Old Notebook Prowling

Many people are advocates of spring cleaning, but over the years, I’ve become an advocate of fall cleaning. I think it all began when my kids were young and September meant shipping them off to school. I love all three of my kids, but after a summer of activities with little or no time to write, I craved my time alone.

Now that my kids are grown I continue my ritual of fall cleaning. You may think this involves emptying out closets of unused items, but, in actuality, it is about thumbing through old notebooks for writing ideas.

For example, yesterday I pulled out a red journal with unlined parchment paper, used in a poetry workshop with Sharon Olds. I reread my comments about women’s purses and my observations about their relationships with them—their sacredness, clutched close, jammed with receipts, business cards, scribbled notes and unsent letters. I thought about my new purple purse (I adore purple) and my vow to keep it clean. I thought about other women and their sentiments about their own purses. All these are wonderful seeds for today’s poem.

I just love the thoughts and surprises hidden inside the covers of old journals. Don’t you?

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1 Response to “Old Notebook Prowling”

  1. 1 valwebb September 5, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Hello, Diana! Do you find that your various notebooks seem to have different personalities, to some extent? For some reason — perhaps because I usually start out with a “theme” (random notes, garden notes, ideas for artwork, inspirational quotes) I find that each notebook seems to grow in its own direction. Anyway, thanks for a very enjoyable blog.

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Quote of the Week

"A writer uses a journal to try out the new step in front of the mirror."

~Mary Gordon

About Me

I am a memoirist, essayist, poet and teacher whose passion is keeping a notebook. My notebook is my muse and my alter ego. It contains personal snippets of my life and observations from the world around me. Diarist Anaïs Nin has been a great source of inspiration for me. My hobbies include writing, writing and more writing, but when I have extra time, I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, yoga, working out, cooking and hanging out with my family and Maltese Poodle, Spunky. In order not to become ensconced by the glare of my computer screen, I also teach in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. My pleasure comes from sharing my joy of journaling with professional writers and anyone interested in writing.

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