Friday, January 14, 2022

The Writing Down Book

We had plans to spend our old age galloping across the Greek Islands, my sister and I. 

While it is still a possibility, it is highly unlikely that we will ever realize that dream. I am not sure we ever believed we would. But we loved those islands, in particular Zakynthos. And we enjoyed making those plans as we stretched out in the sun on the golden beaches. A week or two of escape from the struggle of being single, poor and approaching middle age beneath the grey skies of Ireland (for me) and England (for my sister).

Back in the late 1980's we were both free agents; single as I said, with grown up families. And for a few years we went on holiday together to Greece, the Greek Islands to be precise, the first year my sister's older daughter came too. Actually, they were going and when I heard I invited myself along. We laughed ourselves silly and had the most memorable times together; on a shoestring as neither of us had a lot of spare cash. We pooled what money we did have and my sister introduced me to the Writing Down Book, and budgeting. 

She divided up our funds so that we knew exactly how much we had to spend each day. Every penny spent was carefully recorded in the writing down book. We were as frugal as possible during the day, in order to be able to splurge in the evening. It was rare that we overspent but if we did, we had to adjust our allowance for the following day accordingly. At the end of each day my sister carefully balanced the book. 

Many years later I acquired another writing down book. This time, not to keep track of spending, to keep track of random thoughts and ideas. As mentioned before, after my retirement, because I was not at all ready to start doing nothing for the rest of my life, I signed up for Masterclass. My interest has always been writing. Every author I listened to recommended carrying a small notebook to jot down ideas, or overheard snippets of conversation, anything of interest and could be used in some future story went into the notebook. I bought myself a writing down book. I wanted something with substance so I found a leather bound book on Amazon. It was slightly larger than I wanted but so is my bag, it works—up to a point.

I think perhaps one of the mistakes I made was getting a notebook that was too big to fit in my back pocket. But then again, maybe not. I know for a fact that if I kept it there, it would be worse than useless because it would end up in the washing machine. Also, my notebook has an elastic loop to hold a pen. A notebook of any size is of no use without the pen, so I will persist with what I have.

I use my writing down book. At first I jotted down just a few words, knowing that would jog my memory and the story would flow. It didn't. Even just a few hours later I look at the words and have no clue what I was thinking at the time I wrote them. So, I became more detailed in what I write. Still from time to time, what I had thought at the time was worth recording means nothing to me when revisited. 

I continue to carry my notebook with me and continue to make notes. Each time going into more detail. I am hoping that sooner or later I will come up with a way to communicate with myself that makes sense, both with writing down and reading back later.

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