Making story out of tree…

In my day to day life, when I am not pushing my favorite books and DVDs at you all, I am a fiction writer. I’ve had over thirty short stories published, and my first book, Indigo Springs, came out in 2009.

Indigo Springs is sometimes called ecofantasy, which means that between outbursts of mystical energy, its characters spend a bit of time worrying about things like whether the magical apocalypse will affect climate change… and if so, might that not be a good thing? I didn’t invent the genre, by any stretch: Derryl Murphy writes ecofantasy too, as does Jessica Reisman. M.K. Hobson’s shiny new romp The Native Star, has some kick-ass ecofantastic elements.

Anyway, this thread of storytelling, for me, arises from the fact that I am interested in dull real life concerns like reducing my carbon footprint and practicing ecoconsumerism.

A lot of my draft writing happens the old-fashioned way: pen on paper. I kill trees to make stories. And–like a lot of writers–I have something of a weakness for good office supplies. Finding the right notebook, to me, is like looking for the Holy Grail. I’ve tried everything from 39 cent elementary school exercise books to Moleskine, but the closest I’ve come to the Green Grail, so far, may be the Ecojot notebook.

Ecojot notebooks are made from 100% post consumer paper. It’s smooth, clean, and writeable–we’re not talking scratchy brown virtuous hemp here. There’s a range of journals, but the ones I favor have lined paper and pretty covers. They’re coil bound, so that if I write something truly dumb, I can rip out the page with a satisfying shred noise and move on. They are hardy enough to slam about in my backpack.

When you buy an Ecojot notebook, they donate a second workbook to a child in need. What’s not to love about that?

One’s choice of journal is highly individual, I know. Paperblank makes lovely books, but they’re too nice for me: they seem entirely too fine to defile with scribbles. And I’m prolific: if I hoard every single rough draft because the journals have uber-nice covers, sooner or later I’ll have to rent a truck to shift them all when I move house. My big beef with Moleskine is that only the back sixteen pages of each notebook are tear-outs. (Dudes! Green up, perforate all the pages and my heart is yours!)

If you, like me, have been questing for the perfect notebook and you haven’t tried the Ecojots yet, maybe it’s time. Take one for a test drive, know that you’re getting some schoolkid a book too, and let me know what you think.

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Alyx Dellamonica lives in Vancouver, B.C. and makes her living writing science fiction and fantasy. Her first novel, Indigo Springs was released in 2009 to rave reviews. She also reviews books and teaches writing online at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

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4 Responses to “Making story out of tree…”

  1. kormantic says:

    If a kid gets one when I do, I kind of almost have have to buy one now.

  2. matt says:

    I have a couple of fancy journals that I’ve received as gifts over the years, but they sit unused because somehow it feels like I’d be defacing them by jotting down random scribbles (plus, like, if I make a doodle and absolutely hate it, am I supposed to keep it forever?) Tear-out journal pages are seriously a great idea.

    • alyx says:

      And at the end of it all you have a little dessicated skeleton of a notebook, and you feel like you really used that puppy goood.

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