Requiem for a Notebook

My Writing Practice notebook is filled. This one is, at least. I will start a new one tonight when I sit down again. Yesterday I wrote to the end of the current one and, because I was curious, I decided to do a review. Here’s what I found:

There are 100 sheet / 200 pages in this notebook. A few of the pages are covered with other writings, so they don’t count. I filled 191 sheets with my scrawl. The first 4 sheets had 197, 190, 170, and 167 words on them. I’ll estimate all those 191 sheets have 175 words each, for a total of 33,425 words, which would be about 135 pages when printed. That’s a long novella. Not bad.

My longest streak was 13 days in a row, starting July 2 and going through July 14. The next longest was 11 days from 8/4 through 8/14. Hm, something about the 15th of the month that I don’t want to write?

I did a 5-day series early in July on “Describe sex…” The first few lines of each are as follows:

7-3-18 This is a strange one. Because most other phenomenon a will be described by their physical properties – the game of baseball will be about… ; sex, on the other hand is more likely to be described in emotional terms.

7-4-18 It’s a physical status and a physical act. Status – male or female. Act – penetration, intercourse interaction.

7-5-18 “Sex is natural, sex is fun. Sex is best when it’s one-on-one!” “Let’s talk about sex, baby, let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things, that may be.”

7-6-18 Sex is power. Sex is control. Sex is authority. Sex is “top” and “bottom”, sex is “giver” and “receiver”. Sex is “fucking” – an active verb, an authoritative act – and it is “getting fucked” – a receptive, passive, dominated, submissive state.

7-7-18 Sex is biting nipples. It is stroking shoulders and grabbing hair, but not by the ends, to pull and to hurt, but close, at the back of the head, right by the name of the neck, just to get a feeling of control

I had “lose control” experiences on 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/16, and 8/18. These are times when I stop thinking, stop getting logical, and often my pen does not even make words any longer. It looks like this:

7/22, at the end when I’ve completely lost control

On 8/4 I ended with “I come in the whirlwind.” I liked that line so much that I started my writing practice on 8/5 with that same line.

On 8/20 I ran a pen dry. This is always a satisfying experience. My topic was “Write about background music – “. I started and as I noticed that the pen was close to exhaustion, I promised myself I would keep going until it gave out. 6.5 pages in, the ink finally finished and I quit.

On 8/22 my topic was “Write in incomplete sentences.” It looked like this:

This will be a challenging for ________.

I don’t often ________.

In the middle of my sentences I usually ________.

Somewhat _______, but there’s this cute girl at the ________ that wasn’t immediately rejecting me last time I ________.

On 9/9 I ran out of space. I had no more empty pages. But I wasn’t done writing for the day, so I turned the notebook 45 degrees and wrote over the last page a second time. If I try reaaaaaally hard, I could probably decipher what I wrote the first time and the second time. I don’t want to try that hard.

I wrote on 60 of 83 days available during this period. I had one long stretch at the beginning where I missed 7 days in a row (I must have been doing something else the 3rd week of June), but for all the rest I usually only missed a day before writing again. My next notebook I’ll aim for 60 days of 70 (skip one day a week, on average).

I’m pretty satisfied with this one. Now it goes on the shelf. Will it ever come back off? Not likely. But still, having that tangible reminder of what I’ve done is always valuable to me.

Writing Practice 11/22/2017

This notebook is…

This notebook is a trap. It captures thoughts, desires, fears, imagination. it is like that box with a bright, shining light that the Ghostbusters used to use; you throw it out, it captures all the things which escape from your mind and your fingers, and it traps them inside for all eternity. And at the same time, it is a zoo – it is a display of all those things which have been captured in the wild, and showing them off to the newest generation. Opening times – all day, any time, just open up the cover and go for it.

This notebook is a cuneiform tablet. It is written in an ancient script, a language which almost nobody any longer understands. It is a place for recording history that would have otherwise been forgotten. Yet there are so few who remember how to decipher this text it is as good as forgotten.

This notebook is red-colored. The pages are blue-lined. Each page has another red barrier stripe to the left edge. The middle fold creates a margin between the columns. There is a longer space at the top of each page where the blue horizontal lines are absent, or never were, in the first place.

This notebook has pages which feel waxy. They feel as if they have been coated like playing cards, a smooth, non-paper feel. Paper feels rough to the touch. It makes a ‘shhhh’ noise when I draw my finger over it. This – this wax pretender – is not paper. It has no sound. It has no character. It has no moxie. It is soulless; it is a blank, plain, poor substitute for paper, that beautiful product derived from trees and water and love. Paper has heart. It holds – it comes from something which once lived. It breathed. It metabolized. It fended of pests and predators. It reproduced!

This – this – does not feel good. It does not feel right. It does not feel natural.

But it was cheap. And I have 100 sheets (double-sided) to get used to it.

I hope I don’t.