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InkNovember 18, 2003

The morning pages tricked me. It was weird. Why am I surprised? This time around (I’ve been doing them off and on for about seven years) I was using a Pentel roller ball, extra fine. I was proud of myself that I was using a two dollar pen – not getting suckered into the habit I always had of using a fountain pen. Pretentious, I scoffed.

(Not just any fountain pen, but a gorgeous Lady Patrician, seventy years old, that a dear friend gave me.)

This morning? The pages ate three Pentels. All purchased at different times, the morning pages just ate them up and their lives sputtered out. I threw a little tantrum. I have no idea why I was digging my heels in at the thought of using the fountain pen again – maybe I didn’t want to honor the pages that way? Too much commitment? Just being stubborn? But finally I ran out of pens and had to dig the bottle of purple Pelican ink out from the depths of the drawer and I filled the little beauty (the bladder doesn’t work, so filling it just consists of giving her a good dip).

I wrote. And OH! the difference. My hand flew. Of course, flying, you can’t read any of the words. But I ain’t writing the pages for posterity, just for therapy. There’s never been a reason to reread any of them. Lord, if I did, I’d fall asleep. Most of them are pretty heavy with erudite phrases like: Damn, I’m hungry. I have no food in the house. I have to do laundry. What was I going to get at Target again?

But they look better in purple ink, I’ll tell you that. The Lady Patrician is back.

Can I just tell you that there’s a new phenomenon on digital cable television in the Bay Area? Do you have it where you are? They’ve always had those miles of crap radio channels – you know the ones – hip-hop or house or jazz or classical, all songs, all the time, no commercials. And there’s never been one good channel. But we have this new one, lamely titled the Americana channel, and it is amazing. Right now Lyle Lovett is singing – since I sat down this morning, I’ve heard Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Tim O’Brien, Nickel Creek and Steve Earle.... They play the old stuff and the new stuff, the Waifs right next to June Carter Cash – and they display the name of the song and the name of the album. It’s incredible. I’ve given up any thought I had of cancelling my cable. This makes it worth it. This and HBO.

It’s my weekend! Hope it feels that way for you, too!


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Rach, I have purple ink in my vintage Parker too! And I've been listening to 504 on the cable radio since I upgraded to digital -- that's the number for Americana on ours. It absolutely rocks. I just wish I could connect it to more than the one TV in my bedroom.

Ooh, they didn't have the Americana channel when I had cable. Sounds heavenly!

(and I'm sending you a very important email. ;) )

But before that, I should say that I really liked what you have to say about the importance of pens. I totally agree.

Oh, and I couldn't tell if you were in on the leg warmer knitalong or not. How about you start yours when I start the wave/shell shawl? hee.

Funny how a particular pen makes writing soooo much more enjoyable. Know the feeling, have my own certain pen of pleasure.. Too cool on the baby sweater!! What a great feeling it must be :)

Oh, I know how you feel about pens. Which pen I use for any given task makes such a difference.

So maybe I'm missing something obvious, or I'm just not enough of a writer, but what exactly are these Morning Pages you're always talking about?

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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