I make fun of my husband for being a little OCD (after all, he is an artist). But, it wasn't until today that I discovered I have an OCD tendency as well. I am a writer and unlike those who strictly use a computer, or even a typewriter, I write all my rough drafts on paper with a pencil — a specific type of pencil, to be exact.

For those of you who are not pencil connoisseurs, you may not understand but the others do. There is a huge difference between pencil brands. Super inexpensive pencils with off-brand names are usually very waxy and don't write well, let alone sharpen well. Papermate pencils are better, but their graphite core breaks easily and often the wood they are made with is imperfect. Climbing to the top of the list is the ever-popular Ticonderoga pencil. They sharpen easily, but for me, their graphite core is weak and can break when the pencil becomes too short or is held too tightly.

Me, I use General's pencils. Only the cedar pointe pencils. They are made in the U.S. and are #2, medium graphite. The wood is finished with raw cedar and the eraser is black, not pink. These are the ultimate pencils. They are strong, sharpen to the sharpest of points, the graphite stays in one piece and I can use and sharpen them until they are a mere nib.

I'm telling you all this because I am down to my last cedar pointe pencil. The only place in town that sells them (the university bookstore) won't order more until late July, and now I have to wait for a shipment to my home from the manufacturer. I am wary of using my last pencil too much. I have done a lot less work today than I should because I don't want use it all up. I think I may sink into a depression. This is so pathetic. How can a pencil be so important to one's life? I have let a pencil define who I am as a writer. (I am nothing without my cedar pointe pencils.)

Is anyone out there with me? Am I crazy? My husband says he understands (he also has specific tools he uses), but I think I have even gotten too extreme for him. I think someone may need to stage an intervention. I need help.

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