Tightly Wound

     A while ago, I noticed something disturbing when I was writing that made me do a double take. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I asked my husband to confirm it. Thankfully he saw it, too, or I’d have questioned my sanity. What is this bizarre talent that freaks me out? I can bend pencils by using them. The one in question wasn’t too warped, but there was enough of a curve in it that I realize I’m tightly wound when I write.

     I’ve yet to figure out why this happens. I’m not stressed out when I write, but what I do notice is that I tend to really dig into the paper. My handwriting is quite large and full of swooping loops and curves, and I love mechanical pencils with a .7mm lead or larger (the Papermate Vibz pencils have a .9 mm lead which is perfect), but I really prefer wooden pencils. Call me obsessed, but the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil is a siren song to me. I’ve noticed when I use them, I have to sharpen them frequently; this might be because of the pressure I exert on them. Perhaps the grip that wears my fresh points to nubs also puts a bend in my pencils. Not all of them warp, however. I have some Camel 60 HB’s from Japan that seem to hold up to my stranglehold. I have noticed it with certain common brands (like the Dixon Ticonderoga) and even a few non-branded cheap stick-like mechanical pencils (think the CVS store brand). I’m not sure if it’s strictly a matter of pencil quality or my heavy-handed writing. For my sanity, I choose to believe it’s a little bit of both.

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