My favourite pen is a Parker cartridge pen. It was given to me by my dad when I was a teenager, when I started my A-Levels I think, as I was obviously doing lots of writing and he thought it would stand me in good stead to have a good pen. It writes beautifully and I have always treasured it – only I am allowed to use it and it always has to have blue in – my favourite to write with. I tend to use it now for writing my holiday diaries, letters to family and friends and thank you letters when I want my writing to look its best!
Buying notebooks is such a passion that although I do love certain brands I always look for one that will make me smile every time I look at it. I also look for different notebooks for different purposes, I have a notebook for each chapter of my PhD, for each separate bit of archive research I am doing. Then there are notebooks for training at work, for Armadillo interviews and general notes. So when I am choosing one it needs to be the right size for a bag usually, not take up too much space on the desk – as it has to compete with the other notebooks(!) and it has to have just the right amount of pages.
The answer in summary therefore is that I choose them by the way they look, one of the few occasions where I accept that I can judge a book, partially, by its cover …
I do love to buy funny pens and pencils – I have lots with fluffy tops as they make me smile and oddly enough (you may think) they also help me to concentrate as they give me something to look at, they are tactile and I can absent-mindedly touch them whilst thinking.
If I am working on Armadillo Magazine I use the bic 4 way pens that my husband bought me for Christmas – the pastel shades – so that I can distinguish interviews, features, book review notes.
I love to have pens of many colours when I am doing my mind mapping for my PhD, that really helps and I do love a good bic biro either in blue or in a variety of bright shades. Next to blue I do love pink, purple and green pens. Pencils just have to be a good dark lead and a little bit chunky so my fingers feel happy wrapped around them.
My website is Armadillo Magazine. It is a children’s book review magazine, published quarterly – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The aim of it is to reach out to children of all ages, form babies and toddlers to the oldest teens and share with them a passion for reading. I hope that we inspire them to find new and exciting materials to read and I hope that we reach not only the children who are our readers but also all those adults who work with and influence children in their reading habits.
We review books, we write features – from interviews, to groups of books to authors’ thoughts on themes in their book to write ups of fantastic events we have attended.
It is intended to be stimulating, positively critical and exciting for readers. Along with my fantastic team of reviewers and my generous husband who does all the web editing I hope that we can reach out, with books, and create readers who will love what we do, keep coming back for more but more importantly become lifelong readers themselves.