A Notebook is a Kid’s Best Friend

You know that feeling of a brilliant idea you’re sure you had, now just out of reach? Like waking from a vivid dream with no memory of the dream.

Or maybe you had the wording for what you wanted to say just right, but you didn’t jot it down and now none of your phrasing feels as poignant. 

One of my mom’s artist’s magazines told me to carry a notebook everywhere I went, no matter what, for that perfect image waiting to be sketched. Most writers will say to have it beside the bed, for when inspiration (a drawing in of breath) strikes. That is, by the way, how I’m writing this, on a night when I fell asleep too early and woke up at 2am wired. 

So why do I forget to write things down? Because I’m at work, driving, or otherwise find it impossible or unsafe? Sometimes. But as a member of the human race, no matter how well I think I know something, I have to keep learning these lessons. I’ve gone whole weeks with a bag filled with novels and crochet projects, but no notebook or no pen. 

Plus, and I’m sure you can relate, I act like my phone can do the job. I have Evernote, the WordPress app, can even sketch with a stylus. Which is fabulous! My phone is more mini computer and writing implement than communication device in how I use it. Sure, I get distracted, but more than that, half the time I want to write something on my phone, it’s dead! Paper is amazingly reliable. 

Even as I’m writing this I’m struggling with formatting issues that aren’t a big deal, but take me out of my flow. 

Plus, it’s easier to avoid editing while writing on paper, and save that pesky judgmental voice for later, when typing up. Of course I’ll keep using my phone for creative endeavors. But there still needs to be a notebook on me at all times.

What about you? Is your phone enough? Are you attached to a notebook or sketch pad? Is there some other method that works for you? I’d love to hear!


Goals for Writing & the Blog in 2015

Fig Leaf

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.
Rainer Maria Rilke

At the beginning of each new year I like to assess where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished, and what I want for the future. In 2014 my dad and I recorded my first poetry CD, Riverbed, I put together a full-length poetry and multi-media show with Yocheved, and Prairie published “Anansi and the Moon.” I also blogged for One Green Planet, and wrapped the first full draft of a novella I’ve been playing with for five years. 2014 has been a productive year in many respects, but also personally difficult. I struggled with believing my work was worth the effort to create and share, and would be worthwhile to other people.

For 2015, I want to take the craft, editing and sharing portions of writing more seriously, instead of hiding my work away. Of course it won’t be perfect! Of course I’ll screw up sometimes, and there are other important and more tangible ways to contribute to my community. But I know it’s worth it for me and for anyone who gets a little joy or understanding out of reading what I write.

So What’s in Store for 2015?

To keep my poetry kosher for publication, very little gets posted on the website, but National Poetry Writing Month is the exception. Join me again this April, when I will do my darnedest to write and post a poem a day or catch up quickly if I fall behind. Can’t wait for April (and everybody else’s awesome poems)!

Collaborative Non-Fiction Health Book
My mother and I are aiming to write a book on one of our shared passions, health. We’re both excited about working together and the ideas we have so far. I want to get away from the absurdities of a lot of health stuff and focus on basic, reasonable ways to take care of yourself with a generous dose of sarcasm and punnery.

I’m going to VidCon this year! I still need to figure out the nitty gritty, but I have a ticket for the creator track. In addition to potentially working for a local film production company this year, I’m hoping VidCon will help me improve my funky film projects and understanding of what I’m doing. And of course there’s networking.

Personal Manuscripts
I’m hoping to have the novella to the second or third draft stage where I can get feedback from a few close friends mid-year, by September if the non-fiction eats me. I also have all the poems written, I think, to put together a book I’ve been thinking about for a good while, a full-length for-publication endeavor focusing on the written word — “page-poetry,” if you will — with central themes of loss and mythology.

Blogging and Social Media
I want to stay connected! I want this to be the year with something like a regular posting schedule and more short films. The blog will update at least once a month with poetry book reviews, thoughts and helpful links on writing and the writing life. See about playing with some new ways of doing things, like podcast and visuals. And you can always say hi @poetrymytemple and FaceBook if you miss me.

What are you excited about in 2015? Are you doing or thinking about NaPoWriMo? (Not yet, probably.) Be sure to let me know  if any of you are going to VidCon, too.