Old notebooks


On the shelf above my desk, and in the bottom left-hand drawer are old notebooks, some have a few pages left to use, others are full: with the detritus of writing.  Several friends and I have this ongoing thing of buying each other notebooks – writers can never have too many notebooks, although I do sometimes wonder – I am still looking for the one that has the start of what I think of as the ‘Alhambra story’.

Some notebooks have had pages ripped out – train times, phone numbers, dead ends – some are too precious to tear, and have pages scored through – tasks completed, stories transferred to the computer…

Sometimes the writing is from the back of the notebook, sometimes it is scrawled across a page diagonally. There is pencil, and felt tip and biro and proper ink, in black-blue-green-purple.

An example: Spiral bound, pink hardboard covers decorated with cartoon pigs (shh, it;s what’s inside that counts), lots of pages missing.

From the front: email addresses for publishers, a note to call the doctor, some ancient notes from work.

Some angry comments about kettle drums while I waited for someone who was late for a meeting, a doodled eye and design for a kelim, and the ambiguous now forgotten meaning of: collaboration/ child solider/ gangs/ invisibility. – must write that at some point, whatever it was.

A to do list, all crossed through.

More crossings out.

A different version of a story now complete.

Notes from workshops and seminars (multiple colours, more doodles).

Some calculations – something to do with computers because there are gigabytes mentioned, phone numbers for bookshops in Bristol and Bath.

Embryonic notes for converting a story to an opera, still to do.

From the back and consequently upside-down, in pencil,  the start of a story about a string trio hired for a corporate party. If I’d had any sense I wouldn’t have taken up the cello…

The keywords for a writing exercise: fat woman, dainty eating, heartbreak, secret, far to go.

Notes for a newsletter not yet done, thick black lines around in a futile attempt to attract my attention – sometimes it feels like the notebook is yelling at me, you’ve not done this yet!

and a plaintive question – where is the Alhambra story?

© Cherry Potts 2013

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Author: Cherry Potts

Cherry Potts is a published fiction writer, publisher, event organiser, photographer, cardmaker, NLP master practitioner, life coach and trainer. She is an enthusiastic singer. Through Arachne Press she publishes fiction and non fiction and runs spoken word events and cross-arts workshops for writers at interesting venues. Always interested in new opportunites to perform, write or explore writing.

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