Friday, July 26, 2019

On Keeping a Notebook (for Longreads)



The fine editors at Longreads let me write about one of my true passions -- keeping a notebook.

Or lots of notebooks. The one in my car, for example, plus specific journals for trips to Italy and a fancy leather-bound number for fiction (aspirational, to be sure) that my sisters gave me when I finished my MFA at Bennington.

I write by computer, of course, and I even keep a notebook-style journal in my Dropbox account. But I’ve come to cherish my notebooks, and perhaps especially my car journal which I use, as I mention in the Longreads piece, often by leaning it against the steering wheel, my eye moving between the page and the road. 

Those entries tend to gush with emotion because if I’ve bothered to record a thought in the car diary, it’s an urgent one, often scrawled while the car is still coming to a halt, and the handwriting attests to it. 

It’s a jumble of information, a place, for instance, to write down lines for stories I may never finish, like, “’I wouldn’t kill him yet,’” I say as I meet her at the front door.” The entries are often short out of necessity; one from October of 2013 reads simply, “I think I’m losing my fingerprints.” The next day, the babysitter called me at work, and I wrote in the journal about talking to my son: “I hear his voice down the phone line, tiny, bewildered. ‘Mommy.’ Then again, ‘Mommy.’” 

Anyway, you can read my piece for Longreads at their site by clicking this link.