Notebook Keepsakes Amid Disaster

California and Oregon are currently in fire zones. Just about every place is being severely affected by the burning or smoke. Towns completely destroyed by fire, people displaced. Having a fire go bag ready is almost essential if you live anywhere in the west.

But how to take it all with you? Obviously you can’t. And this is where I’m actively contemplating how to deal all my notebooks and journals if I had to leave. I can’t take them all with me. Currently I think I would have 10+ that would ‘need’ to go, but that is too much. So, do I start transcribing them to my laptop? Which is a #1 essential for all the documents on it and pictures. Or do I just take the most important and let it all stay here and hope for the best. The thought of transcribing is horrifying. Do you know how much I have written in ten years? Gad, it’s nauseating to think about. It’s like right now I’m trying to get a collection of the original poetry off the shelf podcasts and the amount of time to download all of that is nauseating.

I remember I read about this one writer/artist who had all of her journals and notebooks in a closet that happened to have a leak in it. Over time, the water dripped and dropped, splattering and moulding the journals till they were practically illegible but for brief bits. Can you imagine? That is heartbreaking. I can’t even fathom the heart wrenching feeling of lost words. But she took it as another form of expression and created art with it, or showcased pages with the running ink and few words still there.

But my notebooks contain novels yet to be finished. Do I know the bulk of them? Sure-ish. I just realized there is some I can’t remember. So much has been written down. Poems I’ve never transcribed, stories, flash fiction, writing group stories.

But I don’t have time to transcribe. So what do you pick? Who do you choose as most important? I have whole journals devoted to Boris (the lying cheating bastard…. 5 years of him lying to me and now he’s dead and I can never confront him with it) okay, maybe those could go. >insert rolling eyes< But then there is other things. I can say honestly my last two journals are where I have had a lot of growth and change. Poetry and work and life changes that were massive. So two is easy. Notebooks though. That is not simple at all.

What would you do? If you had to have a go bag of essential things, and I’m not talking clothes, necessities, etc. I’m talking the mementos. The writerly things. What would you take?

Kate

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