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Posts Tagged ‘note taking’

My day job is in the security sector. Loss Prevention specifically. Many of my department co-workers have come from law enforcement or are using this job as a stepping stone to enter law enforcement.  As such, I’ve been privy to some of their classes and find them quite interesting. One such class a co-worker was taking dealt with criminal justice and report writing.

I liked that course because there were videos to watch–skits to help drive the lessons home. One dealt with a hapless detective who was hopeless at report writing. His superior called him into the office one day to discuss a recent report he had submitted. It was dated April 31st. The superior could not find that day on the calendar. When pressed, neither could the detective. The superior started reading sketchy parts of the report, asking for better details or clarification. One such item was this: “April or May, seen bad stuff.”

I love that line. It is hilarious in its vagueness, but also encapsulates how I write. The detective was asked about his method of note taking. He produced several scraps of crinkled papers from his pockets, all with some obscure or incomplete note scribbled on it. The superior officer was not impressed. I agree. To take a legal document to the D.A. to prosecute someone, the report needs to be letter-perfect and accurate.

When writing a fictional story, we can get away with “seeing bad stuff” in “April or May”. That line has become a long-standing joke with my co-worker regarding my note-taking while writing a story or observations at work. Exhibit A:

and  Exhibit B:

This one was actually scribbled as a ‘go back and add’ afterthought and then stapled to the page where it needed to go.  This is a typical example of how I write.

These piles of scribbled notes in the top picture are from my novella “Crazy Woman Creek” recently completed and submitted to Limitless Publishing for their anthology, ‘Craving: Country’, due out in Jan 2018. They are not much to look at here, sort of like some bad stuff, but they turned into a great little story.

What is even more thought-provoking is the origins of the story itself. I’d been experiencing some events around the house lately that made me want to let my ‘Crazy Woman’ out (the one who lives deep inside me). On my way to work, I needed to let her out for a bit in order to arrive at work in a half-way decent state of mind. So I wrote some paragraphs to rant my anger and frustration at the situation. Finished, I felt better. The Crazy Woman went back inside where she belongs.

A few days later I noticed the call for submissions from Limitless. The requirement was the story had to be country themed. I spent a few days wondering what partial or idea I had that could be considered now, or could become, ‘country’. Actually, taking my angry rant and building on was not that difficult.  Writing to meet the timeline is the reason, however, that I have neglected my social media life for a few weeks.

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