Do You Keep A Notebook?

The way I see it, blogs are for having a good, general chat. Raise a topic, kick it around, let it take its own momentum. That’s how it used to work on the late lamented Word Cloud, though I don’t know if it’ll work that way on Jericho Townhouse. If it does, though, Coffee and Cake might be a suitable location. Let’s see. Here’s something I wrote about ten years ago, very much in silly mode, but based around a worthwhile topic. Let’s start by repeating the title:


Do You Keep A Notebook?

Thing is, I don’t like t-shirts because they lack a pocket for notebook and pen. Is this a bad thing? Of course: an idea might come at any time.

You’re on the loo – what’ll you do?

You’re in your bed – what’s in your head?

You’re on the train – what’s that again?

You walk in town – write things down!

Notebook, notebook, how I love thee

Without you near, where would I be?

Without your help what would I do?

Notebook, notebook, I love you.

            (Tennyson, I think)

So:- do you have a notebook? Big one, little one? Carried everywhere, locked in a drawer? Plumber’s phone number in the back? Fragments of conversation at the front? Shopping lists in the back? Chapter ideas at the front? Thirty old ones chucked in a cupboard? Burn them to get rid of embarrassing bits? Index them for University of Texas?

Do you write blogs in them (like this)? Have you just been cooking vegetable curry when you broke off to write an idea in it? (Thought so.)

Notebook, notebook, always there

You and me, we make a pair.

Notebook, notebook, soft yet tough

Shuttup Gerry, that’s enough.

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Comments (9)
  • Loved the poem. Yes I have a notebook. It goes everywhere with me that my handbag does. that's the benefit we women have. i also have a much bigger one, which is sometimes by my chair and sometimes by the computer. I scribble down ideas - for short stories, a novel, ideas for all sorts and yes, shopping lists and tings I need to remember!

    • A good Blog Gerry! I like silly mode.

      Well first of all it's notebooks...many all over the place and I can't stop buying them. I too used to buy really pretty one's like AnnaB says but I  tend not to use them much - if at all. 

      The trick I realised is to buy really cheap horrible notebooks where there is no pressure to write something amazing. I have one with me at all times. And when brilliance sparks as it will, eventually, it's a pleasure to copy into the pretty books.

      • Great poem. I'm sure there's a short story in there too if you feel like reviving it...

        Yes, I have several notebooks of varying prettiness, quality and amount of use. 

        I have a beautiful gilded Paperblanks one which started off as a homeschooling ideas notebook and then got taken over by writing stuff. It's got lots of brainstorming and notes I took when writing my first manuscript and no doubt will be put in a museum when I become famous (I wish!). It sits with my laptop because it's too big and heavy to carry around. and I use it when I'm writing in serious-mode.

        I also have a tiny Moleskin one which usually travels in my bag with me, but is as yet little used (just a few short story notes and books to read to 'read around my genre'.)

        Then I have two or three basic quality, tear-the-pages-out-when-they're-defunct notebooks which I claimed at the end of my kids' school years so as not to waste the blank pages. They're the ones I grab when I want to make stalker-like notes about agents I want to capture, when read something pertinent on a writing blog/forum (your poem's a tad long, but I'm on the lookout for a pearl of wisdom you drop in somewhere) and for the occasional school meeting.

        In addition I have several loose-leaf pages scattered around and sticky pads (with little stick left in them) because despite being a perfectionist I'm generally quite disorderly.

        • Yay, Moleskines - neat and small, fit the breast pocket of a shirt, don't stick out too much (unlike those red Silvine notebooks which peer over the top saying 'Looka me, I blong to a reel writer, reel I tell ya!'). And they have teary-out pages at the back. And a little folder thing inside the back cover. Mm-huh, the Rolls Royce of writing kit...

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            See? Big red Silvine sticking up too much, saying 'Ignore da bloke, check-out da book! Yeh-eh-eh!'