Thursday 22 February 2018

A Writer-Parent Dilemma: The Notebook


     Like many writers, I have a little notebook that I carry with me almost everywhere I go. It’s my "Inspiration Book" and I keep close tabs on it because if I lost it, I would be devastated by the thought that some “genius” idea may have been forever lost.

     But, if it were ever found I’d be equally devastated because it contains my name and phone number, and whoever returned it to me would probably have read a hundred half-formed, outlandish thoughts, feeble attempts at song lyrics, plot and character ideas, “sure-fire million dollar inventions” and strange little non sequiturs that inexplicably inspired me. In fact, I might be too embarrassed to ever claim it. 

     If I did claim it, I would certainly avoid eye contact. 

     As I use or reject the ideas, I pull out the pages until the book is empty. I’ve maintained a book like this for several years and never lost one. But, one particularly busy day, the current version went missing. 

     I told no one, sweated silently and tossed in my sleep, but I was confident that it had not gone too far, as my fear of embarrassment keeps me vigilant.

    Today, I found it. It was on the hallway bookshelf, under a pile of the kids’ library books.

     I guess that I was not the first to find it. 

     I just spent twenty minutes culling artwork from random pages. (Though I did leave the ones that said: “I Love You, Daddy.”)

     I hate the way the kids waste pages with random doodles and scribbles, but I’m too embarrassed to chastise them, in case they've read it.

     It's going to be a bit awkward avoiding eye contact with my children until I die.


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