"What's that you say?"
"You're kidding. Right?"
Eye rolls. Head shakes.
These are reactions I get when I say I write my first drafts in longhand. What can I say? I'm addicted to pen and ink. I love watching words appear on the lines. Thanks to years in penmanship class doing ovals and push-pulls my handwriting is somewhat legible. Ah yeas. Penmanship. They obviously don't teach that one anymore. I mean, we even got a grade in it.
One can often find me skulking along the aisles of Office Depot. I hang out there a lot. Journals of all kinds cause my heart to beat faster. Bound ones. Spiral ones. I have quite a collection. Those black and white marbled composition books, college-ruled, of course, are special favorites for me. Also, an assortment of legal pads - letter and long. I also go down to Books a Million to see what they have on sale in the journal section.
What do I use to put my immortal words on paper? The pen of choice is the Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball, Extra Fine, in assorted colors - black, blue, green, purple, and red. All of these I purchase by the box.
The advantages of longhand are many. A tablet and a pen weigh hardly anything. I can take it anywhere. No worrying about plug-ins for the laptop. No worrying about dying batteries. I can write anywhere - even in the bathtub. Try that with a computer and you could wind up dead. If I get tired of writing I can start doodling. All over the tablet if I so desire. Can't do that on the screen. Last, but by no means least, I can't quit in the middle of a gut-wrenching scene for a quickie game of Solitaire. Email will just have to wait.
The only disadvantage for me: I have a tendency to daydream while writing. But what's wrong with that? The world needs more dreamers.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Did I write this in longhand? Do I want "Wild Justice" to make the New York Times best seller list? What do you think?
Linda Todd is a retired librarian who is taking advantage of her free time to write. A short story, "Waylon's Trophy," appeared in Nicholls State University Jubilee Anthology in 2005. She won first place in the Bayou Writers Members Fiction Contest and honorable mention for poetry in the same contest. She is currently working on a novel as well as short stories and poetry, some of which are out in contests.