…. is the name of the draft folder I keep on my laptop that is meant to be my holding vessel for ideas for future writing pieces. It is my electronic scratch paper pad, which is actually the second installment of scratchings, the first of which has been comprised of pen to receipt, pen to kitschy notepad remnant, pen to printed gym schedule paper, pen to hand, leg, forehead…. no, not really, but you get the idea. Why phrases and words strike me while in the car with the most frequency eludes my understanding, except that driving does not require all of my brain space, and I am most full of musings and relaxation just then. The other place inspiration strikes full force is in the shower, which is the most inconvenient setting, as I have nowhere to instantly record my flash of purported brilliance; I try desperately to keep the flash from dimming while I hold it in my brain during the toweling-off process and hurry off to my desk where I can dash off a note to myself, in the midst of my chaotic, items-flung-around-hurriedly-and carelessly around my laptop, where I can freely and without self-judgment carry on with my devil-may-care attitude about the tidiness of my creative space. My desk is actually not a desk at all, but a round dining room table that I have transformed into a sort of “school desk,” that, because of its size and shape does little else but support the weight of school supplies, a candy bowl, stacks of books, and mugs of pens, pencils and highlighters, all as a backdrop behind the structure of my laptop screen. It is a writing amphitheater of sorts. Did I mention my ever-present bottle of water, and the beautiful, fake yellow roses in my daughter’s play silver tea set pitcher from when she was little, as well as a oceanically-scented jar candle and glasses-cleaning supplies? Oh, and my gum. I cannot think without that.
To the left… always to the left… of my laptop is where I put my little daily scrap of paper that I have transported from my purse, my gym bag, my car, my kitchen, wherever an idea has bolted into my brain. When time permits, I transcribe the little pile of papers onto my electronic document, so named as in the title of this blog entry. Dear Reader, do you have this much trouble keeping track of your sudden idea attacks? Really, I feel as though I need one of those old-fashioned stabbing poles that shopkeepers used to impale receipts onto. If anyone has an extra one, feel free to send it to me; I think it would serve rather well and stay in place better than my current system, which includes a very beautiful, black polished rock paperweight perched atop the stack, with dazzling blue goldfishes etched on it, Made in Vietnam. I just have to remember to replace the weight, (in my careless, or shall we say ‘carefree’? area) lest my ceiling fan get the best of the “idea pile.” It would not be good to have the ideas just whooshed away onto the floor, although at this point, they are readily retrievable.
I am on a two-week hiatus from grad school, and am finding that without the pressure of assignments, papers, and projects, I am much more relaxed in the rest of my life… momentarily… but I have also found that my need to write has lessened with the pressure off. I think it has something to do with my academic brain side squeezing so hard that my creative side was bursting for representation and release. Dear Reader, is that normal? At any rate, I have found that my “necessity for an outlet” needs balancing, and that I want to have the need to write just as desperately when I have the freedom to do so.