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A Decade of Diligent Note Taking

Tags: idea stories book
Even though I’ve been writing for a living the past 30 years, apparently I can't get enough of it. I’m constantly jotting down notes and ideas and the funny things people say.

Some of you may have noticed I can be text-heavy on this site and other social media, posting longish pieces about my family, travel, music, basketball, bikes, beer, etc. I've been sharing these Stories for years and now, gathered in one place, they fill a 216-page collection I’m calling Hold On, Let Me Write That Down.

I self-published this book mostly as a gift for my 85-year-old mom, who knows darn well there's an internet but chooses to consume information only via print and TV. That means she's missed pretty much everything I've written since I gave her my last book, a decade's worth of newspaper stories, some 15 years ago. Today my gift is on its way to her house. I figure if anyone will care for this, it’s my mom.

For anyone else who’s interested, below is the intro to the book.


Maybe it’s a carryover from my days as a newspaper reporter, but I constantly find myself reaching for a notebook. Many of my jottings are mundane details that simply connect the dots in my life: lists, reminders, things I did, things I need to do.

Other times my notes are more inspired, more a reflection of what I find important and remarkable. Someone will say something clever or poetic and I'll scribble it down. A perfect sentence, phrase or quote will jump off the page of a book or magazine, and I'll capture it for some future use. I'll hear a cool song and make note of its title, with plans to figure out how to play it on guitar. Or an idea for a story will pop into my head and I'll sketch out a beginning, middle and end – and soon, after transferring the notes to my computer or phone and wrestling them into shape, I have a new slice of life, a new reason to be excited.

Travel writer Bruce Chatwin viewed taking notes as a means to better understanding one's world and ultimately oneself. He considered his notebooks invaluable extensions of his experience, his spirit. "Losing my passport was the least of my worries; losing a notebook was a catastrophe," he said. Not sure I'm that serious about it. But I do often find myself wondering why other people aren't writing stuff down.

In your hands is a collection of my stories, notes and musings drawn almost entirely from my posts on Facebook, Instagram and my website, Guitar Dad. Many of the pieces were inspired by everyday experiences I had with my family, especially when my kids did or said something totally wacky. All of them started, of course, with the words I jotted in my notebooks and the ideas that rattled around in my head. The pieces date from 2008 and, as of this publication, bump up against the end of 2018. They are arranged by category and mixed up chronologically. They are a decade’s worth of moments I carry in my heart and that define the absolutely amazing life I’ve been given.

This post first appeared on Guitar Dad -, please read the originial post: here

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A Decade of Diligent Note Taking


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