Monday, December 24, 2018

A New Year's Reminder (Think Yellow Stickies)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 
from our house to yours!

 (If you'd like to read about Christmas, check out last week's post.)

With the New Year around the corner, I thought I’d post a reminder.

Have you ever been driving down the street and suddenly thought of a line you want to use in a book? Have you ever been insulted and two hours later you realize how you should have responded? (I had to throw that one in.) Do you ever wish you had a better memory? Yes, that’s me and a lot of other people I know.

I try to write down the pearls of wisdom that come to me if paper and pen are close by. I have a small card index file and every once in a while I go through my notes to see what I might have forgotten. Some lines are perfect for specific books. Others actually inspire a story.

Memorable titles are also something I tend to forget, so I write those down, too. Generally, I try to take the title from a line in the book, but that’s not always the case. I’m working on a book right now that has to do with record breaking summer heat and some homeless people who are disappearing. The working title is “People Lookin’ Half Dead.” Extreme heat can have that effect.

One of my favorite titles is “I Never Met a Chocolate I Didn’t Like.” It’s from one of those small books you find in pharmacies or gift shops and, of course, it’s about chocolate. I wish I’d thought of it first and I’d have used it as a line in a Sandi Webster story. Oh, well, you can’t think of everything. Some of you might have noticed in other posts that I’m an admitted chocoholic.

 Loved this chocolate!

Research is another area requiring copious notes. The smallest details in a story can make a world of difference, and if you’re including fact in your fictional story, you’d better get it right. If you don’t, someone who knows the facts will pick up on it. I have a friend who writes historical romance and she learned this the hard way.

I heard someone give a talk at a conference about writing short notes on yellow stickies and attaching them to a board in chronological order. I’d have so many notes I’d confuse myself. I’m just not that organized, even with written notes. I envy those who are. I do, however, type short reminder notes at the bottom of the manuscript I’m working on and delete them as I use the ideas. Works for me.

I’ve tried to be organized but, somehow, for me it takes the fun out of writing. We each have our own system. Mine would drive most people to drink. (I don’t drink, so it’s not an issue for me.)

Lists can be a big help, too. There’s not a whole lot I can add to that comment. When you think of a new book title, add it to a list. If you think of a new blog topic, add it to a list. I have a blog list but, unfortunately, I forget to look at it and when I do I tend to forget to cross out a subject after I’ve written about it. Forgive me if I repeat my blog topic from time to time, or you might think of it as recycling. Hmm. Yes, recycling is a good excuse for repeating myself.

I believe what I’m posting about today is something you already know, but it never hurts to have a reminder.

Of course, notes and lists apply to everyday life, too, not just books. I have a grocery list, a list of errands to be run, a list of birthdays (which I often forget to check), and notes about things I don’t want to forget. Sometimes we simply have too many things on our minds to remember all that we should.

Anyway, if these comments help even one person to remember something important, then I’ve done my job. Writing this post reminded me of something important, so I guess I have to pat myself on the back and say, “Job well done.”

Until next time, have a great week, a Happy New Year next week, and figure out what works best for you so you remember everything you need to do. I’ve noticed cars that have yellow stickies stuck to the steering wheel or rearview mirror. Oh! That’s my car, and it works.

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  1. I think of my brain the same way I think of a computer - only so much space on the hard drive. LOL Which is why I have pads of paper and pens everywhere - in my car, by my bed, etc. Because, whether it's a story idea or something else that's important, if I don't write it down, I KNOW I will NOT remember it.

    1. LOL We have this in common. Merry Christmas! By the way, my stickies are on my dashboard, not my rearview mirror.

  2. Good Post marja. Though I'm late to reply but a merry christmas and a happy new year to you.