Monday, June 12, 2006

To journal-purchase, or not...

Every weekend I have my mind flooded with good ideas for blogs, and every Monday morning I've managed to forget each idea that I so carefully stored in my short term memory for quick recollection.

One of these days I'm going to start carrying a journal around with me again, so I can jot down all my great ideas. But the problem with this every actually working to my benefit are slim.

For example, one of my better blog ideas was concocted while attempting to fill a large kiddie pool in my backyard, while dodging the spray from the nozzle on the hose that my two year old had just figured out how to work. Water and paper makes a poor writing combination. Not to mention it's hard to write when laughing so hard.

Another great idea came to me when I was carrying boxes up a flight of stairs into the new apartment of my husband's buddy and his wife. I couldn't tell you what that idea was at all, because I forgot it as soon as I stumbled on the steps and nearly dropped a box marked "Fragile!", and I certainly wouldn't have been able to write it down at that moment!

A third great idea came in that in-between stage right after sunrise, when I was half-aware and mostly asleep. I elaborated it into one of those dreams that you can control a bit, and promptly fell back into a deep sleep, forgetting it entirely.

Having a journal nearby wouldn't have helped in any of these circumstances, so I didn't rush out and get a new one to drag around with me. I figure that saved me at least $50 anyway. Fifty bucks, you ask?? How do you figure?

Well, I'm picky about my journals. I want the perfect bound heavy cardboard hardback ones. And I want them to be unlined, so I can sketch in them if I get inclined. So it's off to Borders or Barnes & Noble's for the $12.95 journal (which I usually end up with a lined version of). But since I'm in the bookstore, I might as well look around, and frequently end up finding $30, $40 bucks worth of books I can't live without.

By the time I get out of there, some two hours later, I've spent $50 at the store acquiring a journal (that won't fit in my purse), so it gets put on a shelf. I then take my new books into my room where I plant myself for days at a time, reading greedily until I finish them all. A week or two later I re-emerge, well-fed head, but not one page of brief scribblings on the journal, which by now I've forgotten I purchased in the first place.

Within another week I guarantee you I'd be saying to my husband "Honey, I need to go pick up a new journal..." and so begin it all over again. Eventually my hubby would tell me that the end doesn't justify the means and ban me from the bookstore without a chaperone (other than the two year old), and I'd just sulk and blog about being banned from the bookstore and currently taking applications for the position of chaperone....

1 comment:

Ginevra Fanshawe said...

I do exactly the same thing with journals. I'm always deciding, as though for the first time, that I really need to record more of my passing insights, and going out to buy a journal, and feeling so ennobled and exhausted by the search that I forget to do anything about it, and lose it somewhere in the house.

I've been trying and trying to think of books to recommend to you! My mind is a complete blank lately. My kids love me to tell them stories about "when you were a little girl," and I really can't think of a single one of those, either. Did anything ever happen to me in my life? Or are my life stories just so grim and depressing that I don't want to burden my angels with them?

But I just finished "Bird by Bird," by Anne Lamott. I've been putting off reading it for years, because it's an advice book about writing, and the last thing I thought I wanted was to hear a successful writer gloating smugly about her success and how I can try to achieve a lesser version of it, but it's really good. Very funny and honest and entertaining.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but one of my favorite books of all time is "Coming Home," by Rosamund Pilcher. It was a big best seller, but I don't think anybody would consider it great literature. Maybe it's not, but it's just so pleasurable to read---a perfect big, sweeping novel but so cozily written that you feel as though you're sinking into a warm bath. I reread it every time I need sustenance....

More to come....