Writing Tackle

If you are reading this, you are have a high probability of being a writer or aspiring writer. So I think this subject is near and dear to many people here.

For artists or for writers, a small pocket sized notebook can be a real best friend. Author Robert Michael Pyle (known as “Butterfly Bob” to his friends) says that he is never without his “writing tackle.” He’s a real character. He’s an outdoorsman, scientist, folklorist, and grandfatherly eccentric. His writing tackle consists of a nice leather bound notebook, a refillable fountain pen, and an ink bottle. He carries them everywhere, so he’s always ready for when inspiration strikes. When I saw him at a book signing, there he was, filling his pen from the ink bottle.

What kind of “writing tackle” or “drawing tackle” would you like to carry? Is there a set of writing tools that would make you feel more creative, or possibly give you incentive to write more often? Would you use your smartphone? A tablet computer? A batterd spiral notebook? A nice hardback sketch diary? Backs of envelopes? Napkins and borrowed crayons? Do you think that inspiration might strike more often if you took notes more often? One thing is for certain, carrying a little notebook helps you remember whatever ideas you do have, so you don’t lose them.

I have different levels of “writing tackle” and “drawing tackle.” I try not to go anywhere without at least a pen and a few scraps of paper. I have a small lined notebook that fits in my pocket along with a writing pen or two. For drawing I have a tiny sketchbook, maybe the size of a stack of index cards, that I use along with three technical pens and a mechanical pencil. That’s pretty easy to pack. I also have a bigger sketchbook with a long rectangular tin that holds several woodless graphite pencils and a kneaded eraser. If I really want to go all out, I can take my wooden sketchbox easel… with an even bigger sketch book, and room for ALL my pencils and pens!

Whether you call it Writing tackle, your emergency creativity kit, or portable memory, be prepared!

Writing Tackle: Sealing Wax


Sometimes I have fun writing letters. At my best, I had a box full of interesting paper, stickers, cool pens, and even a bronze seal with a stick of sealing wax to use it with. I need to make another one of those, because they are fun!

Sealing wax is neat stuff. It’s more pliable than candle wax, which will just break. You light the little wax “candle” and drip a blob onto your paper, or whatever you want to seal shut. As the wax is still soft, then you stamp it with your seal, which can even be a signet ring. I really wish I’d done a better job making my signet ring in college, I may have to make a stamp from Sculpey clay to replace it.

Of course, seals were often used by kings and nobles in medieval times onward, and are still occasionally used on official documents. It’s a fun way to lend an aura of regality to a letter or note. You can get seals and sealing wax at stationery stores, in all different colors. Look for something that looks like a small square candle, like this: