Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Note Card Shuffle

In my constant quest to update this blog once per week (at least), I have not always been successful. However, I have one surefire way of capturing the thoughts and wayward wonderings that come and go throughout a task-driven workday.

On the table right now are a stack of small note cards that have collected over the last few months in my wallet. Any thought, metaphor, phrase, idea or anything at all, really, gets caught in these, as long as I'm faithful to write them down. I'm going to grab five at random and write down what they say. Here goes:

1. "One of the signs of great art are the questions it asks"

2. Trees, roots, reading with water.

3. "I run when you tell me where to go"

4. Rich lands--the land is so rich, but the farmers aren't prosperous anymore.

5. HI--my name is I-N-T-R-O-V-E-R-T.

#1 is a quotation that struck me while listening to the Steelehouse podcast. I can't remember which episode.

The second is something I was thinking about while on a day trip to Bridal Falls in Chilliwack, B.C.

The third is I think a song lyric, but a quick google search didn't bring it up. I'd like to believe it was original, but I don't think it is.

The fourth is an insight after reading a portion of one of the Anne of Green Gables stories one night. I found a little contrast there where agriculture on small farms used to denote a fairly wealthy status at the turn of the last century, small family farms seem now more likely to struggle financially, at least in my corner of the world. The irony is, that the rich, river-bottom soil in the north of the county where my parents live and I grew up is so rich and fertile. Acres of soil that used to be strawberry fields and farms are being turned into housing developments. It sometimes seems a waste.

And that last looks like a sort of thing that was funny in my head and not so much on paper. Well, I think we all have those moments now and then. Maybe there was a context I'm forgetting now.

These little cards capture the thoughts, and now and then, there's a nugget of gold in there for an essay or story. Anne LaMott advised using notecards in Bird by Bird, and I first got into the habit in my Creative Writing class in college where we read the book as coursework.

It's not a perfect technique, but it's one small thing to help me remember and be aware of the flow of ideas and pictures that come up during my day and capture them.

1 comment:

Jenna St. Hilaire said...

I like the note card idea! They wouldn't get stuck to random other items in a purse, like the sticky notes I've tended to use. Hmm. Might have to make myself some. :)