I write with a pencil. Et toi?

I love the feel of a B pencil, its perfect frictiony alliance with a yellow pad, its luxurious silver trail, coloured like a snail-trail but entirely without the cloying slimey slippery movement of the pen, especially the pen so popular these days, the roller ball, which I hate.

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4 thoughts on “I write with a pencil. Et toi?

  1. Can’t stand regular pencils — mechanical ones, but not with too fine a tip. And only for writing marginal comments on student papers. Otherwise, it’s all about the roller balls or — better yet — a fountain pen. I can’t stand ballpoints: I press too hard, and then my hand hurts.

  2. Well now I am a *huge* fan of the fountain pen, but I cannot understand your association of the marvelous fp with the roller ball–inexplicable!!–since one lives off friction and the other does its best to eliminate it. (Enough said of the common or garden biro, this need not be a subject here, as it couldn’t have been a contender in any venue.)

    As to pencils, I love them all (except when the leads are too hard): mechanical, bein sur! and low-tech with a sharpener ready to hand (as Heidegger would no doubt have said, if he’d thought if it) and an ash tray ready to receive the leavings. Moving round and round in the hole or changing leads are the gestures that accompany languid movements of thought.

  3. I too love writing with pencil. But never on that yellow lined paper–yecht! (I like white, whether or not it’s been used on the other side). Someone was amazed once to see about twenty wood pencils, upright in a container in my studio, all with the points perfectly sharp, as though this were some huge feat. I pointed out that I had effectively cheated by using an electric pencil sharpener but he was undeterred. Sharpened pencils at the ready help to sharpen the mind. Another time, a woman seemingly set on finding fault with me, on seeing that the eraser on my still long wood pencil was nearly all used up, commented that I must make lots of mistakes. Caught off guard by this I wasn’t able to explain that making changes and adjustments doesn’t necessarily indicate that mistakes have occurred, but could just be a valid part of an ongoing process.

  4. White paper is nice too, but just to clarify: my yellow is not newsprint.

    The woman you describe was joking maybe? or scrambling to make conversation? If neither, we will have to have her killed.

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