Monday, 4 August 2014

School Days, School Days

This is one of my favourite times of year. Not just heading into fall, but the start of the new school year because the stores are full of……..paper.

I have an ongoing love affair with all things paper. Binder paper, notebooks, sticky notes, and binders. I would not be lying to say people have made fun of my binders.

When I worked I organized in binders, and had a plethora of them on the bookcase behind my desk. For some reason I preferred binders to keep active files within reach.

When I quit work and began writing in earnest, guess what? I organized my writing in a binder, separated into categories by dividers. At the writing group I joined, I was mocked for my binder which I then used for notes from the meeting. It did not deter me.

Writing my first book I took all the information I learned from reading articles and books on writing. I did all the background work, the character studies, the setting, plot outlines and research notes, and stored it all in a binder for that book.

I’ve never really gotten out of that habit. Writing murder mysteries is detailed work, as timelines are important, such as what evidence is collected, interviews and when reports are available. I’ve done a lot of research into police procedure trying to keep it real.

I currently have a bookcase full of binders, of recipes, knit and crochet patterns, how-to writing articles, and of course my current book. When one book is completed I remove all the notes and file them for future reference, adding any research into a separate file.

Notebooks I keep for ideas, for blogs and books, as I like to be able to pick them up to read or update, without going to the laptop. I’ve changed some of my writing routine to where I write in bed at night, long hand, and transfer notes to the computer the next day, with a bit of an edit at the same time. That uses up a load of binder paper as I write big and messy, filling up pages with words, some scratched out and rewritten, some arrows changing the order.

I walked in the store last week and bought five small binder sized notebooks that, at a nickel each, I couldn’t resist. Same for the binder paper at a dime, even though I have plenty in the cupboard. I didn’t go overboard, I used some constraint.

And then there are the pens, pencils and markers, who doesn’t love the back to school shopping? I enable my addiction by buying school supplies for the grandchildren, and if some make it to my desk, well, that’s our little secret.

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