A Writer’s Notebook
Posted by Sue
Do you keep a journal? A writer’s notebook? A diary? No matter what you call it, keeping a place to jot down thoughts, ideas, speculations is an excellent idea for a writer. An excellent book about keeping a writer’s notebook is Breathing In, Breathing Out by Ralph Fletcher. Breathing In, Breathing Out was published back in 1996, but the information is just as good today as it was when it was first published.
I have never used a writer’s notebook on a daily basis, but I do have about five notebooks filled with “notes” that I’ve written down through the years. Sometimes I write snatches of songs or pieces of poems. Sometimes I jot down brief scenes that pop into my mind. Sometimes I write about hopes and dreams. Often I write tightly, using brief words and phrases. Days, even weeks or months may go by without my making any entries. Then I may write several pages in just a few days.
Some of these musings find their way into a story. Some aren’t worth the page they are written on!
I like to revisit my notebooks from time to time. Sometimes re-reading an entry will spark an idea that I never even knew I had.
Looking through an old notebook, I came across these entries that I made back in the 80’s:
Icy roads. Sand trucks. Lights shining on sand spilling out in fine streams, falling, sprinkling, covering the ice. Biting into the slick glass covering the road. Pitting it. Tires whine and grab the sand gladly, inching up and down the hills. (Local term:glare ice).
Dark. Dark is no light. No street lights, yard lights, porch lights, or house lights. No star light or moonlight. Thick clouds cover the night with blackness. Nothing. Nowhere. Stumble. Touch. Fall. Feel. Darkness.
“Silver Sounds to open Golden Gates.” A circle of skin stretched tightly over a wooden hoop. All around the circle hung tiny silver bells. Each time she tapped the skin, the bells sang softly. Janita heard voices coming from the bells. She snatched her hand away from the bellskin.
Hummm. Now that last entry fits right into a fantasy story. Janita has to be the main character, of course.
Do you keep a writer’s notebook? How do you use your entries?
About SueFrom the time, as a young girl, when Sue read the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, she was hooked on fantasy. She loves to read fiction and write within many genres, but she always winds up going back to fantasy. For years she has had fantasy stories spinning around in her head and now that she is retired from many years of teaching, she is putting those stories into book form. She has many interests, including quilting and playing the mountain dulcimer, but writing is the most satisfying of all. Sue lives in the great state of Maine with her husband of 38 years. She has been a factory worker, a waitress, a librarian, and a teacher. Her biggest job was being a mother and she has three grown children. Now that she is a grandmother, she is enjoying that role immensely.
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