Thursday, March 14, 2013

14:31 -- My writer's notebook...

We both glanced up to notice a well coiffed man emphatically tapping his wristwatch from the back of the conference room.  My colleague and I sped through closing remarks that tumbled out of our mouths like clumsy hot coals finding respite in the cool waters of polite applause.  Before attendees fumbled with handouts and handbags, the man and his entourage strutted up the center aisle.  Laptops and papers, books and messenger bags overflowed from their shoulders onto our small table.  With arms like my grandfather's cane, we plowed our materials into any sort of spare space to prevent co-mingling (and any further embarrassment).  

Upstairs in our hotel room, we sat cross-legged on the floor to reorganize -- laptops into computer bags, chargers to match machines, iPod and speakers into cases, masters and handout packets separated and returned to the appropriate pockets within my accordion file, piles of professional books divvied up and packed into suitcases.  

A short time later, though, I needed my writer's notebook to model a strategy and it was nowhere to be found. I'd seen it last during the session...but in my mind's eye, I only saw our chaotic demise.  After tearing apart my offices at home and school, I contacted the lost and found department at the conference venue.  My desperate plea met an unempathetic ear.  "No, sugar.  It surely isn't here.  All NCTE items were already turned in."  Period.  Just like that.

 You don't understand, I thought.  I decorated that cover.  It's me there.  All my favorite lyrics and quotes.  In it, I wrote from the heart...all the things I know about and care about.  I need it back.  I want it back.  I'm not finished...  

I called back a month later.
I looked around our apartment
and my classroom.
No luck.
I let it go December 2011.
I started writing electronically.
I started collecting new lyrics
with the dream of 
creating another
writer's notebook.

Two weeks ago, my husband and I assembled an Ikea bookshelf to add to the newly fashioned office upstairs.  With joy I recovered my favorite books and articles from the basement to set up my creative work space.  In the four openings, my friends -- Calkins, Kittle, Lane, Heard, Ray, Teachers College staff, Ayres and Shubitz, Murray, and Graves -- found new homes, as did an old accordion file.  It begged me to untether the elastic clasp...

and, would you believe...

Ahhh.  Finally.  

I'm just going to forget that it was in the same space with me for over a year and pick up where I left off...

Write on,


  1. What a relief to find your old friend hiding out with some amazing writers. Your description of the way you gathered your materials was perfect. What a rude next presenter!

  2. Maybe your Notebook was gathering ideas on its own from the amazing authors it was surrounded by. What a happy reunion.

  3. I really feared that one of those rude presenters had your notebook. Glad it was hanging (hiding) out with you instead. Wonder what stories it has to tell about its year tucked in an accordion file?


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