Friday, September 23, 2011

Note to Self

Exhibit A
You see that?

That's a hastily jotted down outline for a short story that I vomited up over a decade ago. I recently remembered it existed and dug it out only to find that the coded scribbles of a college senior don't translate well to a thirty-something momma. Even if they are the same person.

Handwriting is kind of an issue for me. I was supposed to be left-handed, but being the littlest in my entirely right-pawed family meant that I was mimicking my parents and older sister in order to learn simple motor functions - holding a crayon, cutting with a scissors, even picking up my cup. Learning to tie my shoes was tantamount to torture until my sharp-eyed first grade teacher explained to my parents that I was naturally left-handed, but conditioned to be right. My lefty Grandma showed me a handy-dandy approach to shoelaces and I've pretty much got that down these days. But the handwriting continues to suffer (see Exhibit A).

There are other elements working against me in resurrecting the short story from BBC-Of-The-Past. I often write to myself in a sort of code. It's not about protecting my creative babies from wandering eyes intent on stealing my stuff, or even a time-saving attempt at my own private shorthand. It's an Irish self-defense mechanism, I suppose, a physical way of keeping anyone from getting too close to something very important to me - my mind.

Which sounds kind of cool until I find a sentence like this:

Hsb. sys to w the "nitrogen line" and then the "miasma of life" idea of steering whl. and heat.

And thirty-something momma says, WTF?!?

6 comments:

E.F.Jace said...

LOL! What you need to do is get a bunch of 20-somethings to translate it and you should be able to piece it together from what they come up with lol!

Cassie Mae said...

I love this! And now I'm going to look over my scribbled outlines, while I can still understand them, and type them full out on the computer. lol

Kathryn Elliott said...

Be warned, 40 something momma won’t get much better, and things will sag in bad places; very bad places. I love scribble, shorthand, all things outline – and I feel the legibility pain, must be the creative, (eccentric), mind.

Marin said...

That is brilliant! One does indeed wonder what you were thinking. :) I second the comment on the 40-something momma. I just had a 16 comment post on FB with my 40-something friends about reading glasses.

Simon Stone said...

"Hsb. sys
"to w the "nitrogen line"
"and then the "miasma of life"
idea of steering
whl. and heat.

...I thought this was a writing blog, not a computer programming one! :)

Mindy McGinnis said...

EF - I actually set some of my college class notes beside it (those are the ones with the doodles on the side in the pic) and deciphered some of my handwriting that way.

Cassie - VERY good idea. That would've saved me about two days.

Kathryn - People that like me always assure me that my bad handwriting is a sign of a busy mind. People that don't like me just think I'm a slob :)

Marin - if I could get by with glasses only for reading I would be... well, I wouldn't be legally blind.

Simon - I haven't started writing notes to myself in binary code.... yet. It's a thought though!