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I have a pretty thing. 
16th-Nov-2008 05:03 pm
shiny, thing

Originally uploaded by innerbrat
This beautiful thing was a present from Bing waiting for me when I arrived in Boston. She said she thought I might have a better idea of what to do with it than her, and I love it, but I still don't really know what to do with it.

The details:
It's a gorgeous thick notebook, measuring abou 12x15x1 cm, covered in satin and fronted with a mosaic of worked wooden tiles, with a leather bookmark. The pages are thin and porous, from a paper that could easily be handmade.

Because of how tight the pages are bound, it is distinctly not suitable for using as a scrap book. I haven't tried any pens on it, but I'd say that it probably absorbs ink pretty fully as well.

The Problem
I could sit down and fill the book with my own writing, but I tend not to be very creative with pretty books; I write better on crappy lined paper so my imagination can fill things up. Or rather, I write much better in a word processor. Pretty things intimidate me for just the reason that inspires the post: I want to turn the book into a keepsake and I do not want to fuck it up.

The idea
So one thing I could do is get people to fill it up for me, organising a round robin arrangement. I get a list of volunteers and post it to the first person on the list. That person picks a page, writes me a letter, copies out their favourite poem, gives me advice, draws me a doodle, presses a flower, or does something else as a present for me, and then passes it on to the next person, as organised by email (obviously no giving out addresses without persmission being shared)

When the book is full, it is returned to me and I have a book full of beautiful things.

This is of course, a huge thing and I have a horrible feeling it might go seriously wrong and I'll never see the book again, but I think it's worth the risk, unless someone comes up with a better idea.


And in case you were interested, here are the ten posts I submitted for the Orwell Prize:
I don't think Little Good Girls Should | The F-Word | Bananas for Boys | I understand the Electoral College Better Than the House of Commons | This is my brain on ADD | On Intelligent Design | Part of the reason I'm Pro-Choice is the Fear I don't have one myself | Political Inactivity | Last Post on Rape! (this week) | "Moral Conundra" - Rape and Bread
16th-Nov-2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
I think that is an awesometastic idea.
16th-Nov-2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
As long as some idiot doesn't sit on it for over a year without passing it on >_>
16th-Nov-2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
But Who Would Do Such A Thing?

16th-Nov-2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way about new sketchbooks / paper journals; give me something cheap and plain-looking, otherwise I'm going to be too scared of messing it up to put anything good in it.
16th-Nov-2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
I'm up for it- but I'd rather pass it on to someone in the UK because of shipping costs.
(Deleted comment)
16th-Nov-2008 05:15 pm (UTC)

I thiiink I can become a nagger and email people to remind them. And then get pissy when constant reminders don't work. Maybe.

Edited at 2008-11-16 17:15 (UTC)
16th-Nov-2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
Oh man -- I'd be up for it, but I would be one of those people who forgets to do anything with it/mail it on for a couple months. :(

I would do a page at a Britcon, though?
16th-Nov-2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
I approve of doing stuff at Britcon!
(Deleted comment)
16th-Nov-2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm sure there could be something. Maybe you could get a friend to transcribe for you?
16th-Nov-2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
So instead of facing the fear of fucking it up yourself you're passing that fear onto us? Charming... ;op

I'd be so horribly scared of even putting pen/flower/pressed lizard to paper!

That said, it's still a lovely idea though.
16th-Nov-2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Part of fucking it up includes not having enough to fill the thing up. So many people might help!

'Sides, I'm sure you can manage not to fuck up writing out a poem you like.
16th-Nov-2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Hello, have we met?
16th-Nov-2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
Yay, Orwell submission!

I think it's a great idea, though, yeah, making sure it doesn't get stuck along the way could be tricky.
16th-Nov-2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
The note book is gorgeous and it is a great idea. I suspect that the tiles are actually made of bone. They look very similar in design, texture and colour to many of the bone beads that I own. There are some examples here for comparison http://www.beadsworldwide.com/bone.html
16th-Nov-2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
I thought it could be bone: it was a toss up. The inside is certainly white, and the texture is about right. Thanks.
16th-Nov-2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
Yep, I figured that you'd be able to identify bone *g*
I picked up some knitting again last week - I'd forgotten how soothing it is.
16th-Nov-2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
The thing I'm knitting now - a soft loose garter stitch scarf I'm doing sideways (mentioned it to you, didn't I?) is really soothing, because it's soft and the stiches are easy and I don't have to count above 10. Hooray for easy projects!
16th-Nov-2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Great idea; I am in on it!
16th-Nov-2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
I'd love to participate, and I think it's a lovely idea for a lovely notebook.

And I approve of your selected posts, especially the science ones of course. That's what I was going to suggest, but then I got distracted.
(Deleted comment)
16th-Nov-2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, I second that: get it sent to him, and I will send it on. :) I might even be in the lounge when he gives it to me, saves the trauma of him having to transport it at all.
16th-Nov-2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
I think this is an awesome idea and I would love to participate.
16th-Nov-2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
I always always have a pretty notebook in my living room, and it comes out when I have a few friends round to have a couple of pages filled.. sometimes we do communal drawings, that flow all over the page. Sometimes someone will feel inspired to write something or draw something by themselves. Sometimes something funny or beautiful happens and it is just recorded there.
16th-Nov-2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
That's a marvellous idea! And I'd love to participate, definitely. ^_^
16th-Nov-2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
The round robin thing sounds super-fun!
16th-Nov-2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
I do love those types of round-robin things- so, if you're up to shipping it across the world, do add my name to the list!

And I just finished going through most of the posts you have linked here. I wish I could communicate my thoughts and feelings on issues as well as you have. <3
16th-Nov-2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
I love the idea but I worry about it getting lost or not sent on too. ;_; No way to do it locally? Or take it places with you and get people on your adventures to fill it out instead?
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