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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

The Story of a Notebook

(Note: comments are up and running again! Huzzah!)

During my happy semester in Florence back in the spring of 2002, I found a very special notebook at a stationery shop in the shadow of the Duomo. It had images from a medieval tarot on it, and I have always had a thing for the tarot.


I couldn’t write in it right away. It was too perfect. So for two years the notebook bided its time.


Its early pages are covered with very rough scenes from Mary Modern


…Notes from plays attended as part of my M.A. coursework


…And funny things Diarmuid said on a field trip to the Dublin Theatre Festival in October 2004.


The notebook saw me through my M.A. year. Then I shelved it, even though it was only half used.

4. zig-zag quilt sketch

Years later, I pulled it out and made a few crafty sketches.


I knew I had to use up the rest of the pages. As Evelyn says, “it has always been our credo that the things we love best should not be squirreled away for the enjoyment of no one.” (That said, not a word of Petty Magic appears in this particular notebook.)


Now, ten years after I first picked it up, I am back to writing in it every day. Right now I’m watching Joseph Campbell & the Power of Myth, which is fantastic. I’m taking plenty of notes.


It is the faithful receptacle of notes on four different novel projects (counting Mary Modern)—as well as a short story to be published next year. (More on that soon.)


Ahhhh, the potential of the blank page.

3 Comments to The Story of a Notebook

  1. sarah.pare's Gravatar sarah.pare
    August 13, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    LOVE! “How to live your life” is amazing. I want a copy. 🙂

  2. crazyliberalkate's Gravatar crazyliberalkate
    August 13, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I have never seen you stop using a notebook before. Why did you abandon it before finishing it?

  3. ait.mzm's Gravatar ait.mzm
    August 13, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Yay for the comments working again! Thank you for sharing your notebook with us. I always get a kick out of seeing things like that.

Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.