tickle me elmo

I'm inspired by this post of Barth Anderson's (link over there---> it's too early in the morning for gdfhtml.) He's talking about his dad's tickler file. First of all, it's cool for guys to have his sort of dad to aspire to, a thinking, educated, interested, creative man. His brother wrote a very touching comment about their dad. Male sentimentality is something I explore a lot in my writing and it's a fine example of it.

But on the subject of tickler file, it's really just a collection of notes and notecards, mostly just words and phrases. I don't know very many successful writers without something similar. Sometimes it's journals. Sometimes it's notecards. Sometimes it's paper towels. For me, journals are too demanding. They're always pretty and want a certain sort of pen. I'm usually out of paper towels. So it's notecards.

I chose them after reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont. (There's one that's due for another reading. I like to read my writing books once a year.) She's a mom, like me, and a bit scattered, like me, so I figured if it worked for her it would for me. I was right. I have a basket behind my monitor full of the things. More current stuff goes in a stack on my monitor stand, so I can grab one in the middle of doing something else and jot. When the card is full--I do try to go back and find the card if ideas run along similar lines--it earns a place in the "note pad."

That's the colllege-ruled flip pad next to my keyboard. You'll recognize it by the teacup rings on it. My novel files are also full of notecards--the ideas lose their magic if I recopy them onto the pad. That's why I just tape them to a page, and then the notes continue down that page.

On the subject of organization, a couple of commenters to his post talked about bulletin boards for the current novel in progress. I like that idea a lot, except I've got this rather beautiful study that my husband designed and decorated years ago and I hate to mess up the mojo-love, you know?* I'll have to think on it. I do forget to look at my notes, and I like the idea of having them lurking all around me, rustling when I open the door to let the dog out--reminding me they're still waiting to be assimilated.

Anybody got some good ideas for organizing writing stuff, ideas, notes, etc??

*Come to think of it, I designed his study. See? We really do love each other.

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