Notes to Myself, Part II

Posted on 19 September 2011

Once again, I offer a glimpse into the sad world of my writing notebooks. (To see Part I, click here.)

These little bits of wisdom come from two notebooks that I used sporadically over the course of more than 3 years. In addition to a lot of plot work for OPAL, the notebooks include everything from free writing exercises to critique notes, plans for novels that would never happen, interview notes, failed attempts to write hint fiction, and more.

Hopeless Toni Morrison comparisons? A random but urgent need to write about owls made of yarn? It’s all here. Behold:

Part II

I’m not saying I’m abandoning this novel, too. Except that I am.

Okay…why can’t this be like Beloved?

Almost as embarrassing as the things I wrote in college.

Something has to cause an outrage.

Cut at least 10% of this scene. Better yet, just throw it out entirely.

bizarre litterbox behaviors?

I’m worried that it being such a beautiful day outside is going to distract me from this.


It’s hard to return to that time in my life.

It can be ironed out.

Maybe I’m naive to think right now that this essay is good.

flip flop merchandise cupcake paraphernalia


This feels like the end.

Photo: hownowdesign

11 responses to Notes to Myself, Part II

  • Averil Dean says:

    These are hilarious, I love the peeks at your notes to self.

  • margosita says:

    “Almost as embarrassing as the things I wrote in college.”

    I was just thinking about how I missed college, missed sitting around studying and reading (or not), living with my friends, having the flexible schedule of a college student.

    Then I read this and remembered: I was writing total crap.

    I miss it less, now!

  • lisahgolden says:

    These are priceless!!!

    I think Something has to cause an outrage should be on t-shirt. Zazzle!

    And, of course, I am intrigued by “bizarre litterbox behaviors.” I feel like I have earned a PhD is this.

  • Teri says:

    HA! And why oh why can’t this be more like BELOVED?!?! Love the peek and the honesty. One day someone told me one of my stories reminded them of Mary Karr and I thought I’d have a heart attack. For months and months I’d write and think No No No, this is not MARY at all!!!!!

  • Lyra says:

    Okay, there is not a book in the universe that would not be improved by the addition of a macrame owl.

    I’m kneedeep in an outline so it shouldn’t take but a sweep of the pen to include what is so obviously missing.

  • Downith says:

    Something has to cause an outrage.

    I have a something right now too:

    “She has to do something to save him or rescue him so he begins to begrudgingly respect her and stops acting out.”

    But what is that something O Muse, what???

    • I know, my notes are full of stuff like that: “Make something big happen here.” You know, at the climax of the book/story? And I haven’t figured it out yet? Surely “something” will substitute just fine for now, right?

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