Lament for a Missing Notebook

I have a collection of notebooks that I use for on-the-scene reporting, as a back-up to my digital voice recorder, and for paintball events where I don't want to carry something else that uses batteries and can get broken, wet, or lost on the field.

I got hooked on Moleskine notebooks a few years ago. These sturdy little leather journals include an inner pocket for business cards, an elastic band to hold the book closed, an attached bookmark, and was the writer's notebook of choice for Hemingway. I loved the insert in the notebook which told the story of how Hemingway used the book. (Yes, that's what sold me on it. Really.)

The book includes a place to write your name: "In case of loss, return to_____" and a line that reads, "As a reward: $___." I always write "Good Karma" in that spot. Fortunately, I've never lost one (well, not permanently) but I like the idea that my notes could have a dollar value assigned to them if I desired.

Then I discovered similar notebooks, not leather, for about half the price in bright colors. I came to associate different color notebooks with different times of the year or different eras in my writing life. Plus, what's cooler than a chick in digital camouflage who pulls out a bright pink notebook to write down the Commander's name during a big scenario paintball game?

I remember my first trip to Salt Lake City in October 2006. I was visiting two paintball companies, fierce competitors. I signed a "non-disclosure agreement" for one company and took pages and pages of off-the-record notes in my little blue notebook.

The next day, I visited their competitor. When I got back to my friend's house that night, (who happened to work for the first company) I couldn't find my notebook. I thought I left it on my friend's desk at work, I could even see it there in my mind's eye, but a fear nagged at me that I had left it at the competitor's facility. I didn't sleep that night.

Then again, I purposely take notes in my own version of shorthand, practically illegible to anyone but me. My husband loves teasing me about it. "How can a writer have such awful handwriting?" he asks. But there's a reason for it, beyond expediency.

Anyway, when we arrived at the office very early the next morning, there was my notebook, right where I left it, on my friend's desk! Since then, I'm even more careful with my notebooks. Usually.

Late Friday night, lying in bed, I wrote a post for this blog in one of my notebooks. I didn't feel like booting up the computer. Now I can't find the book. It may be in my car, but it's 30 degrees outside, 10:30 at night, and I'm not wearing shoes.

I added a few links to some job resources for writers and a few good web sites.

Hopefully, I'll put up "the missing post" tomorrow. I hope it's worth the wait.