The Book of Good Practice

I have a stamped leather notebook with pages of handmade paper and I named it The Book of Good Practice.  I numbered all its pages, one to one hundred, at the bottom center.  I wasn’t very careful with my script, because I don’t have a steady hand to begin with, and when I think too hard about how I hold my hand, I forget the way numbers and letters are supposed to work.  The numbers on the page are a little messy, which is great for me because if I were to leave that notebook perfect I’d have never used it.  Nothing worse than a thing too perfect to serve its function.

Each page begins a new story.  So far there have been no ends to any of them.  Beginning a story is easy, finding a trajectory to a satisfactory end requires a lot more from me.  If it were a book of great practice, it would be filled with finished stories.  But the computer is for greats.  It ends things… or it abandons them while I flounder with all the things I could be doing.

(I stayed up until three last night dying yarn for the first time ever because I couldn’t find the exact yellow I wanted.  Insomnia is a curse.)

Greatness is often beyond me.  I’m a little afraid of it.  I’m unable to wrestle something down in manageable chunks and make it small enough to fit an ending.

And that wears on me.  I’m a writer, right?  I make stories happen.  I find ways to make the big things fun, to share dreams, to touch brains.  Sometimes.  Most times I’m spinning my wheels, starting a hundred things and praying something will find enough purchase to set me toward and end.

But at least it is good practice.

 

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