On Partly Filled Notebooks and Corn Shuck Dolls

Filed Under: Life

notebooksEven though there hasn’t been much new content here, I haven’t stopped writing.

I got back into the habit of writing things out long-hand in my notebooks. This is how I started way back when I first started Taste Like Crazy. Cara was a (rather loud) baby then and I would sit on our porch when she napped, writing posts out and smoking my cigarettes and then typing the words into the computer. The physical act of writing this stuff out helped (and helps) me organize what I need to say in a way typing the stuff just can’t touch. Probably why I never turned in the requisite (and idiotic) first drafts to my English teachers; I never had a first draft just the finished product. 

Some of my notebooks are from college–and before. Some of the notebooks are recent additions. However, not a single one is filled completely, just like my numerous diaries/journals. I refuse to toss any of them even when Tucker bitches.

There’s something almost seductive about buying a new journal/diary or notebook. It’s a new start. The promise of greatness. Sure, so the other notebooks are filled (1/2 way…OK…1/3 way) with a bunch of crap, some crappier crap than other crap. But this new notebook is destined to be filled to the brim with greatness. Each and every time. 

The unfortunate thing about notebooks is they’re easily misplaced. Easily forgotten. Accidentally tossed out, especially when you have a habit of flipping to random pages and writing. The result being, to the casual peruser, the notebook can appear unused. 

During a month or two hiatus from Taste Like Crazy and Sims 3 Gamer (That hiatus has extended into more of a sabbatical, if you must know.) earlier this year, I wrote, almost exclusively, in just one notebook.  I filled (OK…1/2 filled) it with really good content. Things I’m proud of and I bided my time waiting for when the idea of typing the stuff up didn’t make me feel so damn tired. 

Today I grabbed what had become my “chosen son” notebook and Darwin the Laptop and settled in to type up one of my favorite posts. 

I flipped through to random places. 

Old psychology notes from college, forgotten To Do lists (Obviously those had served me well.) and random hex numbers from Photoshop projects were found. 

A few paragraphs of story ideas were found. Hastily scribbled recipes.

But, even as I went through the notebook (which was quickly becoming less favored), page by page (multiple times expecting a different result each time), the post never materialized. I searched all of my notebooks. Several times. Page by page. I searched the kids’ notebooks. Several times. Page by page. 

No joy. 

The most distressing part of all this is I know I’ll never be able to recreate these posts. Hell, I can’t even recall the topic, much less the content, of some of them. 

Once the idea has come to me, if it’s not captured quickly, it’s gone. One reason I sometimes carry a tiny notebook or make nonsensical notes on my phone; I don’t want to miss something which could grow to awesome as long as I don’t lose the idea. 

Fall wreath from Taste Like Crazy by TheAmyTuckerIt’s kind of like I was telling Tucker today while I was burning myself while I was putting together a Fall wreath for our front door. 

When I was little, on my father’s two weekends a month, more often than not I spent the weekends at his elderly mother’s house. A house with a TV but no cable. One of those TVs which was actually a hulking piece of furniture where the dial actually clicked when you turned the dial. It had channel 19 (a PBS affiliate) and channel 8 (an ABC affiliate). I am fluent in NOVA, Marty Stouffer’s Wild America and Nature. I cut my teeth on All My Children, General Hospital and TGIF. 

To escape the monotony and my grandmother’s honed tongue, I would sneak out of the house, through several acres of thick woods and to the excitement of my father’s youngest brother’s busy house. My uncle and aunt have six kids (two of whom had come out-of-wedlock *gasp* before their folks tied the knot in a literal shotgun wedding) and their house was always crazy and loud. 

Picking my own switch be damned! 

My aunt created wreaths out of the vines which grew on the banks of the small stream which ran behind the modest house.

Pulling the vines from the trees they clung to was a full-body exercise in desperation and determination. Yanking the stubborn things down required wrapping a loose end around your wrist and forearm, grabbing on with the free arm and hanging on with feet in the air, all your weight on the vine and a prayer you didn’t snap the vine and find your ass in the red, slick mud.

My aunt also crafted beautiful, intricate dolls out of corn shucks. 

One of these stolen days I drummed up the courage to ask if I could make a corn shuck doll of my own. 

Somehow, the thing I created was perfect. Just beautiful. Dusted with fine glitter. Dark hair created out of dried corn silk. Her corn shuck dress sitting just so on her delicate frame. 

Even though I was little, I knew there was no way I could replicate the perfection of the doll even if I stared at it with great intensity. There are very few things I have ever created which I’ve been truly proud of and it always seems the things I take most pride in aren’t appreciated in the way I appreciate them. These are the things I’ve created without thinking about how they will be received. Things I might shake my head in confusion at their poor reception from other folks, but in the end, I find I just don’t care. 

These misplaced, lost and gone forever posts are very much like that corn shuck doll. They all were perfect. They all were one-of-a-kind. They all are gone. 



  1. Melanie says:

    Our own satisfaction is all that matters in the end. I love that you aren’t looking for anyone else to love your accomplishment and are content with your own approval. 🙂

  2. Lilkidthings says:

    I am the same way about new journals. They are totally seductive and totally empty. I hope your sweet posts make their way back to you. Loved reading this.

  3. I’m sure they will find there way back to you. Maybe they needed to get lost so you could write here. 😉 I’m a notebook ‘ho. I love ’em. I try to keep them organized, but I should probably embrace the idea that they often end up a disorganized mess.

  4. I feel absolutely the same about journals. Every fiction or poetry I’ve ever written started in a journal or a scrap stuffed into a journal. However, I never used them to keep track of blog post ideas… and now I want to try that. Something is just SO different and so much better on paper than Evernote.

    • Also; I once lost a binder of scraps I’d written on over a ten year period and was heartbroken. Four years and TWO interstate moves later, I found it. I hope yours miraculously finds its way back to you.

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