Thursday, August 05, 2010


Paula here. I'm thrilled to have Heather Webber as our guest today. Heather writes the delightful Lucy Valentine series. The first book, Truly, Madly, is wonderful and available.

By Heather Webber

Hi, I’m Heather, and I’m addicted to office supply stores.

Maybe it’s because I write for a living. Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, looking to organize. Maybe it’s because I’m a penaholic…

I’m not sure. All I know for certain is that when I walk into an office supply store, it’s like the clouds have parted and choruses of angels are welcoming me inside. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little, but the image isn’t too far off.

Once inside the tug of war begins. Stationery first? Pens? Notebooks? Storage containers? Rubber bands, paper clips, push pins, Sharpies (colored Sharpies—be still my heart), folders, files... Where to begin? How do I stop?

Ah, stopping. I can’t. Not really—and that’s not just denial.

With my job, I’m always in need of office supplies. Notebooks for brainstorming; paper and ink for printing pages; stationery for thank you notes and special announcements; Sharpies for signing books. It’s really endless, and easy to feed the addiction. But I do recognize the need to cut down.

I almost always limit myself to a hand basket. If I have a cart—I don’t even want to think about the credit card bill at the end of the month. I always try to go in with a list—and stick to it. And I’m always asking myself, “Do I really need this --?” (Fill in the blank). Despite the answer almost always being yes, I at least ask the question. That earns me some points, right?

The biggest test of my willpower is looming. Back to school shopping. Will I be able to resist temptation? I’m not sure—I’m just glad that with my job, at least my addiction is tax deductible (justification, anyone?).

Are you an office supply store addict too? What’s your favorite office supply?

Heather’s latest release, Deeply, Desperately, the second book in the Lucy Valentine series, hit shelves Aug. 3rd. For more info, check out

“This book has everything a great book should have ~ fun, romance, psychic ability, mystery, humor and a quirky cast of characters that you’ll fall in love with immediately.” -Lori’s Reading Corner


Laurissa said...

Heather, Welcome to the Working Stiffs!

I'll also admit that I love office supplies. My biggest obsession in that regard is finding the perfect pen.

Because I hold my pen differently than most I have different criteria for what makes a good pen.I know whether or not its the right pen for me once I've held it. It has to have a certain "weight" to it, lol. Also, it has to write easily.

Gina said...

Heather -
I have to admit to a fondness for multi-colored writing implements. I've also gotten into thumb drives since I started taking courses at a local film school. I love the notebooks and graph paper and coin wrappers and book ends. . . . But if you don't use a cart, how do you take advantage of the big box of printer paper sales?

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Heather, It's good to read your posts again. It's gotten lonely in St. Louis since our mutual friend left The Gateway to the West in favor of The Big Apple.

I divide my time between Office Depot and Officemax. Our Staples is a bit far away and shopping on-line isn't quite the same.

I'm always in search of a really nice, hefty pen to write with. Even though I usually write on my laptop.

Annette said...

Yes, I'm an office supply addict, too. Back to School sales make me swoon. I currently have $15 worth of Staples Rewards and I can't wait to spend them!

Will's right. Shopping online just isn't the same. I need to see all the STUFF!

Joyce Tremel said...

I miss buying my now-grown kids back to school supplies because I'd always have to buy stuff for myself, too.

I still have about eight billion spiral notebooks that I bought back when they were on sale for ten cents a piece. My kids don't want 'em. So they're mine! All mine!

Jenna said...

Welcome to the Stiffs, Heather!

Yeah, office supply stores rock. My weakness has always been paper. Blank paper, that I can fill with anything I want. Since starting this writing gig, I've gotten enamored with Sharpies, as well. As have my children; I have to hide them, since the 11 year old likes to use them to outline his comics and the 7 year old just likes to use them, period. Luckily they're fairly cheap...

We did the school supply thing yesterday. At the grocery store. I was very, very good.

Heather Webber said...

Thanks to Paula for having me here!

Hi Laurissa, thanks for the welcome. I imagine you go through a lot of pens! Have you found one you can recommend?

Hi Gina, did you see at Office Depot that they now have a whole display of single (don't have to buy a whole pack?) colored Sharpies? Heav-en.

I rarely buy the big boxes of paper--nowhere to store it. I probably should clean out my office...

Hi Will! Good to see you! You might have to find a reason to go to NY--set up a signing or something! You're right about online shopping--just not the same. I need to be in the store!

Hi Annette! I wonder if all writers have this addiction? I have some Office Depot coupons but my daughter needs a graphing calculator and I think that trumps the stationery I need!

LOL Joyce! I love notebook sales. I use a notebook for every book I start. I have a lot of half used notebooks laying around.

Laineshots said...

Hi, Heather. We're all addicts here. I volunteered to be secretary so I can buy more notebooks and pens.

I knew I was an addict when not just one, but THREE local mega-Office stores' staffs began to greet me by name!

My kids are grown, but I was quick to volunteer to buy my grandson's school supplies--and his mom keeps thanking ME!

Karen in Ohio said...

Heather, your first paragraph hit home with me. My #2 and #3 daughters are both Virgos, and when the last one left home I cleaned out both their rooms and reorganized the house for their rare visits home. In the process, I found literally hundreds of pens, pencils, crayons, and markers they had both accumulated over the years. I ended up pitching all the dried-up ones, but still retained hundreds of writing implements. They both needed lots of red pens, and one daughter had an affection for disposable automatic pencils, which I found I really like using.

Over the years of their growing up we practically haunted Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot. Wish I had all that money back, though!

Carol Silvis said...

Along with a love for spiral notebooks and pens, I have a thing for index cards. I always keep some in my purse and tote bag for quick notes.

Working Stiffs said...

Hi Heather, and welcome! I knew your post would resonate with my blogmates and our readers.

It's index cards for me. Multi-colored ones. Big ones. Now I need a huge poster board and thumb tacks. I see a Staples visit in my very near future.


Alan Orloff said...

Who doesn't like office supplies? I confess I'm addicted to mechanical pencils, which, I guess is ironic, because one of their advantages over regular pencils is the fact you only need ONE of them (and keep replacing the lead). So why do I have dozens and dozens of them? BTW, I still have my blue Pentel mechanical pencil I used in college (a few years ago).

Gina said...

Oh, yes, index cards! Multi-colored, and the ones that come in a little spiral notebook, to be torn out as needed.

Dru said...

My weakness is all the desk accessories they have, the many styles that I know I can use but really don't have the desk space.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Colors! I organize by colors. Especially highlighters. I need every color made.

I think the thing about office supplies ties back to school supplies when we were kids. School supply shopping meant a new school year. A fresh start with everything still possible. Before the notebooks were worn around the edges and covered with doodles. Before the pens were out of ink and the pencils broken and you had to borrow some clean paper. Before the first disappointing grade or failed quiz. School supplies and office supplies are all about what might be.

Oh heck, now I need to run over to Office Depot.

Heather Webber said...

Jennie, you have more willpower than I do. I can't do school supply shopping without getting something for myself. Even when I see the cost of all those binders (why are they so expensive??).

Laine, LOL on them knowing your name. I'm not at that point yet. Yet.

Karen, it is an expensive habit, isn't it? And I bet if you asked your daughters they'd tell you they *needed* all those pens. Just like I need all of mine!

Hi Carol! I haven't made the leap into index cards yet, but it's never too late to start. I have a lot of friends who use them for plot points.

Paula, thanks again for hosting me today. So fun to read everyone's replies. I recently bought a cork board with the intention of using it for plotting, etc., but it has quickly become a place for family pics, buttons, and fun push pins. Hey, I tried!

Heather Webber said...

Hi Alan, my kids love mechanical pencils and always buy packs of them (and never any lead--LOL!). I don't use them too often--the scratchy noise they make on the paper gets to me--but that might the lead size? Not sure.

Gina, colored index cards in a spiral notebook???? I must check this out. ASAP.

Dru, I definitely love desk accessories! I even use them on my filing cabinet, printer table and shelves. Yes, I have a problem.

Linda, I'll meet you there! I do love a fresh start. My kids aren't too thrilled these days, though.

M Pax said...

The office supply store sure is loving me lately. And all those new card case options! What is a girl to do? I now have like 5. What am I going to do with 5?

All success to you, Heather, with the new book!

Anonymous said...

Oh, girlfriend, you are sooooo speaking my language! When I discovered the Target back-to-school display, the first thing I did when I got home was post the bulletin on Facebook to all my fellow addict----er, writer friends.

Can't wait to grab the new book, Heather. It sounds adorable!

The Post-It Note Queen

L. j. Charles said...

I, too am an office supply addict. And a penaholic. My addiction to office supplies is second only to my book addiction.

No wonder you're one of my favorite writers. Loved, absolutely loved, Deeply, Desperately. There's something so very wrong with publishing that Absolutely, Positively won't be out until next year. I'm not patient. Not at all patient.


Heather Webber said...

M Pax, card cases? I haven't seen these yet. I definitely think a trip to Office Depot is in my near future!

NancyM, don't you love the new PostIt note styles? Love the images they have on them.

Petrina, thank you! AP will be out in Feb--that's not toooooo long. I think it'll probably be here sooner than we think. And you're right--books do come first.

Carol Brown said...

I love pens! All different color ink. I also like to have a few mechanical pencils--I'm not really crazy about them, but found they work out better being carried around in a purse. I hate to have a pencil lead break when I'm off somewhere and of course there's no pencil sharpener anywhere! I sometimes take a puzzle book with me, or I would just stick to pens. I'm not up to doing puzzles in ink (unless, that is, it is an erasable ink pen!)

Tonya Kappes said...

I totally get it! My kids refuse to go with me to Staples b/c I have to pick up everything, feel it and if it feels just right~I walk out with $100 worth of stuff...sigh...I love starting a new novel b/c I get new pencils, pens, journals. BUT the new calendar is even better!

Heather Webber said...

Hi Carol, pencils are a must for puzzle books--and they better have a nice eraser! At least for me.

Hi Tonya! I just recently bought my new planner (I use an academic calendar), and I luv it. Of course, if I ever lost it, I'd be inconsolable for weeks...

Patg said...

Leave it to PG to end on an odd note,but honestly, BUY? Did you say BUY? A PEN!!!????
Where do you people work? Every sales rep who walked through the door gave me a pen, I won three Monte Blancs for sales figures (lost two) and am still given a bunch no matter what kind of conference I attend. I'm retired nine years and hundreds are still all over the house.
What an odd concept! Buy a Pen!
Okay, I'll admit to loving roaming around my Staples. Envelopes are my obsession.