Copyedits Colored Pencil Comparison – Updated!

Copyedits! They’re here!

I’ve been so excited about their pending arrival that I’ve had my colored pencils for weeks. I bought the erasable kind — thinking I was soooo brilliant.

Until I tried to write with them.

Must. Press. Down. So. Very. Hard. And they kinda skip. It was like trying to be precise while writing with a crayon.

I handed one to St.Matt and without my prompting he said: “They’re like writing with crayons.”


“New colored pencils!” I demanded. Actually, it was less of demand and more of an exclamation. Perhaps a proclamation: “Let us buy ALL the colored pencils!”

And then I whined to Emily Hainsworth** that all my planning was for naught. She seconded my demand/exclamation/proclamation and suggested a comparison — so all the credit for this brilliant idea goes to her.

I limited myself to five brands, because, let’s be serious — I’ve now got sixty-two colored pencils and I plan to use… ONE.

And, in a further show of self-restraint, I wouldn’t let myself buy the Staedtler brand (even though they make my very most favorite revision pens EVER) because I didn’t need a fancy pack for one pencil.**

To make this all scientific-ish, I sharpened each colored pencil with the same plastic sharpener. Wrote the brand, shaded, and signed my name with each.*** I used the same eraser to attempt to erase each — and swiped it the same number of swipes (7 swipes).

Here are the results:

To be fair, these were more “erasable” when you used the attached eraser. They’re also the hardest to write with & the least precise. Erasability is not worth it.

A little more precise than the erasable version… and just slightly less erasable.

The most erasable of the bunch. Decent precision. Tricky to sharpen — the tip kept crumbling

This was my second favorite.

Least erasable but most precise — go figure.

At the end of the day, excepting the Erasables, they’re all fairly similar. I ended up deciding to use the Prismacolor because the local Michael’s sells them as singles. St.Matt pointed out that if**** I happen to lose or break it, I can then go buy just another pencil, instead of a whole ‘nother set.

I feel a sudden urge to write a lab report. Or do another experiment. I wonder if we have vinegar and baking soda.

Or Coke and Mentos!

No worries, we DO have safety goggles.

But I also have copyedits! Mayhaps I will put my scientific urges on pause until all my editing and STETing is complete.

UPDATEThe brilliant & talented Nova Ren Suma***** just told me: Copy editors use Ticonderoga or Col-Erase colored pencils… Others are too soft.

Oh. *looks at the half pencil left after one night of sharpening & resharpening to maintain a tip* This makes A LOT of sense.  I’ve already ordered a pack — they should be here tomorrow and then I’ll add their photo to the collection.

Thanks, Nova!

UPDATE The SecondThey’re here —

The precision! The erasability! Dream come true. I got so excited I cut off the last letter of my last name. 

Which office supply should I test next?!******

* Actually, my brilliance should probably always be attributed to Miss Emily. I love her dearly. Maybe I’ll send her 61 colored pencils for Christmas.  

**Though if anyone has used Staedtler colored pencils and thinks they’re awesome, let me know and I’ll be all about getting them when it’s time for book two. 

***My signature is normally MUCH neater. I’m having a bad handwriting day — possibly caused by post-birthday-party-too-much-sugar jitters.


****He actually said WHEN I lose or break it, I edited his statement to give myself the benefit of the doubt

***** Seriously, if you haven’t read Imaginary Girls go add it to your Christmas list NOW. And then start behaving so Santa complies. 

****** I mean, Sorry, I’ve got to go do my copyedits.

One!

Why is it that sincere thank you notes are so much harder than ones you’re indifferent about?
Today I sat down to write the most grateful thank you note I’ve ever written, probably ever will write, and the words just would not come.
The note was for the NICU staff at the hospital where the twins were born. A year ago St.Matt was on the first floor watching football and I was upstairs bedresting and reading — and my water broke.
The Schmidtlets were two months early. They were tiny. I wasn’t ready and they weren’t either. Nothing in my years of babysitting or in our baby care classes had prepared me for incubators and feeding tubes and picc lines and lungs that kept collapsing and collapsing. Tubes and tubes and tubes taped all over my babies. Babies I wasn’t allowed to hold. The Wild Imp – who wasn’t wild, he was medicated and sedated into oblivion — I wasn’t even allowed to touch because he was in so much pain.
 
 And the NICU staff somehow held me together, gave me strength, taught me about gavage feeding, and breast-feeding, pneumothorax, and infant CPR. What every bell, alarm, and squiggly line on their monitors meant — how to tell a false alarm from an apnea or bradycardiac event. How to touch a preemie so that he wasn’t over-stimulated and didn’t hurt. 
They were there to clap when St. Matt changed his first diaper. And to laugh when Asher managed to pee out the porthole on his incubator. They cheered with us when the boys began to self-regulate their body temps and we could finally dress them. Clothing, snaps, laundry!– this seemed like such a major victory at the time – and we all looked at the too-big size-preemie outfit and said “he’ll grow into it.”
And they’ve grown so big.  They’re so healthy. They’re so happy and giggly. They’re so mischievous and chatterboxy –– no clue where they get that from.
I’m so blessed.
So appreciative of all the help, support and love the NICU staff lavished on us during our month-long stay.
I thought, way back a year ago, that I couldn’t possibly love anyone more than I did those palm-size babies.
How wrong I was.

Happy 1st birthday, Schmidtlets

Musically Minded

For someone who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket with a lid, and can’t clap to a beat for more than two consecutive claps, I’ve spent a lot of my life focusing on music lately.
First, the Schmidtlets and I joined a baby music class. They love it. The Wild Imp crawls all over the place, singing each new song with a  new mom. (Thank you, other moms, for allowing him in your laps and hearts).  The Pip Squeak, on the other hand, starts every class by clutching my shirt in both his chubby little fits.  A few songs in, he’ll pat my arm or leg along with the beat. A few more songs and he’s clapping.  By the end of last class he even crawled half the distance between me and our lovely teacher… but then he looked over his shoulder, panicked, and scrambled back into my lap.
Second, my lyric permissions for SEND ME A SIGN seem to be (finally) falling into place. I sent my signed contract for one song back this morning and am just waiting on the final copyright wording for the other. What songs are they? I’m not telling yet. Maybe soon, but not yet – I don’t want to jinx anything!
Third, SEND ME A SIGN copyedits are coming any day now. And I know of no better way to get back into Mia’s head than to listen to the SEND ME A SIGN playlists.
Here’s a playlist peek for YOU:
 
— it’s from wayyy back in my college years, anyone recognize it? I love the lyrics. Be VERY glad you’re not here with me right now, because then you’d have to hear me sing along. (Sorry, Schmidtlets!)
Here, you can be anything. And I think that scares you…
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