What’s in your notebook?

2 Jan

Today’s Daily Post writing tip is to keep a notebook by one’s bed. It’s a great idea that many of you may already use.  It got me to thinking about one of my notebooks.

I love notebooks (ahem, “cahiers”), and I have kept them all around, including a small one tucked behind the sun visor of my car because I commute three hours a day. I often forget to go back and look at my ideas and then when I do, I often have no idea what I was thinking. Thankfully, and I think you’ll agree, most of my ideas never make it into actual posts.

One day while sitting in traffic for an extended period with nothing in sight that particularly fascinated and/or amused me, I flipped back through the car notebook and it occurred to me that if my car were ever searched for any reason, I might have some ‘splainin’ to do.  Or heaven forbid I should end up in a traffic accident where emergency personnel should come across my ramblings.  Clean underwear

Read at your own risk.

What was I thinking?!?

would be the least of my worries.

In that particular entry I had jotted down “naked girls in fish tanks,” which is a quote from the movie Local Hero. I couldn’t recall what brilliant writing idea had inspired me to jot down that quote, seeing as how there aren’t a lot of mermaids wandering the streets of DC. I wouldn’t be opposed to such a thing, nor would I be too surprised to see it, but it hasn’t happened yet. As my mind tried to recall why I’d jotted down that idea,  it occurred to me that the ramblings in my notebook were, in a word, suspicious. Imagine an officer of the law coming across scribbled notes that have led (or have almost led)  to blog posts:

    • Naked girls in fish tanks
    • Whose baby? (From the same movie)
    • Charmin in the woods
    • Time to break up with my desk
    • Vegetable harassment
    • What’s the deal with zombies?
    • Xena, Worrier Princess
    • Miracle Rose and the Dead Halloween Poinsettia
    • The Victoria’s Secret Red Dot Caper

Would the authorities and/or first responders find head-scratching evidence in your notebooks?

39 Responses to “What’s in your notebook?”

  1. Lenore Diane January 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Your notes resemble a list of search queries.
    All of my notebooks start out with a story of some sort, but the notebook ends up being filled with lists for the grocery store. Perhaps the first responders will think I ate too much.

    • Hippie Cahier January 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      Very clever plan, disguising your writing ideas as a grocery list. I bet Hemingway did that. Happy new year, Lenore. :-)

  2. The Bumble Files January 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Funny, Hippie. I think they wouldn’t be able to read my notebook. Ha. I guess it helps in that case, but sometimes I go back and I can’t read it either (which isn’t good). Wow, you have a long commute, huh? I like your sound box over here for “Cahier.” Happy New Year to you!

    • Hippie Cahier January 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Maybe you could take your notebooks to a pharmacist and they could figure out what you wrote. Happy new year to you, too!

  3. Todd January 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    “What’s the deal with zombies” sounds like the start of a bad stand-up routine: Have you seen these zombies? What’s up with these people? People are like, “Ooh, zombies,” but have you seen these things move? Could they walk any slower? They’ll kill you if they catch you, but they can’t catch you. My grandmother moves faster than these zombies. My grandmother. What can I tell you. Could her hair be any bluer?

    • Hippie Cahier January 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Stop! You’re killn’ me!

      No, wait, I’m not really dead. . . :-)

  4. Brown Road Chronicles January 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Not sure which is funnier, Naked Girls in Fish tanks or Charmin in the woods. I don’t keep any notebooks, perhaps I should start!

    • Hippie Cahier January 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      Isn’t it interesting how everything is connected: I started the notebooks for a songwriting endeavour. And now I think it would be groovy if you wrote a song about naked girls in fish tanks and/or Charmin in the woods. :-) Happy New Year to you and the fam. :-)

      • Brown Road Chronicles January 2, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

        I’ll write that down in my new notebook so I don’t forget to work on it!

  5. beeseeker January 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Full of things I hear on the radio, for example
    traffic news …”The M6 northbound” me hinking Yeah, that’d be right it’s a six lane motorway, steel reinforced concrete, tarmacadam surfacing, drainage piping, central Armco barrier -not gonna be light is it?

    • Hippie Cahier January 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      Bumper stickers sometimes lighten things up. Recently I saw one that said,, “Safety third.” After I put enough distance between that car and mine, I laughed. :-)

      • shoreacres January 3, 2013 at 10:22 am #

        Berkeley in the 70s was bumper sticker heaven. “Don’t Send An Adverb to do an Adjective’s Job”. “Don’t Let Your Karma Run Over my Dogma” etc. The best ever was “Intellectual Coolies of the World, Unite! You have Nothing to Lose But Your Mentors!” I presume that belonged to a teaching assistant.

        • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

          Oh, that Adverb/Adjective one is beautiful. I wish I had one of those. I really do.

  6. omawarisan January 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Most of my ideas are in my phone. A lot of my drafts are on legal pads in my work vehicle. If they ever have to unstrap me from that car I’ll be exposed to the people I work with as a writer.

    • Hippie Cahier January 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      Here’s hoping you’re exposed in a much more profitable and pleasant fashion.

      • omawarisan January 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

        Bit by bit the book will come, and they will say “the old man…who knew he had that in him?”

        • Hippie Cahier January 2, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

          I knew you were a writer before I even googled the definition of ‘omawarisan,’ so I bet they know.

          No pressure or anything,, but you know, I am quoted on page 158 of Arindam’s book, she says, twirling her hair nonchalantly and quietly humming the UM alma mater, not in any way intended to subliminally suggest anything whatsoever. ;-) P.S. I will be first in line when that book comes out. I’ll try not to rough up We Found Him Captain, but I can’t make any promises. . . .

  7. Betty January 2, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    I try to maintain my notebooks by category. The notebook of lists (grocery, to do, packing for travel, etc.) Then there’s the notebook for cooking ideas, dinner party menu planning and set back schedule for executing the dinner parties. Lastly, my favorite category of notebook that just came into my life last year, the journal for my rambling thoughts :)

    • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      If you were to ever confuse the notebooks, the ensuing hijinks would be a hilarious post. :-)

  8. Debbie January 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Oh, this is funny! I do the same thing, only on scraps of paper loosely filed in a box, half of which mean absolutely nothing to me when I get around to looking them over for possible ideas! I never even considered what would happen if something happened to me, and others tried to read them!

    • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

      You have just given me an idea for a blog / writing game. Hmmmm…wheels spinning!

  9. Spectra January 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    I am curious about that dead Halloween pointsetta. Is that a new thing? Hallowmas, or Chrismasween? I’ll wait for you to develop that one into a full-on post to find out…

    • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

      It’s so you to be drawn to that. I can’t tell the whole story about Miracle Rose, and even if I could, you would think I was making her up. Taking out the best parts without ruining the story has been a challenge. Some day, though. Some day!

  10. Valentine Logar January 3, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    If anyone could read my notebooks they should apply for a new career, likely something that pays better. Chick scratch interpreter perhaps? I, like you have them every where.

    • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

      Now I’m seriously curious about everyone’s notebooks!

  11. writerdood January 3, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    I used to keep a notebook, but you know how it goes. Now I have sticky notes – mainly to record ideas that I wake up with from dreams. I have to write them in the bathroom though, or my wife will wake up, and she’s grumpy if I wake her up in the middle of the night. I think she’s got some kind of low seritonin or something. Maybe her blood sugar drops when she’s asleep, but she gets really pissed off if I wake her up and becomes a total bitch. So I keep the sticky notes in the bathroom with a pen.

    • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

      Every once in a while, I read a comment that I know has a perfect response but whatever that is, I draw a blank. This is one of those times. You have teed this one up beautifully. I hope someone more clever than I will come along and bat it out of the park. As for me, you had me at low seritonin. :-)

  12. shoreacres January 3, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    I keep thinking I should have notebooks. Everyone has notebooks. Actually, I HAVE notebooks, I just don’t have anything in them except the calorie count of a 5″ sweet potato, a phone number with no indication of who it belongs to, and occasional to-do lists: Library…cat grass…garlic

    On the other hand, if the car wreck comes, they may wonder why there are snippets and phrases on the back of pieces of used sandpaper. Eighty grit will do, but 120 and 180 are the best.

    • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

      I hope Daily Post is reading and uses that sandpaper recommendation some day. I will be proud to say I knew you when. . .

  13. spilledinkguy January 3, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I keep notebooks laying all over the place for this sort of thing, too! I’ll often wake-up in the middle of the night and jot some idea(s) down (in the dark). The next day it takes me about an hour to translate what I wrote down (and about 75% of the time that translation leaves me shaking my head. Or laughing. Or both)!
    A few of your entries would make for some kinda cool drawings / paintings (just saying)! :)

    • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

      Wouldn’t it be cool if you jotted down the details of an intricate dream about a family of rock star penguins or something, but in the dark it translated into a groundbreaking, previously elusive theory of quantum physics?

      • spilledinkguy January 4, 2013 at 11:43 am #

        That would be pretty awesome! Although at this point I’d consider myself lucky if I could interpret my low-light penmanship (it’s bad enough under optimum conditions)! :)

  14. djmatticus January 3, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    3 hour commute?!! Oh dear. Is that 3 hours both directions, or 3 hours per day? Either way, I guess I should stop complaining about my 2 hour, 70 mile roundtrip, per day commute.

    “Time to break up with my desk” – Oh, I want to steal this idea. I’ve never had a work desk that “fit” me, and though my company says that support ergonomic work spaces, they don’t really back that up.

    I don’t think you need to worry about the hidden gems in your notebook in your car. If an officer or emergency person had reason to be searching through your car you might have bigger things to worry about that point anyway. ;-)

    • Hippie Cahier January 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      It’s an hour and a half each way. Our mileage is about the same, but the last three blocks to my office can take a half hour or longer. It’s crazy.

      Good point about the bigger things to worry about. I have been known to transport baked goods:

  15. Ironyonhighheels January 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    LMAO! That’s why I always write down a couple of notes to the idea/headline as an explanation. Actually not for the case should others find it – but I wouldn’t be able to remember what the heck I was thinking about.

    • Hippie Cahier January 4, 2013 at 12:04 am #

      You notate your notes. That’s impressive!

  16. pegoleg January 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Who hasn’t wondered about Charmin in the woods? I mean they make it seem from the commercials that it’s the woodland creature’s favorite brand, hands down, but that could just be Madison Ave hype. Couldn’t it?

    • Hippie Cahier January 4, 2013 at 12:06 am #

      Are bears Catholic? Honestly, when I saw that roll of t.p. by the woods, I really wanted to see a cartoon bear come out from behind a tree. I really did.

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