What happens to all the posts that don’t get published? Where do all those scribblings (or typings) go? Do they get deleted? Do they go to the trash in the right hand bottom of the screen?
No Reader, they do not.That would be rash and wasteful. I confess….I hoard them; I save them all. I don’t just mean the almost published posts but all the little sentences and phrases that I hear or that might pop into my head during the day. They either go into my phone or into my little notebook. The notebook that goes everywhere with me, never left behind, even in the maelstrom that is a handbag change.
This was the very good advice given to me by my wonderful Mexican friend. This is my writing mentor, the one who is incredibly busy but still manages to write, publish a novel and ride his giant but gentle horse. He said he had notebooks full of pithy sentences and amaaaazing ideas for a book, a story or a character, but to beware, there was a flaw to all this industrious recording. This was, that by the time you came to re-read these scribblings you were absolutely clueless as to what half of them meant. He was correct.
The nearly published stuff is easy enough to re-jig or re-write and make sense of but the thoughts and ideas that I write down during the course of the day, they can be a little more challenging. For example, here is a little gem that I have on my phone:
“lady in a sari – is it the sari is it the lady”
and that’s it. No indication of what I was thinking, no context at all.
Here’s another one:
“I feel so weak from unhappiness”
Actually, this one was very recent. It was uttered by a friend in relation to the poor quality of his hot buttered toast. He was right to be unhappy, the toast had mould on it! However, in a month or so, would I still remember the tale of the terrible toast? Probably not!
I think it’s clear that just writing down a sentence is not helpful enough for it’s future use, but writing down why you thought it was worth writing down is a bit like explaining a joke – in the end no one laughs and you wonder why you thought it was a good joke in the first place.
It is obvious I need to develop a better system, any suggestions are MORE than welcome.
Here is a longer piece, this time from the notebook. I remember writing this very clearly. It was on a flight to Chandigarh. On my left was the H who was listening to New Order. In his defence he did have headphones on but the music was still loud enough that I could tell it was New Order. On my right was a gentleman listening to indian music on his phone, without the benefit of headphones. I do wonder how people can enjoy listening to music like that…..
In an effort to calm the rising red mist, my mind wandered to a familiar place of comfort – listing my favourite food. However, I think the noise pollution founds it’s way in because this piece ends up a little angry….
“Number 3. Tortilla (or Spanish Omelette)”
Specifically my mum’s Spanish Omelette. I still ask for this when I go home. There is a magic that happens between the eggs and the potatoes. Some people add onions (much to the Sis’s disgust) and I’ve seen other bits and bobs going in which have no place in a tortilla. The potatoes MUST be fried. Not parboiled, not parboiled and then fried or any other variation thereof.
You may fry the potatoes in vegetable oil but the tortilla must be finished in olive oil. Olive oil must be involved. Also, it must be flipped over.
Delia Smith (doyenne of the British TV chef brigade) – I don’t care how much you’ve done for British cookery or the introduction of foreign culinary delights to the British Public, you were persona non grata in my house the day you said a tortilla could be finished under a grill! No woman! Never!
In a Spanish household it would be preferable that the whole thing ended up on the floor, in a flip fail, than resorting to the sacrilegious act of putting it under the grill!
Hmmmmm, luckily it was a short flight or there might have been a treatise on Spaghetti Bolognese.
So there you have it. Nothing goes to waste, although much like my freezer I do need a better system of organisation.
P.S. The photos of the Greek portico and the Greek village are courtesy of the Sis; because I like them and Waste Not, Want Not.