Catching the Thoughts as They Pass Through

I’m reposting this tip from last year for MotherReader’s edition of the Carnival of Children’s Literature. She’s asking for tips “as a reader, writer, illustrator, reviewer, publisher, or editor of children’s literature. I want a lesson learned from a teacher, librarian, author, or parent with regards to kids’ lit.” Send them to her by Tuesday.

“It is an unhappy thing, but it is the fact with many men, that if you do not seize your fancies when they come to you, and preserve them upon the written page, you lose them altogether. They go away, and never come back.” —A.K.H. Boyd

“A really good book . . . should make you walk into a lamppost. That’s because you can’t stop reading it when you are walking down the street.” —Nick Hornby

I’ve always been forgetful. I’ve lost my keys more times than I can count. I’ve left my purse in the grocery cart in the Kroger parking lot about as many times as I’ve misplaced my keys. (And it always is there when I come back for it, either in the cart where I left it or turned in to the service counter. So far.)

However, I’m getting worse, not better. I do believe I’m slowly losing my mind altogether, and it’s an interesting process. I forget thoughts I want to hang on to. I forget what I read and why I liked it. I forget why I started reading a particular book in the first place. (I also forget my name, but I haven’t come to the place that my mother predicted I’d get to a long time ago. I haven’t lost my head—because it’s still screwed on.)

So, what works for me is to start a blog post for each book I’m reading and type in the quotations and profound thoughts I want to remember about the book as I read it. If I wait until I finish the book, or heaven forbid, a week or two after I finish reading those thoughts are gone and the quotations are un-find-able. If I have a draft of a post with quotations and observations, I can go back and organize and edit it later —or delete it if there wasn’t really much there to write about.

Check out the carnival at MotherReader on Wednesday, and if you find my mind or any tips on reclaiming it, please leave a comment here.

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