Thursday, August 23, 2012

Of Notebooks and Past Lives




Once upon a time, I worked in the land of dirt and flowers and litter pickup. And while this world of physical labor was good, satisfying work—I loved planting flowers and didn’t mind so much the litter—it was difficult to write down those OMG moments of inspiration. For example:

In the early morning of a spring-break abandoned campus, roaming the grounds in a drizzle, the hood of my yellow raincoat muffling the infrequent sound of traffic on the nearby street. Boom. A sudden impression, brought on by memories of late-night battles with padded PVC swords (showing my nerd here), of an old battlefield. Walking along the sidewalk underneath the great oaks, my litter-stick in hand, I saw the entire first scene unfold before me. I had a first line. I NEEDED to write it down.

I learned early on that I have aha! moments at any given, random time, so I started carrying a notebook with me. Spiral notebooks were best, could be rolled or folded to fit in the space between the first aid kit and the dash of the golf cart. Or in the pocket of my cargo pants. The problem with spirals is the cover eventually comes off on me. Then my pages would get dirty or worse, wet. So I upgraded to a three-ring binder. Didn’t fit as well in the cart, but a bit more durable…until I had to duct tape it.

Though I’m no longer outside, I still find a need to jot something down when the computer isn’t in front of me. Like when I’m trying to go to sleep. I love the note app on my phone for this, and I still carry a notebook. And I still duct tape my three-ring binders.


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