Many years before blogging came about I began keeping a paper journal. I still do. It is a record of my life. I use a Papermate Sharpwriter or a wooden #2 pencil. Seldom do I use a pen. The thought of writing something that I cannot change when I’m brainstorming goes against the grain with me. Though I seldom make corrections of any sort. I’m more comfortable knowing I can.
This morning was #2 wooden pencil day. And when I began the first line the need for sharpening was apparent. That discovery reminded me of my fraternal grandmother. A former school teacher – long before I came on the scene – probably embedded that habit because fountain pens were the norm in those days.
Though I didn’t realize it, she was my literary partner. From the time I ventured out on my own until she was no longer able to communicate, she wrote letters to me, one every other week. And they were always scribed with a #2 pencil that was in need of sharpening. Sometimes she included a poem. Often it was one of her own. Sometimes it was borrowed with the author’s name at the bottom, also in pencil.
She was always at the ready. Once I asked a question concerning English usage. She answered my question in detail. A few weeks later a well-thumbed copy of the Associated Press Stylebook arrived in my mailbox.
The last letter I recall receiving from her arrived about 51 years ago. I still miss them.