So...way back before November, I decided that this was going to be the year when I organized my NaNoWriMo story ahead of time. To that end, and partially based on what I saw others doing, I bought a bunch of index cards and a box to put 'em in. I did use a good portion of the index cards--I wrote up lists of potential character names, colors, and other brain joggers for those times when I got stumped. And I wrote character and scene sketches for my story as I pictured it.
Then I started writing.
As I've mentioned here before, and as I keep having to relearn, I cannot write to an outline or preconceived notions. Can't. It's an exercise in frustration. My stories and characters become what they are as I write them, and they very rarely have much in common with the original idea. At this point, I think I have to just accept this and work with it.
But the bottom line is that all those index cards filled with bright ideas and carefully scripted scenes ended up being useless. My main character slipped to second place and turned into a little spitfire of a gal instead of the elegant, cold woman of the world she was meant to be; characters I'd never imagined showed up and brought their lives with them; the world they they all inhabited changed to a completely different location and time...and I never used a single one of my cards. Not one. I tucked them away (except my idea cards) and chalked it up to experience.
But then, not too long ago, I grabbed one of those blank cards when I was hunting for something to use for a grocery list. I felt guilty about using card stock for something so trivial, but I liked the size, and that it held up well in my pocket. I reused it and scribbled to-dos on the back. I started carrying index cards with me and used them for more lists--I love lists. I wrote down ideas for more writing: nothing fully formed, just random ideas and words I wanted to include, or vague lines that sounded nice in my head, or notes on things I'd seen and heard that stirred my imagination.
Now I'm coming to the realization that I'm addicted, or could become so if I let myself. I usually scribble most of these things in a notebook, but with the index cards, I can toss any that have outlived their usefulness or been transcribed, keep works-in-progress and long-term reference items at the front of the stack instead of having them end up pages behind, and even organize into categories. They are just about the perfect everyday scribbling surface.
So...here comes the weekend's binge. 'Cause when I fall off the wagon, I fall hard. You thought last week was bad? Ha! Look at this!
Can you feel the power? Can you? You envy me, you know you do. Four bucks for this massive stack at Staples. And I like that they had the unlined ones in the same quantities and not relegated to second-class status.
And then, because I needed a new wallet/money and credit card carrier of some sort anyway, I picked up this little thing at Office Depot. It was labeled as a FranklinCovey Task List Wallet (on-line they just call it a Leather Index Card Holder), and came with some cheap 3x5 cards marked with task lists--I doubt I'll even use them. I had a hard time photographing this since it's black and all, so you'll have to pardon the less than elegant backdrop.
It holds a few cards on the writing surface (the ends of the card tuck under), and has room for additional cards underneath, or on the other side. There's also a pen slot, room for credit cards, and--underneath the pencil box--a clear window for ID. It also has a slot for cash, but since this wallet is so deep (over 5 inches) it feels a little funny putting money in there. I'll probably use that slot for the occasional single check or receipts. Or more cards. I note the Office Depot product page says this has a ten card capacity--I'm assuming they're *only* counting the space behind the writing surface.
It feels...OK. It's a far cry from the Levenger Pocket Briefcase it emulates, but it also doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
The pen slot is a little shorter than the average pen, and a thick pen means the wallet doesn't fold as neatly as it should. So...I splurged a little more and got a Parker Jotter. Isn't it cute?? Love that they come in bright pink!
Oh, and those pencils? Well...what can I say? I didn't have any pencils. Therefore I needed them, right? I love the way Ticonderoga pencils smell...mmmm! My cats are also strangely fascinated by them, though. I wrote with one of them for awhile this afternoon and Halvah insisted on sitting right next to me, sniffing loudly. Like gal, like cat?