Slice Of Life Tuesday-A Notable Week For Notebook Entries

Some weeks  in my writing life result in a large number of notebook entries. Entries varied and holding great personal satisfaction for me as writer, as a collector.  This last week has provided quite a harvest of potential writing ideas.

I began the week writing about a brief encounter. I had been talking to teachers about assisting students to write about small moments and found myself thinking about a personal experience. An experience from my teenage years.

‘Sometimes you find yourself in the right place at the right time. I recall standing beside a creek not far from my childhood home. The forest around me was briefly quiet allowing the flow of the creek to be clearly heard. It flowed by, murmuring a soft flub-flub as it cornered the bank. Suddenly a mid –sized fish, a trout, I suspect, broke the surface of the stream, heaving its body upwards as if shot from a cannon. It disappeared with a watery slap of bubbles and foam. The surface of the water quickly regaining its former calm. Momentary action. A gravity defying leap, then the act is erased from view. Natural order was restored and the creek flowed on. I saw it though. I was there in that moment in the forest when a fish frolicked. A witness to a simple pleasure.’

A host of different entries quickly filled subsequent pages. An eclectic collection of thoughts, quotes and observations. I share them with you now:

 I found this short poem hidden on my phone. It had been there since early April. I had almost entirely forgotten its existence. I decided to print it off and post it in my notebook, to give it a little breathing space.

I saw this quote on Twitter and found myself fierce agreement. 

I don't do a lot of drawing but I recently made an agreement with a group of young writers to move out of my comfort zone with sketching and try to add a few more 'doodles.' I had fun with this one...

I found my copy of the classic Australian children's book, Windmill At Magpie Creek by Christobel Mattingley and found myself  irresistibly engaged in a text mark-up.

Then came a short little poem called a Lune that  originally found its way out of my head in Darwin a couple of weeks ago. By the time I wrote it in my notebook, I knew it off by heart. The quote below it comes directly from my wife, a person renowned for posing ponderable questions.

I love photography. I believe it sharpens my observations and this in turn assists my writing. One evening I noticed shadows on a kitchen bench-top created by wine glasses, so I grabbed my camera and then played with the results. 

 These quotes are the result of my reflection upon messages shared by Ralph Fletcher at the recent A.L.E.A. Conference in Darwin

Lists are a notebook staple. I made this list while observing a Grade 2 writing workshop. They were brainstorming possible characters for their stories.

These are the preliminary notes for a poem based on a story a taxi driver told during the time I lived and worked in New York. Raw words that may eventually form a poem.

Another piece of Twitter gold! This time it was Seymour Simon whose profound words struck an immediate chord.

I wrote this poem on a piece of notepaper a couple of weeks ago and decided to revise it on my computer. It then found it way into my notebook. I like poems with a refrain.

So there you have it. A hotchpotch of notebook entries across the week. The question remains, -what will they grow into?  Will they become part of something bigger, grander? Will they launch some writing beyond my notebook?  Will they lie, waiting to be enlisted at a later time? 
Ah, the possibilities...


  1. What a post of gems shared so well digitally,
    Thanks Alan :)

  2. You have inspired me to keep my notebook close. I love the Mem Fox quote and the Rememories...

  3. Great inspiration for today, Alan. I love the reflection early on about the trout frolic-just that brief moment-caught-another kind of fishing.

  4. You have given us a wonderful glimpse inside the workings of your writing process. Very inspiring! I am still pondering the winter boot. Gorgeous handwriting, too.

  5. You have had an inspirational week! I hope each inspiration moves you forward as a writer. It's interesting how some weeks just give you more inspiration than what you know what to do with, and other weeks are bone dry.

  6. Love the peek into your notebook and the work that you have shared. What a wonderful and eclectic collection you have going on there. I especially love your wife's ponderable questions. I may need to start a page for ponderable questions--what fun! Why is it SO much harder to get your foot into a boot--hmmm.

  7. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your writer's notebook. I am working diligently to start the habit of keeping a notebook and I was inspired by seeing the various things you put in yours. So amazing!


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