The Yellow Notebook, 2009.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote about keeping a small Green Notebook in my bag for moments of inspiration, funny things overheard, a space to organize my thoughts on hectic days. I just finished another one, this time a yellow Moleskin. This one has more ideas for fiction, shopping lists, lists for packing... oh hell, there are tons of lists in this one. Perhaps one of the reasons why 2009 feels like a less stressful and more organized year?

3/5/09: G train home
Use this guy as a character:
- black baseball cap
- ankle-length jeans
- graying hair
- black gym bag
- he swung wildly and narrowly missed taking off the head of a 20-something bearded man when the subway stopped
- "Sorry, sorry!" he said in an Eastern European accent

This man is someone's father!

3/6/09: Notes on Managing
1. Challenge them- they might not have the skill set you wish they did, so help them get it
2. Be patient- be ok with growing progress and not instant perfection
3. Share examples- good writing styles, etc.
4. Be available- do my best to get back to them asap.

3/6/09: L train to Chris'
Why do I write? To translate life into words.

3/11/09 Fiction idea
Widow with her husband's sweat-dried sock.

3/15/09: L train to brunch in the city
How do we meet someone in a new passion or mode of life and never feel like we're with someone who is unrecognizable to us T-2 years? If you start playing tennis and met a tennis player and start to date him, what happened to the person you were pre-tennis? How do you know if tennis is a phase or if it's an evolution of yourself? What place do your previous hobbies have in your life?

... why is happy less interesting?

A boy across from me on the L train (with 2 lip rings) is reading a DK Eyewitess companion book about Beer. Huh? Not Egypt or llamas, but beer! Crazy!

3/30/09: San Fran (Sausalito)
... I have all the bread in the basket to myself and all the butter too.

This is the joy of traveling alone.

I've been to so many places alone - or with moments alone. I am my own best company. "What does this remind me of?" I think and I already know. Ireland. Or Italy. Or London.

I went in a used bookstore and since I have no money, I floated to see if they carry any Charles Baxter... I vow, if I ever publish a book, to seek it out in used bookstores wherever I go, to see if anyone has written sweet messages in the front, to buy the copies if they are looking too dusty to sell. I'd rather be a hot commodity than left to rot on the shelf.

... The bench I sat on in the park, the table at this restaurant, they are both part of my memory. But what of myself stays here? How to find them again = how to feel as though I am not just a visitor, but a changer, a tiny speck of influence, however small.

4/16/09 after 99% conference after-party
I met a girl called Shoshanda who has four years of travel journals to transcribe. She's a writer. She told me that you can't wait to make what you want to happen come true. You have to take all your dreams and boil them together into one action task. Her task is to transcribe her journals.

What is mine?

4/30/09 Moon at the film festival
Director lets the scope of his story influence the plotline??

$ dictates what could happen to the characters.

5/11/09 From The Invention of Air
"Necessity may be the mother of invention, but most of the great inventors were blessed with something else: leisure time." (p. 49)

"The whole notion of intellectual circulation or flow is embedded in the word "influence" itself ("to flow into", influence in the original Latin). Good ideas influence, and are themselves influenced by, other ideas. They flow into each other. (p. 51)

5/26/09 6 train, uptown
Maybe instead of starting the day positive and being beat down until 6pm, I need to start the day asking "what can I do today to feel good at 6pm?"

FYI this was the first day I defined 5 goals daily... I'm still doing this 6 months later!

Girls who wear shorts in the rain + sandals. ITCHY.

... so maybe the reason we can get so upset with software is that it often mimics our deepest fears in our relationships.

My computer used to freeze and quit programs, I had no idea why or how to fix it or what I'd done to make it act that way. We watch people use insanely old versions of IE browsers or conduct crazy, twisted actions on their own machines because they're afraid of not being able to predict what's coming next. And isn't that what we do in our own relationships?

Frank Lloyd Wright's "The Living City"- acres of land for every family. And flying taxis?!

How to keep shining a positive light when you don't have enough energy?

How to rejuvenate yourself.

- Needle
- iPod shuffle cord

10/16/09 The NYer festival
Readings remind me of being a little kid and listening to stories before bed.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
"In Mali, your mother is your mother even if her leg is broken."

"To answer questions about my creative process suggests that I am conscious of what I'm doing.

Yiyun Li:
"The story of immigration is of layers of loss and I hope to explore those layers in my fiction."

"Craft is a process of writing sentences that I like. I'm drawn to writers that add elegance to sentences; they nourish and influence me."

Aleksander Hemon:
"I cannot imagine places I have never been."

"I explore alternative possibilities to the narrative of my life."

Stanley Tucci:
"Acting is celebrating the multiple personalities that we all are."

10/25/09 Thoughts upon NY return:
- What am I still doing in this dirty, annoying city?
- Why is the ACE running so slow?
- Why is the L limited again??

If you believe that people are good, can they ever make you upset? Isn't it possible that you can be too understanding of the world around you?

What is the balance of what you are entitled to and what you owe? Zen zero.

It's funny to see how much of the year I spent thinking about writing, as well as how much time I spent analyzing and planning things. I didn't include any of my shopping lists or five goals or planning lists, but know that they make up a lot of this notebook, particularly over the summer and in the second half of the year.

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