The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you probably know that I love office supplies. Like a dog loves walkies. Like a hummingbird loves that red sticky stuff in the feeders. Yeah.

Well, it’s that time of year again. Better than Christmas. The time when the department stores put their office supplies on sale. They think it’s for kids going back to school. Actually it’s for me.

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Since perhaps I went a little overboard last year, this year’s haul of office supplies was a bit more modest. I’m especially excited about having a new planner. My current one ends this weekend, and I feel what’s probably an undue amount of panic at the idea of not having any white squares in which to write my life schedule. I’m also quite excited about a new pack of Flair pens. Besides being great for book signing, they carry a weight of nostalgia for me. My grandmother loved these pens. I remember reading a birthday card written in that thick, bold Flair script every year as I was growing up. Oh! And a 750-sheet pack of printer paper. Because, you know, printouts of my new novel…

But I dare you to figure out how a hole punch and a pack of binder rings helps me teach vocabulary.

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This sign was my unexpected happy find. Now it’s hanging on my wall. It was probably intended for teachers setting up their classrooms. But I think it’s just a good guide to using words in general. And I like words.

What’s your favorite school/office supply? 

Office Supply Love

After books, some of my favorite things are office supplies. As a self-employed writer/speaker/editor/tutor, not only do I need these tools for my trade(s), but they also make me really happy.

Like really, really happy. Probably way happier than a normal person should be about lots of paper, plastic, and ink. But normal is overrated.

Because smoothing the pages of a blank planner, cracking the plastic on a new box of post-it notes, opening a fresh dry-erase marker–these are the signs of new beginnings, like daffodils in a California January. With this new batch of tools, who knows what new starts I could make this year?

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I’m serious about my office supply shopping. I wait for back-to-school sales, compare bargains, then stock up for the whole year. This year my brother and I even made a date of it. He deserves a medal for waiting with great patience as I stood waffling in the notebook aisle.

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The best part of office supply shopping, obviously, is choosing pens. Though it’s also the hardest. Good pens are like good friends–with you through thick and thin. Nothing irritates me like a pen that gives up in the middle of a battle scene or that writes inconsistent sentences.

My new love is the Sharpie pen, which I discovered when I started signing books last December. It’s a fine-point, felt-tip pen with an absolutely consistent ink flow, just like a regular Sharpie. But unlike a regular Sharpie, it doesn’t bleed through paper. I meant to keep my supply specially for book signings, but found myself reaching for them all the time. So now I have them in 6 colors.

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My new love.

I feel like a dragon in a treasure cave. Happy day.