Saying good-bye to a lot of little notebooks this week -- 18 little notebooks.
These aren't diaries. They're little idea books, plot-thread keepers, to-do lists, and string-around-a-finger books. As I write, I keep a notebook right beside me. Every day I write the date at the top, and when I get an idea that doesn't fit where I'm currently writing in the story, I jot it down in the notebook. That way I can keep working where I am without getting distracted by something else. When I'm stuck, I freewrite in the notebooks. Sometimes writing longhand is just the thing to dislodge the problem. At the end of the day, I scribble down what I need to work on the next day. There are many, many uses for little notebooks. Maybe the biggest is that it alleviates my fear that I'll forget what I'm doing and where I am in the story.
One Came Home took eighteen little Moleskin Notebooks, one big notebook, and a stack of notecards. Hmm. Not sure that's surprising, but I like statistics. As far as when I started this book, it seems as though I started working on the book in earnest in 2007, but the idea began in 2005 sometime.
Now that I've turned in the copyedited manuscript, it's time to send these off to recycling heaven. Space comes at a premium around here, and I need broad, wide-open space for new books and new ideas.