I guess lots of writers do this, jot things down that they think of, that they see, that they overhear, they read, that they inadvertently say. Do they make sure they give a context or a reminder of where it occurred or or what other thoughts it triggered? Or do they forget or maybe not be able to read what they jotted? I definitely fall into the latter category. That’s why notebooks are such a trial to me as my handwriting is so ridiculous much of what I write is illegible or unintelligible. Thanks to having a phone I can now write things there it doesn’t always help with remembering the significance but at least I can read what I’ve noted – unless spellcheck buts in, then it’s completely hopeless – but sometimes quite interesting.
Just looking at my phone notes, and I have the following:
- death of grass… I belatedly remember that might be the title of a book someone recommended and looking it up I find that it’s a 1959 sci-fi novel by Sam Youd writing as John Christopher
- pints of urva… I would have no clue except I made a note to myself, ‘points of view’; did I accidentally write pints of urva, was it a simple typo which amused me? An urva is a crab eating mongoose by the way.
- they will become very cantankerous. Who will? And why? And did they? A mystery
- shades of yellow… well there are many shades of yellow of course, so why would I note it? I can’t find the phrase as a title of a book, album, film, TV play so who knows why I wrote it down?
- inflicted with loyalty… what a magnificent phrase! I cannot find it anywhere so either I thought of it myself or I heard someone say it, but of course I now have no idea – I wrote it on March 1st which was a Sunday and I can’t think what I might have been doing to give me a clue.
I got to thinking about jottings when I came across something I’d written here, as a draft post some time before 9th April this year. Was it something I heard, or thought of or read in another book? No idea, but I think I might use it:
- on that day no-one was sat by the window
That short sentence opens so many possibilities. Where was the window? Who usually sat by it? Was it such a nice window people always wanted to sit by it? What was significant about ‘that day’? I could write so many different pieces, and maybe I will… but where did it come from, and am I quoting someone else? I will probably never know.