Homework for Life

My dad is a storyteller. He tells stories all the time, be it from the pulpit as a preacher and teacher of the Bible or in his normal day-to-day goings on. These stories are not works of fiction either. They are just bits and pieces of the everyday framed in a way that always draws me in. This model of telling stories has been a constant in my life and yet I have not mastered the skill myself.

Today, while scrolling through my podcast feed, I saw an episode of The Art of Manliness called, How To Tell Better Stories and I immediately downloaded it and began to listen. Our host, Brett McKay, interviews Matthew Dicks, who is a well-known teller of stories, both on the stage and in book form.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show, as I usually do with the Art of Manliness. I wrote down a number of things that struck me in my Field Notes notebook of the day, the 10th Anniversary burgundy DDC reprint.

Mr. Dicks first went on stage as part of a Moth StorySLAM and despite his nerves, he really connected with the experience and the storytelling practice. In this interview, he gets down to basics, explaining his ideas on how to start (with the end in mind) and how to make it memorable by keeping it short and removing details that don’t add to the story.

Perhaps my biggest takeaway was his “Homework for Life” idea. This is his method of sitting down at the end of each day and writing down the one thing that was most important from the day, the thing that was most story worthy. In doing so, he has found a way to remember each day and to slow life down. It changed the way he looks at each day and gives him plenty of great material to tell more stories.

After listening, I went and found the TED Talk that he gave on this topic and I highly recommend taking the 17 or so minutes to watch it. Of particular note to me were his words about being disciplined and having faith in the process. Whether writing it down in a notebook or putting it in an Excel spreadsheet, taking stock of your day is incredibly valuable. It may just help me become the storyteller that I want to be.

How Field Notes Keeps a Secret

Here at Inklings & Paper Things, we love Field Notes. In fact, I credit Field Notes and their design aesthetic for helping to revitalizing my love of stationery things. They are simple, small enough to be easily carried in a pocket and are durable. One of the best part of being a fan of Field Notes is their highly anticipated quarterly limited editions. But as with anything that is anticipated, there are people that simply hate to wait for the edition to show up in their mailbox and instead try to crack the secret beforehand. To this end, Field Notes has to work to keep it under wraps.

MSNBC recently did a video segment about Field Notes and how they keep the secrets from being spoiled. It offers a fun inside look at the company and its iconic notebooks.

Calligraphy & Baseball

This story has been around for awhile but I love it as it relates to two things that I love: baseball and beautiful penmanship. Long time baseball coach Don Wakamatsu, now with my favorite team, the Texas Rangers, is renowned for his fantastic calligraphy. When he does the lineup cards before each game, the cards are truly works of art. Linked below are a couple of articles written about him and his passion for calligraphy. Enjoy!

Baseball Coach Brings His Beautiful Calligraphy to the Baseball Dugout

The Write Way: KC’s Coach’s Lineup Cards are Artful

Continue reading “Calligraphy & Baseball”

Why the Pencil is Perfect

I thought I would share a short video from a new series, Samll Thing Big Idea, by TED. This series  takes a look at small things that have had big impacts on the world we live in. This particular episode is interesting to me as it looks at the humble but wonderful pencil. The narrator for this episode is none other that Caroline Weaver, the owner and proprietor of CW Pencil in New York City. CW Pencil is a store completely dedicated to pencils, especially wooden ones. She takes us through a short history of the pencil and how it