Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Glimpse Insight (partial pencast)

I have a tendency to backslide where some aspects of writing are concerned--or, to put it more positively, to come back to the tried and true. For example, no matter how far or how long I stray, for hand-writing fiction, I pretty much always come back to the humble composition book with its just-right in between A5 and A4 size, its durable stitched binding and wide ruling. The pages are large enough not to feel claustrophobic, small enough that I fill 'em quickly, there's just enough of a margin for notes and comments, and I actually *like* the fact that the pages don't move around. I get paranoid about losing things. For work, I've pretty much gone Circa all the way, but for fictiony things...I'm back to my beloved cheapie composition books.

And for thoughts on the go, I've slowly wandered back from the world of index cards. Oh, index cards still have a part to play: they get used for lists and to-dos, for phone numbers and addresses, for quick reminders. I carry them with me at all times. But the brain dump notebook has quietly reinserted itself into my life.


My current notebook for such purposes is one o' those pretentious mini Moleskines. Yes, they are outrageously expensive, and I'm not sure what I'll replace it with once the little stash I have is gone. But I like 'em. The current one has ridden in coat pockets and purses, bike panniers and backpacks. It gets man-handled, dropped, spilled on, and otherwise abused, and it holds up well. It's full of all *sorts* of thoughts--everything from notes on stories-in-progress to descriptions of odd things I've run into along the way to fragments of future poems to summaries of stories-to-be-written to dreams to...well, you get the idea. Some ideas will likely remain forever sealed within its pages; some will blossom into full stories or conversations or poems or blog posts or smart-alecky remarks on Facebook. It's all good.



I only have some thirty-odd pages left in this current notebook. Spent some time today looking through it--rather a walk down my own literary memory lane, since it has story notes going back over four years. However, it's such a mishmash, it looks like the ramblings of a sick mind.... So of course I'm revealing some of it. Just for kicks. Good luck reading my speed handwriting!



mpclemens said...

Spooky -- your comp. books could pass as mine. I'll be plagiarizing later for an UJTU.

Julia Eff said...

I'm with Clemens. Your notebook looks like the brain dump notebook I used to have, before my system of notebooks got so out-of-control I had to pare it down or die. Spooky.

Elizabeth H. said...

Just to clarify, the composition books get used for longer stories, essays, other such stuff. My current brain dump notebook is actually a small Moleskine--you can see the little ribbon in some of the scans.

However, I may just switch to using comp books for brain dumpage as well once this little notebook is full. It's a lot easier to justify using a .99 cent notebook for futzing around in than a 12 dollar one....

*And* as a gal, I have the benefit of carrying a purse most of the time, which means more room for pens and larger-than-pocket-sized notebooks. And, I admit, I actually took a comp book with me when shopping for my current purse just to make sure it'd fit nicely. Which is, perhaps, something I should not admit in public.

My current comp book is one of those bagasse ones. I don't like that the brown cardboard covers curl like the dickens, but I do like that I can easily doodle on them. And I *love* the way the paper takes fountain pen ink...though in some ways, the thinness and translucency and smoothness of it reminds me of writing in a Bible.

mpclemens said...

I'm with you on the covers. My original one (pictured on my site) is curling like the dickens. I bought some spares when they went on sale, and have a new one at home while the notes from my original are slowly getting typed up. It's worth it, though, since it just sits in a wire in-basket at home, next to my pipe-stand-as-a-pen-holder.