When I was a kid, my favorite trinket was a pad and pencil. I had an uncle who used to remember that and bring me some every time we saw each other. To this day I have more notebooks than I can count: notepads with realtors smiling from them, moleskins, journals with pretty covers, sketchbooks, watercolor pads, high end drawing paper, law pads, spiral notebooks, sticky notes, reams of printer paper and stacks of 3x5 notecards. I still have a hard time not buying more, especially since my daughter now shares my affliction.

Why the love affair with new notebooks? I suppose they represent opportunity to me. Some people are intimidated by starting, by a blank page. I've yet to be anything less than thrilled by one. Not that I've never dried up--I took a two decade hiatus from writing, after all. But now I can't imagine my life without a succession of blank pages to fill. Once I've filled the last one, I might as well lay down and die.

Now, if I could just fill the bank account as easily as I fill those pages...

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