Discover more from Water to Wine
.. finally playing with longhand for essay
..my dear friend, some new events in my little world of script-writing. I don’t think I ever told you the whole story, besides..
Since 2015 I have used Notebooks a little larger than mass-trade sized paperbacks. My first preference had been these 5 x 8 soft-bound composition books I’d found at Walmart. Hugo and I were scanning the back-to-school stock and there were these PERFECT Notebooks with PERFECT lines — not too thin, not too thick. Substantial enough space to get a whole thought down, about a paragraph, per page.
At that time, we were going from ZERO to nothing. Neither one of us had kept Notebooks, but I had gone to a month-long teacher training with the National Writing Project that married my love of writing with English curriculum. I learned I could use how I write, the way I write as a launch point for teaching every genre, every type of writing.
We bought the whole case of Notebooks, about 15 of them. Then we went to the NEXT Walmart and bought all that they had there. Then we went to the NEXT Walmart..
We must have come away with about 30 total. Today, we have used about 20, about 10 archived with actual writing, about 10 have Hugo’s random notes in them, about 3-5 have kid script in a few pages, about another 5 are completely blank, waiting for the magical day to be tapped into. (2025?) I’ve taken to taking Hugo’s random notes and writing around them just as I would the children’s notes — I keep a memorial of another time, writing memory of thought among other memories.
By 2018, I had kept up with Notebooking1 enough, I decided I could now “upgrade” to a more permanent Notebook. I always think archival — what I write isn’t just for me, I know someday my thought will be handed down to my progeny, if not verbally now in real-time, then perhaps when I share something I’ve written.. else, in the years to come when they’re adults & curious about what Mom thought (that crazy woman).
I leaned toward fancy brands simply because of their longevity. Paper quality did have a lot to do with it, but I since I care about consistency of my writing habit, I might as well use a brand that has put out a consistently good product for awhile and has a good enough following to stay in business.
The brands I enjoy Clairefontaines, Rhodias, and Leuchtturms. Other brands like Moleskines I lost interest in because they went commercial very quickly. I’m not a big fan of kitsch. I like legacy, longevity, & staying power. What is worthy of carrying & housing my thought? I know I’m a nobody, but still.. I am many things to my family & those I love in real life. I follow the same rule for pens, but that thinking is for another entry.
With Substack, my approach to writing has changed. I’ve been online for years and years and have kept blogs and diaries on every platform, usually changing like the seasons, each blog a chapter of the goings-on in my life. Some years I’d have multiple writing spaces, never did I commit to just one. Until Substack.
Substack impacted my Notebooking Life. I met you here and was no longer just talking to the Ether. Nor was I just talking to myself, ruminating. There was a pulse behind words on the Substack screen. With it, the rhythm of my Notebooking changed. Persona left there, and in its place came quick notes on the Mass, philosophy, family life, daily noticings. My Notebook was more of a space to collect where my heart, mind, and soul had been during the day or even week — sometimes, I just couldn’t make it into its pages only a daily basis.
I went to Substack with the intention of re-learning how to compose on the screen. I’d never been consistent with a blogging or online voice, and so, Water to Wine was practice in being True. Soul laid bare, worked, I suppose. What eventually stilted me was some necessary soul adjustments. In any Writing Life, personal, hobby or professional, God and family must always take precedence — that’s my Rule. It took about 9 months to readjust — 3 months to get into the “mood” of doing it, then a solid 6 months with a complete pull-back.
We have been very happy here, me, myself, and I, especially with bringing Hugo, my husband on, and incorporating writing, thinking, philosophy, Faith, culture, art into a purposeful conversation to feed this Writing-Thinking Life we’ve begun to re-share.
So, it’s been time for another adjustment.
- Composing online as a method or tool? Check.
- Voice real and True? Check.
- Intimately sharing with husband and familiy about what I discover, what I share with you? Check.2
- Growth in my writing ability?. Am I making ground in writing real, crafted essay? According to the skill & ability required? Per what I know as a woman of culture, reader, writer & writing teacher? Groan…
I’m a hypocrite, I know. I’ve long told souls to get away, write somewhere else, create legacy, make permanent.. I know I am the worst of the worst because I know better. The creative mind needs time alone to contemplate & flourish in the land of not doing. Of wandering & playing. Of making Love.
I’d been on the verge for many weeks, there’s trace history in my social media presence, but I finally took the leap of Faith by ordering a massive, blank Leuchtturm to replace my last mass-trade, paperback sized Notebook. I still had several pages to go, but it’s not unusual to stop where I am because I want to usher in the new. I sense change.. I want change.
Today, I had a whole expanse to play with to see where I could go —
The result was Christ & the post oak.
In this entry are movements of thoughts following a general theme or thesis. That’s remarkable for me because I could hold all of this essay as I cobbled it in the palm of my mind’s hand. It was.. as though I were polishing beautiful stones under a running stream.. careful to hold everything at once, not wanting to drop a one, that they all may be One.3
It was quite remarkable.
Quite possibly, it happened because I was relaxed, had a general idea of where I was going, where I wanted to take my little idea, and I knew I had all the time and space in the world to get to where I needed and wanted to go.
Most importantly, I felt my mind’s tongue release. I’d have to check, but I’m pretty sure there’s a natural cadence in Christ’s post oak (experimenting with the title there) that is probably more aligned with my natural way of speaking in real life. If I read this aloud & recorded it, you’d hear how I speak. I don’t think I’ve been able to do that because of my respone to media, my speed of typing, the rate at which my thought proceeds from my fingertips. Longhand invites a different, more relaxed part of the brain, I would argue. You are truly alone, wishing to relay a story, tell a tale, reveal a telling. It invites an altogether different mood, first of the writer, then then for the reader.
Surely, I reached a natural tenor of my tone for a moment with that one.
And here I am, believing in it to the hilt because this entry pretty much wrote itself.
I look forward to tell you more about these experiments, my dear friend.. I have so many theories about tuning & harnessing the right notes & flavors of writing, the hows & whys.
It’s like playing music.
Surely, there is a specific timbre of Voice & sound that’ll be ours in heaven forever. Why not try to hit it now?
All my love,
In Spiritu Tuo, ad gloriam Patris. 11.13.2023, St. Didacus
The mouth of the just shall mediate Wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not be supplanted. Alleluia, alleluia, Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in His commandments. - Gradual, Psalm 36, 30-31
o, Muse, tell me! What is Notebooking??!! — another entry.
another of my Rules — another entry.