Monday, January 7, 2013


With a new year impulse to clear the decks, I gathered all my spiral notebooks yesterday and put them into an empty Able & Cole cardboard vegetable box which Mr. Signs then put into the loft with the Christmas decorations. There is something both freeing and awful about this. They won't be taking up drawer and shelf space, wailing and whining at me every time I go near them because yes, they are full of unfinished business, work that is unlikely ever to see the light of day. But in the loft no-one can hear them scream, so that's ok.

They are also (just saying) home to the birth of things that did go on to become visible creatures, poems and such - two of which are e'en now in the current edition (16) of Scintilla magazine.  I have not yet discovered how one actually goes about ordering a copy but you can take my word for it that a couple of my poems are there.

Well I thought I had them all safely locked in the loft, but I missed a few.  They leered at me today from a crammed shelf - do you spot them on the right there?  I took one at random, opened it up and saw something about a piece of string that walked into a bar and asked for a drink.  I can't remember writing this or why I did, but that also was the purpose of the notebooks: to catch the random thoughts and nonsense that flitted in and out.  It's called writing practice and it is what some of us do - must do, as singers sing and runners run whether or not there is a performance scheduled or a race to be run. 

The piece of string, refused a drink by the bartender, goes outside and ties itself into a knot.  When it goes back inside the bartender says, hey, aren't you the string that just left?  The string replies, I'm afraid not.  A frayed knot.  Why should this joke (not mine) have given rise to three pages of scrawl?  Looking over old notebooks one discovers oneself, for better or worse, in the act of something.  But what? 

Watch this space.


Anna MR said...

I can't help it, my lovely Signs: I adore jokes that play with words like that and snurbled to myself like an eejit (even if the joke wasn't yours).

Congrats on the publishing thing and lo: a little bit of digging about has brought up the address where one can subscribe to Scintilla or order back copies. It is [subscriptions at vaughanassociation dot org]. I'll see if I can get one sent overseas.

I can understand the double-edged feeling of filing the notebooks into the attic. Hope the space created by them brings up bursts of creative energy.

Mwah from iglooland


Reading the Signs said...

If anyone was going to find the place it would be you! But I think it could be made a bit simpler. On the other hand it is a good test of whether people really want a copy. Fortunately I will be sent one free of charge - perks of an author, what. You jealous? Probably a frayed knot.