I started this blog post and it came out as a poem, a poem about my own notebooks, my own writer’s journals. .
by Gerardine Baugh
A few words, in my notebook- of odd thoughts.
Surprising about today was the cold
it froze my nose as if January.
Ice beckoning to me, in one great fall,
while sun passed overhead, inline struggling
with melting ice, ice set to keep its shape.
I could taste the hint of snow in the air.
I realized, my snow thrower was checked
Inspecting its inners. Will it still work?
Nor did I check dark corners of the barn
brushing aside abandoned spiderwebs
digging out shovels. Winter has started.
I don’t want to give it deeper power
by conceding its power over me.
My Notebooks filling with lines of odd thought.
A few words or a full chapter scribbled
into many notebooks taking up space
like a gnome on my shelf, making me smile,
Releasing ideas for characters,
places to have them act out and struggle.
Spit, swear, surely worrying pearls with words
my notebook written one cold November.
This was written in blank Verse, iambic pentameter, unrhymed, ten syllables.
Notebook or journals are the homes of snippets of thought you come up with while standing in line for coffee, at work when you’re supposed to be listening intently during the office weekly meeting. A word or phrase that sounds amazing. A dream you don’t want to forget. An idea. That perfect description of a character that you haven’t yet written a story for. Those ideas all belong in your journals, your writer’s notebook. So when you are bogged down with can’t-do, you can open your notebook and see what triggers your muse’s can-do.
I was flipping through W. Sumerset Maugham’s Writer’s Notebook.
“The night is wonderfully silent. The stars shine with a fierce brilliancy, the Southern Cross and Canopus; there is not a breath of wind, but a wonderful balminess in the air. The coconut trees, silhouetted against the sky, seem to be listening. Now and then a sea-bird gives a mournful cry.” ~pg 145
The interesting part about a writer’s notebook is that reading it can help shake up your muse. Keep flipping pages- keep looking until- suddenly you see it…. and your imagination takes off.
From the Inside Flap of W. Sumerset Maugham’s Writer’s Notebook.~
“From 1892, when he was eighteen, until 1949 when this book was first published, Somerset Maugham kept a notebook. It is without a doubt one of his most important works. Part autobiographical, part confessional, packed with observations, confidences, experiments and jottings it is a rich and exhilarating admission into this great writer’s workshop.”,
I like using paper, -hard copy- notebooks. I find them easier to access than getting lost in amaze of emails or folder in my ‘documents’ on my computer.