Articles, Stories

The Little Red Book

by Karen J Mossman

I was in Asda looking for something when my eyes fell on a little red book. It was wrapped in cellophane with a strip of black card that said – George £3. Medium Free Writer. For Notes, Research, and Inspirations.

There is something about a blank page, fresh and new. I had a burst of thought in which an entire conversation came to mind at once. I couldn’t see inside to look at the ruled lines of emptiness just waiting to be filled. I hadn’t written a short story for ages. It was Halloween soon. Could I conjure up something? My mind was filled with thoughts as I stared at the little book in my hand.

It then leapt into my basket, almost on its own. I spent two days looking at it, trying to find the time to actually write something. At the same time, I noticed another notebook in the drawer which I hadn’t opened either. That one I bought to write in too, but there it remained unfilled and empty.

Whilst browsing the shelves of Amazon, I came across a book that was called How to Write a Book in 7 – 14 days That Will Make You Money – by Darren Stock.

It wasn’t a very big book, 20,000 words maybe. He made it sound easy, and his book was probably a product of what he was writing about. I knew it probably wasn’t that easy, but it involved brainstorming titles and subtitles. Either way, it sounded like fun and I wanted to try it. Four weeks later, it still lay in the drawer, untouched and unopened.

I needed to find time from somewhere. 

Anyway, skipping ahead, I finished the novel – which, incidentally, was a cracking read. (Steve Mosby, The Black Flowers) and it made me want to write a novel again. I decided that instead of going back to rewrite and finish a previous one set in the medieval times, I’d go back and write the second draft of my 70s novel. When I originally finished it, I intended to leave it in the drawer for a couple of months before doing the last draft. That was four months ago.

So there I was at our caravan with time on my hands. I finally opened the little red book, courtesy of George. I was immediately disappointed as I saw blank pages as opposed to the ruled pages I thought I was buying.

I prefer lined pages, in fact, I remember being at infant school and the teacher told me children write on ruled lines and when I grow up I will write on blank pages.  I never did. An artist or illustrator uses blank pages to draw on. Lines are meant for words.

So my recent book of musings and stories was not what I thought, but I started writing anyway and it didn’t impede me.

I wrote 26 pages and my pen on fire.

Several musings and one short story later. I love my little red book!

And that 70s novel I mentioned, it got published and is called Behind Closed Doors.

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