The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, April 04, 2008

Printer Paper

By Antonios Maltezos

Somewhere buried in the massive archives of the CWC, I’d mentioned completing my novel by X-mas 2007. I failed miserably. That’s my update on that. No struggles to report. I had two reams of printer paper in the cabinet under the Canon, and I allowed my youngest to use it all up drawing monkeys and fish. “Look daddy! I wrote my name!” That’s why all the monkeys and fish, so she could practice signing her name. We went to our local Staples (they’re everywhere, aren’t they?) for more paper this week. “Where we going, daddy,” she asked. “To the store that sells paper,” I said. Her eyes lit up. For years, it was my eyes lighting up, as if the blindingly white sheets of paper had been pressed from a pulpy mixture of two parts water, one part star dust, not dead trees. And I say failed miserably because it wasn’t a fight to the death type of situation. I simply ignored the couple months of work I’d put into re-igniting the flame beneath my book. I walked away, the flame, inevitably, catching as in a roaring fire, my so-called book well… up in flames.

Btw, I re-stocked the printer paper because my eldest was running through the house the other night, looking through the various piles of monkey/fish drawings scattered about, for any unused sheets of paper. I felt bad; the assignment she handed in the next day had the appearance of having been tossed, as in a salad. I certainly didn’t buy the paper because I was considering getting back to the novel, and my Journal of a Wannabe Novelist posts here at the ole CWC, though I did have visions picking up the bricks of paper that seemed very natural and thoughtless, of a time when I’d print as a measure of utmost security, print as in preparing a document for the ages. Here, read this, mom. Tell me what you think. In a state of self-kidding so powerful I had the people around me eager and willing to sip some of the kool-aid with me -- I’d print, the individual sheets laid down across a couple strands so delicate, that flimsy bridge would have sent a normal person into the bottomless ravine had I not been such a dreamer, so light-headed I could have skipped overtop the clouds in the sky if I wanted. At that time, no one would have dared sneak a sheet for drawing monkeys and fish.

Anyway, I’ve hidden one of the reams from my youngest, just in case.


Blogger Kim Chatel said...

Oh yes, hide the printer paper. And the post-it notes (those things are $5.00 a brick! What are they, lined in gold?) My daughter gets a hold of a stack of paper and puts one big scribble on each. Then signs her name. Aren't these kids supposed to be more environmentally conscious than us?

Fri Apr 04, 12:06:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Lovely, Tony. That you've tucked away a ream of paper for yourself says a lot. The time you're spending now inspiring monkeys and fish will pay off later in stories you can't yet imagine.

Fri Apr 04, 12:08:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Frank Sullivan said...

Very creative, and we sure don't want to quash creativity--- keep plenty of paper on hand for both you and your daughter!

Fri Apr 04, 12:10:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, printer paper can always come in handy.

Fri Apr 04, 12:12:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A novel or monkeys and fish. Either are excellent uses of the resource. Maybe a novel about monkeys and fish? Hmm...

Fri Apr 04, 12:27:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this sweet story. Paper grows on trees but not so with kids. A single piece of paper can be wasted but not so with kids. Never forget a picture is I need to say more.

Fri Apr 04, 01:40:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Thank you all. Monkeys and Fish will be the new title of my novel once I can get the fire started again.

Fri Apr 04, 03:26:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Mary E. said...

Your kid will remember how good you were to let her draw to her hearts content. She may pass it on to her kid. So, there you are a whole forest used up for the pure pleasure of children and their imagination.
mary eileen callan

Fri Apr 04, 05:49:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Lovely sentiments, Thank you.

Fri Apr 04, 08:42:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

I think it's time to get your kid a MagnaDoodle or a dry-erase drawing board.

Hide those reams, but in the meantime, finish the novel. You can do it.

Tue Apr 08, 10:19:00 pm GMT-4  

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