In the week leading up to Christmas, there was a story on either lifehacker or zenhabits about gifts on the cheap (not cheap as in quality or thought, just in budget…so probably on lifehacker come to think of it). One of the items listed for around $10 was a moleskine notebook. I have to admit, I’ve been curious about the recommendation, and sought one out (Borders). The notebooks are nice, but for ten years I’ve had an on-again off-again relationship with classic marble composition notebooks. Cheesy, I know, and possibly even slightly movie quality psycho (“Conspiracy Theory” comes to mind…so does “Se7en” , though I don’t recall the psycho in that movie doing anything in particular), but I have composition notebooks that stretch back to 1998.
They’re an odd amalgam of journal, story notes, and occasionally even notes for code. Not every entry has been dated, and the bulk of it is my stabs at writing fiction. The funny thing is that being a part of my life for ten years, a lot of what’s written in there has evolved over time until it’s at the point of mythos in my head. Case in point is the story I’m attempting to develop right now, where I’m using elements from this mythos, trying to remember what I declared (or udneclared) over time, trying not to contradict myself.
When going though the notebooks today to find a note I remember jotting down, two things struck me. The first was the obvious, which is looking back on something written years before always seems less mature kludgey compared to what you know your writing now (even if, in truth, that isn’t the case). The second thing was that this shelf of composition notebooks that we’ve lugged from apartment to apartment, and then to the house, are mostly empty(!). Not all of them – the early ones are filled, cover to cover, the handwriting progressively shrinking as I tried to cram more and more into the pages before I ran out of space. But then the later volumes, which I had thought were filled, are mostly two to fifteen pages, generally dated either Februrary or early Fall (September/October), and all begin with “I know it’s been a while, but the mood has struck me to write again…” To be fair, the better part of the last five years was spent working on Gentoo in my free time, which generally didn’t leave much left for writing. I know, some of the Gentoo devs were real wizards, combining careers (or school, which hopefully they were giving the same level of attention, or both), Gentoo, and twenty other hobbies, all of which seemed to be far more fascinating and enthralling than scraping modeling clay off of the floor and chairs because your three year old had been through the area.
Well, that just seemed silly to keep on a shelf like that. So I’ve trimmed the pages out of the mostly empty notebooks, piecing them together in order (appears I also changed dating formats in the suckers every time I started a new one), and merged them into the last of the original notebooks, which was only half filled. So of my four and a half notebooks, the first three were filled in a three or four year period, and the last one covers most of the remaining years.
And where does blogging fir into all of this? Different mediums, different thoughts to share. The handwritten volumes aren’t meant to be shared at large, and mostly are the stream of consciousness on paper (not that this blog gets better material mind you).
Bah, too much blogging, not enough cleaning up from the Holidays 🙂 Happy Festivus!