Pens and pencils – are they completely defunct tools for a writer? I use a computer and netbook (although I’ve yet to get a multimedia phone) but I have to say, I’m still a little old school. Editing on the computer is almost impossible or me. I try to make the font and margins really small so I use less paper, but I NEED the paper.

I use a pencil to edit. One that needs sharpening. It just feels right in my hand, in a way that a mechanical pencil never does. Is that an echo of the uncomplicated life in kindergarten? Maybe. Probably. I may… er… have a large collection of sparkly pencils.

Pens I’ll use for writing longhand. I don’t write longhand very often (I’m not truly a dinosaur or a luddite) but there’s times when you gotta write even if using the darling netbook is impractical. Like when I’m flying. Invariably, I sit behind someone who needs to recline their seat. Which I’ve never understood. Do those two or three inches of “reclining” make any improvement at all? All it does is make it impossible to set up a computer on those itty, bitty table trays.

So, I write longhand on planes. Fortunately, my handwriting is sufficiently hieroglyphic-like that my seat mates are unlikely to determine what I’m writing about. It takes twice as long, because I also have to transcribe what I wrote. And sometimes I can’t even read what I wrote. 🙂

This weekend though, we went to a wedding in Detroit. On the way home, not only did no one sit in front of me, hubby and I got the row to ourselves, so I made him move over one. I got to use TWO table trays – and I transcribed the stuff I wrote longhand on the plane on the way to the wedding. Awesome.

I’ve thought about getting a digital voice recorder, but I can’t imagine too many situations where I could actually discuss aloud options for stories. Probably I’ll just stick with pen and pencil. And my netbook, of course. It’s worked so far.