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Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Love Back To School Sales!

I love Back to School Sales!
Delilah K. Stephans

It’s a weird thing to love, but as a writer it’s like the sale of the century! Every store you go to has notebooks, pens, pencils, notepads, planners, and other goodies on sale. It’s better than Christmas to me as a writer.

Today I picked up two spiral bound Trapper notebooks for a dollar! I think I need to go get about a dozen more at that price. Why? Well, first on the outside they have a place for name and subject – so I read that as Title of Book and Genre. Then they’re a notebook with 70 sheets of paper for notes. Then there is that nifty little pocket. I can put notes for each story on the pages. Things like a rough of a scene, snippets of dialogue, a list of characters, and an outline. I can make research notes in them. The pocket is great for holding printouts of maps, drawings, pictures or anything else. One a book is good. Just wish I’d found them earlier!

Notepads are wonderful little things to keep in a pocket or your purse for those burst of inspiration that come when you’re out and about. If you can afford it a mini-recorder is great for using in the car. Planners – if you have a book that spans months assign one planner to the book and use it to schedule your big plot points.

Other little nifty things – Dictionaries and Thesauruses – these are must haves for any writer. You can even find them bundled together. Pens, does anyone ever have enough of them? Glue sticks. Weird item for an author to get excited about, I know.

Computers are also on sale. Now some writers swear by pen and paper, I’m not one of them. I tend to think faster than my poor hand can write, that translates to missed sentences. With a computer, I still think faster than I type sometimes, but now it’s just a few words. A good word processing program is invaluable to an author – spell check, grammar check, and the ease of adding or removing sections. It also connects you to other writers. My writing buddy, Antonia Tiranth, and I have never met in person but neither of us could do without the guidance, advice and support of the other. I’ve made friends with writers that I admired before I started writing – Alexis Morgan and Bonnie Edwards.

Corkboards and whiteboards are on sale. In fact on my corkboard above my computer where I can see it frequently is a little sticker from Alexis – it says “I’m so proud of your success!” That along with the photocopy of my first royalty check are what pull me through the day sometimes. In addition is a Clariol hair color chart, a map for a story in progress, a calendar where I keep my deadlines, and the doctor’s appointment cards, signed book cover flats from my favorite authors, and post it notes hanging off the bottom rail filled with quickly jotted notes.

Yeah, Back to School is better than Christmas! Next weekend is tax free weekend here, wonder if hubby will notice the dent in the checking account balance?

I've got a little gift for one commenter. So ask any question you have.


Sarah's Story, Delilah's first book is available at Red Rose Publishing.


Pat McDermott said...

Delilah, your back-to-school shopping adventures sound like great fun! Lots of good ideas here, and easy on the budget. Thanks for an entertaining post.

K.T. Bishop said...

I hate this time of year, especially back to school. I usually end up with a huge bill....

nightsmusic said...

I am a pen freak. Someday, in the 25th century, when they unearth my home, they're going to find thousands of pens.


I even have a pen in the bathroom. Oh, I have a notepad too, I'm not that kinky ;)

I do keep a couple dry erase markers in the bathroom though. I write things that I need for the bathroom, toilet paper, hair spray, on the mirror and on Friday's, I add that to my list.

I know, TMI. :p

But I think I'm like you. I could spend hours in an office supply store during their back-to-school sales. Weird, I know...

Isabel Roman said...

Ooh, good ideas! I never considered back-to-school shopping as continuing-my-writing shopping. But I can see how it'd work, and you really can't beat those prices lol

Alexis Morgan said...

For me, it's those bundles of spiral notebooks, dirt cheap at the school sales and just waiting for me to start scribbling possible first lines, character descriptions, notes, and story possibilites.
Well, and pens. Post-its in new colors. And three-ring binders because that's what I keep my manuscripts in. My poor non-writing friends have adjusted to me squealing with joy when I spot a new color of notebook that I don't own. I even have them trained to keep an eye out for my favorite pens--EnerGel by Pentel with violet ink.

Great topic--


nightsmusic said...

Alexis, as much as I love the energels and use them, I find myself going back to the RSVP fine points all the time. Not sure why. I think if they made a 3mm needle point tip in the energel line, I'd be in nirvanna though.

Antonia said...

I definitely agree with you! I too get excited when I walk in and see that back to school sign. I always end up getting more than I need lol

Delilah K. Stephans said...

Wow! It's nice to know I'm not the only one who finds Back to School so much fun!

Now I have to find those energel pens!

Unknown said...

I do have a Question! Did you start out shopping for kids but detoured for writing needs!? I have no kids at home and it is a rare day for me to go out to shop...except to the bookstores! *BG*

Caron said...

Mmmm, pens & markers, post-its! I also love kitchy note pads! FUN! Not quite drool worthy, but definitely fun! ;-)

EnerGel by Pentel? Gotta check it out!

Great post, Delilah!

Delilah K. Stephans said...

Martha, nope... no kids can't have them. I've just always liked getting a stack of notebooks during the sales - now I have an excuse!

Clare Revell said...

My desk is covered with notebooks and pencils. I treid pen, but since i discovered propelling pencils which come in pretty colours with erasers on the end I buy them by the dozen. For some reason my writing is neater in pencil than in pen.