Thursday, 22 January 2015

Saved in a Binder

As I sit here having my morning coffee, I’m watching an episode of Listening from 2013. This is a police drama about a psychic who can read what people are thinking, an obvious asset for the police.

In this episode, Toby’s girlfriend, a reporter, is concerned that her co-worker was targeted because of a story she was working on. The detective and psychic go to the woman’s apartment, the scene of the crime.

The woman was what you might call super organized. Her work area in the apartment is covered in sticky notes, each different story colour coded, and with binders to match. The visual was extreme, and yet I thought...impressive.

I also tend to organize with binders. When I worked and had an office there were rows of binders on my bookcase. And today, as I glance across the room I see a series of binders, in black, green, blue and purple. A bit obsessive I’ll agree, but I can explain.

The blue and purple binders hold copies of all my short stories, one copy for each of my kids. I’m not going to look, as it’s been awhile since I added anything to their binders, but I expect there are dividers in each, separating my writing into genres. There should be poetry, childrens’ stories, and short stories.

I know, I know, I can save it all on a Flash Drive, and I have, but there was a rationale behind my action. I thought this might make it easier, and more accessible for them to read. Maybe writing this will inspire me to update the binders, and give them to the kids and off my shelf. Ha ha ha.

The green binders are my way or organizing my writing. One is notes, work started and left unfinished, snippets of ideas, or phrases I like and saved. The second is full of articles on writing, the third the record of my writing, what is complete, what is published etc..

When I work on a book I start a binder and fill it with plot ideas and character studies. I keep a record of all my characters’ background, as I do of the locations. Everything together in one spot for reference.

Then there are my cookbooks. Years ago I started taking all my family and frequently used recipes and did them up, scrapbook style, each protected in a plastic sleeve. I made copies for each of my grandchildren, and remember ,at the time I began, there were four and I had to make another two when each of my children added to their family.

Each recipe is tried and true; some pages include photographs of the grandchildren making that recipe, or the occasion. There are anecdotal notes of our family life. It was a keepsake from me to them.

I also have binders of knitting and crochet patterns, printed off the craft sites I frequent. At that time, I was not as handy on the computer and feared I would never find that same pattern again and so printed it off. This was before Pinterest, my new knit and crochet binder.

I see no reason to be alarmed by this kind of organization, though I know it can get out of hand. I’m much better than I was; I have to be. When I moved I had to get rid of a four drawer filing cabinet. If you think the binders are over done, you should have seen my files...I saved everything. You just never know when you might need that bit of information, right?

As long as there are people like me, there will never be a paperless world and I’m Ok with that. There’s just something about the smell and feel of paper that you cannot duplicate with an electronic device.

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