From my writer’s notebook

December 5, 2015 at 12:43 pm 2 comments



It hasn’t always been my practice to carry a notebook, but since I’ve begun to write, I make sure that I take along a small notebook or a few pieces of paper, and at least one good pen to write with. I try to practise what I tell my students to do, to gather fodder for story or poem, inspiration for some day when the well seems to have run dry.

There’s a notebook, quite often coil bound, at my bedside table for the late or middle of the night inspirations, a notebook in my car, a notebook in my purse, albeit a tiny one. And pens—well many pens around me—but not always many in my purse.

After my office was painted and I was putting it back in working order, I found one such book. Here’s an undated entry from a notebook that bears the dates 2005, 2004 on other pages:

“We are like grass withered and brown; our bodies perish, our souls flee. Surely there is some trace, some remembrance of our time here when eternity comes.”

What triggered this entry, I wonder? Was it someone’s death? Was it before my book?

Another jotting that sounds like the making of a poem: “Earth’s morning jolted from a dreamless sleep, seamless as the evening sky.”

Poetic, and again no date or reason for writing it. Where was I? What was I doing? Maybe it doesn’t matter when or where, only that it’s there.

One, dated April 7, 2005, about my relationship with God:

I, sinful and weak

break my word to you time after time

year after year

but you have not turned me away

have not given up on me


Who would give me so many chances…


Indeed, who else?


Some of these entries are jottings during our pastor’s sermon. Words, phrases that I want to remember, in a notebook, other times on the back of the service bulletin. I quickly scribble down the line so I can write about it later—Sorry, Pastor, I’m still listening, sort of. My mind is taking a rabbit trail from your sermon; you’ve triggered an idea. Always a writer’s mind here, you see.

Even now, I have three pens laying on the desk, even while my fingers work on the keyboard. I often use pens for a first draft. My fingers can more easily keep up with a flow of words when they come to me than typing on a keyboard. When I type, I keep correcting my writing.

If L. M. Montgomery could keep up to her story while using pen, then it’s still a good thing, and I have the best of both worlds when I can use the computer for revision.

Another jotting and I know where it came from:

Dimpled hands reach

arms wrap around me

something to hold on to

grabbing hold of hair  ears

whatever can be clasped by those tiny fingers

wet kisses on my cheek

I return the hug gladly



Not polished, nevertheless, something I want to remember.

I’ll keep on carrying notebook and pens, because I never know what gem I may discover. Writing comes from living a life, not only from sitting behind a desk, typing.


What treasures do your notebooks hold?


Entry filed under: blogs, books, lifestyle, photography, poetry, writing, writing family stories.

District 86 Toastmasters Fall conference The Shedding Christmas Tree

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charlotte Hoather  |  December 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Great idea, i like to write in a notebook over keeping notes on my phone, I keep all of my old notebooks too and like to read over them.

    • 2. storygal  |  December 10, 2015 at 2:13 am

      I have a box of them too and every so often I’ll take one out and read some of it. Thanks for stopping by, Charlotte, and best wishes with your studies. Merry Christmas too.

      By the way, since you’re writing blog posts, consider signing up for my newsletter FineTuned. On my website is the box for adding your name and email address. I’d love to have you as a subscriber and add any topics for a future edition.


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