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« Sunday Morning Gift: Inspiration | Main | FYI: If You Want Feedback On Your Writing »


The Bims

Hi there -

This post is interesting to me because I was just thinking and blogging about truth in writing, and it's these kind of easily-overlooked details that really make a story authentic, even if it's complete fiction. I often get caught up in the excitement of creating a new character or world, but then have to remember to get all of these important truths in - details as simple as the beeping machines in your husband's hospital room or the horrendous cafeteria food can really ground a scene in a way that may be completely invisible to readers, but without them, the writing would suffer or even fail.

I need to be more diligent about carrying around that notebook... :-)

Thanks again for sharing your insights!


Wise words from you and The Bims. I've realized myself in the midst of a story or essay that I don't have the details I need to truly set the scene. Until this moment, I hadn't realized that those details can come from the carefully hoarded notes in that little black Moleskine I carry around (but don't write in nearly enought!)

Thanks for the timely reminder!

And, good thoughts as your husband (and you!) traverse his healing journey :)


Dear Bims and Becca - And sometimes you have to start writing to discover what you don't know and then go back to the scene (if possible). Thanks for your comments.

Dave Milam

Barbara, thanks for your openness on note taking in the midst. My experience is energy and centeredness flow from notations in the midst and perspective comes then and later.

In the midst, in the middle, is where we spend most of our lives. Beginning are new, endings close chapters, and life is in the middle.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you in the midst.


My memory is so poor that the only way I would recall details is by jotting them down. Dialogue? Forget it. My grandson has "photographic vision" for any conversation, but when I try to recall what someone said, it is always improvisation. A notebook is the perfect solution to my poor memory. Now, will I remember to pull it out?


Thank you for writing about taking notes. In my art group we have sketchbooks. Our instructor constantly reminds us to "record" things we've learned and any experiments we've tried along the way. This has become invaluable information. Now I will do the same thing in my journal. But I needed to be reminded.
Bright Blessings to your husband and you as you recover and heal.


Dave - you're absolutely right - what it all means comes later, after being in the midst.
Patty - my kids roll their eyes when I whip out my notebook to write down what they say.
Debra - that's what we're doing - sketching the scene.

Nancy Minchella

Barbara, I could open a stationery store with all the cute notebooks I've purchased with the intention of carrying them with me everrywhere I go. Thanks for the reminder to do just that. Now, where did I put them...


Nancy -

Yes, start carrying those notebooks around! Any ideas for new childrens' stories?

Nancy Minchella

Yes, Barbara I just finished one - a small child wondering about moving to his new house. It's simple, spare and "quiet" so don't know if it will fly.
I'm letting it "perk" for a couple weeks. Meanwhile with Anna and Ralphy here I'm gathering lots of material.(taking notes...really).



Nancy - simple, spare and quiet sounds wonderful. The best kind of book.

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It's sad when people septrotyee us. I think they expect you to be frumpy, dressed in sweats, with hair that looks like it hasn't been combed, and that distracted look in your eye. Aside from the writer's distracted gaze most of us aren't like that at all. Too many people get their impressions from movies instead of real life. But we know different!


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