I like to take little breaks, when writing, to contemplate the story arc or resolve some conflict or just to get out of my head (it gets crowded in there). I have various and sundry activities I like to do during these breaks, crocheting, knitting, staring into space, etc. Right now my activity of choice is coloring.
Yes, I like to color. In coloring books.
My favorite are the color by number because I don't have to worry about what colors to use, because I'm lazy like that. Right now I'm really into mosaic coloring books because the picture magically appears as I color and I am easily amused. I was so excited the day I saw Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox on my paper! It also made me realize that I've neglected to teach my youngest about Tall Tales.
My coloring tool is the colored pencil. There are lots of reasons to love the colored pencil, but I'll spare you the details. Anyway, colored pencils require sharpening and when you're using them to death, they require frequent sharpening. This is where the pencil sharpener comes in.
We live in an age where pencils as a whole have become nearly extinct, thus pencils that require sharpening are almost wholly unheard of. As a consequence, pencil sharpeners come in two forms only: expensive or crappy.
Expensive sharpeners give the pencil a nice sharp tip with the appropriate ratio of wood to lead. One knows one's pencil sharpener has ceased to fulfill its purpose when one's pencils come out of the sharpener more wood than lead. It is a sad day indeed. My own pencil sharpener went the way of all the world just last week.
I can't color without my pencils and I can't use my pencils when they are dull, so I went in search of a replacement sharpener. I found myself at Wal-Mart. I know stopping there was asking for trouble but that was where I chose to start, so I only had myself to blame when I ended back in the same place the next day to return the sharpener that came out of the package doing the same craptastic job my dead sharpener did.
My sweet husband, recognizing my plight, purchased a box shaped manual sharpener to tide me over. Here's the thing with the manual sharpener. No matter the brand every manual sharpener more breaks the wood than shaves it. This leaves a chunk of unsupported lead that then breaks off leaving one with far less pencil. I could gnaw the wood off and get better results, but I appreciated his effort.
The next day, I had my chauffeur, I mean, daughter, drive me to Hobby Lobby. Why did I ask her to drive? Because I can and it is frowned upon to play on the phone when one is driving. That is called having your cake and eating it, too! I digress.
At the Lobby, I chose two pencil sharpeners because if I had to come back it would be for more than one thing, dangit! I chose a battery powered sharpener and a manual sharpener just to test the theory that every manual sharpener breaks the wood. Theory proven. Also, battery powered sharpeners are ridiculous. Why are they even a thing?
Displeased with both of my choices I tried once more. I was wandering forlornly through the aisles of Target when a lovely white electric sharpener caught my eye. I wondered if I was making a mistake and adding another disappointing sharpener to my growing collection, but I took a leap of faith and brought it home. It. Is. Magnificent! My sharpener woes have come to an end and now I can focus on other more pressing matters, like what to color next.