seems the Bookie Brunch is Over

I disovered the Bookie Brunch while writing a post about book hoarding… I mean keeping, for HubPages.

It seems to be about a year since anything new was added to the Bookie Brunch schedule. But, I liked the ideas. I would like to hear the discussions, literary, bookish and readers talking about books too.

Bookie Brunch on YouTube:

Special project, founded by Sasha Soren (‘Random Magic’). Bookie Brunch is a weekly meet-up, held every Sunday, where book bloggers can have a cup of tea and chat about a particular bookie question of interest. Pull up a chair and feel free to join us! Current series from July 2011 through December 2011. Every Sunday. Feel free to drop by and have a cup of tea and enjoy some good company. Will try to collect all Bookie Brunch videos at the channel, to make it easy to find them, and have separate, special playlist just for BB!

Questions from past Bookie Brunches:

Question: Are books better with or without love triangles?
Related topics: Do you root for a particular character in the love triangle? If so, why? What is your favorite literary love triangle?

Question: Do you prefer e-books or print copies of novels, and why?
Related topics to consider: Do you have a specific e-reader that you prefer? Why did you choose that particular e-reader, did you try any others, and what were your experiences with them?

Read moreIt Seems the Bookie Brunch is Over

To Read or Not to Read

Date A Girl Who Reads

I’ve been rather late on this, but a lovely little essay has been making rounds on the Internet, apparently in response to Charles Warnke’s You Should Date An Illiterate Girl. Rosemarie Urquico writes:

You should date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.


You Should Date An Illiterate Girl

Jan. 19, 2011

ByCharles Warnke

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.

Book Drunk

It happens to us once or twice in a lifetime to be drunk with some book which probably has some extraordinary relative power to intoxicate us and none other; and having exhausted that cup of enchantment we go groping in libraries all our years afterwards in the hope of being in Paradise again.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson in a letter to Sam Ward

The Napkin Solution

The Napkin Solution

Lynn Lott

The I Ching card said, “Nothing is happening and you feel frustrated.”so I told myself that it was time for the napkin solution. I went to a restaurant (household napkins don’t work), put my napkin in front of me, and pretended I was planning a workshop on the subject of my book. Before the omelet arrived, I looked at my list of subjects and realized I had accidentally created the table of contents. Now everything I had written had a place to go.

I read this in ‘Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path’ by Lynn Lott and Nancy Pickard.

I’ve done this many times. I stopped using napkins and just bring along my own paper now. You can get a pad of paper at the Dollar Store and write endless notes, ideas and even draw your ideas. It fits into my purse and I have learned to keep a selection of pens (different shades of ink, different thicknesses of line, etc.)