Are you old school or modern techie?

Technology is great isn’t it? You may agree or disagree but I absolutely love it.

I use my smartphone all the time to search the Internet, answer emails, update my calendar, check my mum’s OK, take pictures, post on social media, Whatsapp my friends, check the news, identify the stars I see in the sky… the benefits seem endless to me. My phone is always with me. Don’t get me wrong, I do not constantly look at it but it is not only a portable office, it’s a portable entertainment system too.

My main computer is like an old friend (it’s around 10 years old now) and I greet it each morning with affection. I love to work on it, and play… I write, do admin, watch movies, research and update my blog, edit pictures and create notebooks. I carry it out to my balcony on finer days so I can enjoy the weather as I work. I’d be lost without it.

Then there’s Alexa, always ready to play my favourite tunes. What’s not to like!

Yep, I am a 21st century girl, loving all the apps, the ability to connect with people all over the world and to constantly learn not only from home but wherever I go.

So why do I love to use notebooks? Well, I suppose it’s that old school thing, like when people don’t only stream music, they buy vinyl records or they don’t simply read their books via Kindle, they also like to thumb a good paperback. I also love to ride my bike even though I like to drive my car too.

Variety is the spice of life but there is more to it than that…

When I pick up my notebook it feels like a comfort blanket. There is still that sense that technology can let you down whereas a notebook can’t. Unless you spill tea over it or accidentally set it on fire or leave it somewhere, it’s there for you. Also, I love to see my handwriting, it doesn’t often get used these days other than to write birthday cards or notes to my boyfriend. It’s very noticeable when I don’t use my handwriting for some time, it gets scrawly as if I’ve forgotten how to hold a pen. I like to think of people years from now, coming across my notebooks and trying to decipher what exactly my life was about. I think of them as potentially historical documents (not necessarily all that important but they may be of interest to social scientists one day…) at least I like to think so.

I used to use different notebooks for different subjects but I’ve stopped doing that now. Quite frankly it got confusing. A fellow Gemini friend had the same problem while she was doing her MBA and was advised to stick to one notebook. I mention our star sign as I think it is in our characters to be easily distracted and have too much on the go at one time. |t’s good advice. I don’t spend time now trying to find the right notebook. Anything personal, business or writing related all goes into one and it’s much easier to find what I need that way. Others might disagree and if you prefer to have different notebooks for different purposes then that’s your prerogative, do whatever works for you!

I started to design and create my own collection of notebooks earlier this year and it has become a passion for me now. A nice tactile notebook is a real pleasure to use and I’m determined to create notebooks that writers will love to use. There is nothing more encouraging to write than having a trusty and attractive notebook by your side. It’s a great place to jot down those brilliant ideas that come into your head at 2am…When I started designing my own, it really made me think about what I use them for. As much as I love a simple lined notebook, I decided that shaded lines look good too and are pleasing to the eye. As I’m a photographer it was a no brainer to add my images to the covers and I created a square notebook with pictures of seals on each page as I love the character in their poses. So now when I write my notes, whenever I open up my notebook I see a cheeky seal which makes me smile.

Inspirational quotes are always useful too. I regularly use them as a pick me up when things don’t feel like they are going my way. It’s comforting to read the words of the great and the good to help me on my way. Recently I designed three notebooks with the titles ‘Be a star in whatever you do.’ There are three colours to choose from and inside you will find star quotes from authors and philosophers. Again, this helps with writerly and life inspiration. They have shaded lines inside. Subscribe to my website and you could be in with a chance of winning one of these notebooks. Read more about it here.

I have also created a specific collection of notebooks aimed purely at authors with titles such as ‘Novel ideas,’ ‘Writer with Attitude’ and ‘When inspiration strikes…’ I want authors to have notebooks that are especially for them as they feel like my tribe. I love to think of all those stories that will be created in my notebooks, some may even become famous, that’s a really special feeling!

At some point soon I will write a blog post about famous authors and their notebooks so look out for that.

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Sometimes I leave my balcony office and get out on the water, I’m lucky enough to live by the River Wensum in Norwich. A day out canoeing takes all the stresses away. Please feel free to comment on this post, it’s good to communicate!

Come follow me on Twitter @LifeMyriad – don’t be shy, come say hi. I also write books as Petra Kidd – I know you are going to want to read…

The Isolation Sex Stories…

Author: Petra Kidd

Norfolk UK is my home, I live in Norwich by the River Wensum where everyday there is something different to see and learn. I feel a big affinity with the river as I grew up in Cambridge, another great river city. My childhood and teens involved many walks along the Cam where we would watch 'The Bumps,' raft races and as we grew older we enjoyed adventures on our punting pub crawls. Growing up in a multi cultural university city definitely influenced my reading choices, I am a big fan of Japanese fiction, love French literature and enjoy Shakespeare. As a young teen I entertained myself with Jilly Cooper and Dick Francis and then became quite obsessed with Henri Charriere's Papillon. At school all I cared about was English, Art and French, in that exact order. When I finished with school I went to live and work in Greece for a wonderful year before returning to study English Literature and Sociology. At this point I read more classics like the Wyf of Bath, Wuthering Heights and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man plus poets such as Wilfred Owen. My first UK full time job was with Heffer's Paperbacks where I devoured several books at a time, excited by the fact I could borrow what I liked. Bizarrely for me I remember reading The Zurich Axioms, I have no interest in the stock markets but it had me gripped. I can't remember why I picked it up but I have never forgotten it. Heffers introduced me to so many authors, via their books and sometimes in person. It was here I learned about all the genres, it fascinated me that science fiction and horror were so popular, I tried reading it all. Aside from writing letters, it didn't really ever occur to me to write anything myself for many years as I worked my way through a variety of interesting and varied jobs. Then on a visit to the London Aquarium I became struck by an idea so powerful I sat down and wrote my first novel. It went nowhere as really I wrote it because I wanted to. I wrote another novel and again, didn't have the persistance or determination to take it further, I simply enjoyed the process of writing and my characters. Then years later another idea struck me and during a severe bout of Pleurisy where I couldn't do anything physical for months, I wrote the Eight of Swords and The Putsi. This time I published them as ebooks and they became pretty popular. When I fully recovered, I had to concentrate on my business and looking after my mother who has various health issues and the writing went adrift again for many years until 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world. March 2020 I moved to my apartment alongside the Wensum to live alone for the first time ever. During the first lockdown I began to write a diary and then the idea for a new set of short stories came to me and in February 2021 they will be published. The Covid-19 Pandemic is not simply a scary virus, it is a historical time and here we are trying to live through it. To many it will feel like a punishment but to me as a writer, in some ways, it came as a gift. Please stay as safe and as well as you can. I hope to entertain you with my stories as we all try to get through this together, even though we are apart. Petra

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