Thursday, January 03, 2008

A walk among the dead

albuquerquegrave_small.jpgIt's been quite some time since I posted a writer's notebook idea and the beginning of the year seems like as good a time as any for anyone seeking a new writing habit.

A writer's notebook is a place to capture ideas, bits of conversation, observations, dreams, words that capture your attention, favorite phrases, passages that you would love to have written .... anything and everything.

There are several ideas here at the blog.

Keep several notebooks. Keep a dream journal by your bed. Keep a small notebook in your purse or glove compartment. Keep one near where you read. Start a blog or a file on your desktop to capture bits that fly by you on the internet. (Though the physical process of writing by keyboard and perhaps even more so by hand helps you internalize the words.)

Today, visit a cemetery, preferably an old one. Try a non-Christian one. I visited Albuquerque several years ago and was captivated by the colorful shrines on the graves (many of them still decorated for Christmas). (Click the picture to enlarge it.) Here in Boston it's winter and the graves and headstones are covered with snow. Capture names and sayings. Notice the groupings. Once several generations would share the same plot but how often is that true in newer cemeteries? If it's winter, have people been visiting? Why do you think they would brave the cold?

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