A writer doesn’t have that many tools. There are computers, pens, paper, vodka, file folders, cake and productivity apps. But my very favorite thing is old school. Like, Jurassic Era old school if you ask my teenagers. Of course, they think yesterday’s banana is old…
I love pencils. Really, really adore pencils with a love that possibly borders on obsession. From the moment I strapped on that horse leg-sized pencil in kindergarten, I was hooked.
Graduating to regular Ticonderogas in 1st grade was huge. And the Pink Pet eraser. I loved that eraser. Teachers are psychic! How did they know I’d wear my pencil eraser down so quickly? I don’t like those little pointy erasers you stick on the end of the pencil. That’s just madness.
Eventually I graduated to mechanical pencils. But the attraction didn’t last long because the lead would break and was impossible to reload (I believe a conspiracy is responsible). And those erasers are microscopically tiny. Mechanical pencils didn’t hold the same allure.
These days, I use plain old wood no. 2’s. Holding it, chewing on it, making the rubber pencil illusion, being able to erase mistakes, all of those things add to the pencil’s irresistible charm. It’s the only thing I use in my planner (yes, I’m old school and still use a paper planner – how very 19th Century, you say), my password notebook, knitting patterns and of course, crossword puzzles. I do not possess the confidence it takes to do a crossword puzzle in pen.
Is there anything more satisfying than sharpening a dull pencil? I even have an old timey mounted wall sharpener in the basement. When I turn the handle, it sounds like the house is being swallowed by a garbage disposal.
The pencil still my favorite tool – sitting on my nightstand with a pad of paper, in my purse with a notepad – always ready when I need it. Yes, I know there are functions on my iPhone that will do the same thing, but that’s blasphemy if you ask me.
Because there’s nothing like a pencil.
Leslie Langtry is the USA Today Bestselling Author of 3 cozy comedy series and lives in Illinois with her husband, two kids, and an assortment of pets and many, many pencils. Find out more at www.LeslieLangtry.com