Writers’ Ephemera

This month I’ve been cleaning up assorted papers I’d accumulated over the last few years. Like many writers, I have a strange attraction to notebooks, some decorative, some plain spiral-bound of varying qualities, bought for various reasons: a pretty one on a clearance table, a cheap stenographer’s pad purchased on a journey. I’ve set aside a few of the nice ones from my collection to give as gifts.

However, that still left all the ones that were half-used, or tattered from being carried with me for days on end, or that had notes scribbled on just one or two pages. Part of the problem is that in the last few years I’ve mostly switched over to the Moleskine brand, since they produce a slender notebook that will open out flat; it fits much better in my everyday messenger bag than anything else I’ve tried. What to do with the small spiral-bounds?

Most have lots of empty pages I can use. On the used pages, I found Calls for Submissions, long past; those I tore out and recycled. I found grocery lists, packing lists, and the like; recycled. I also found my own writing ephemera: notes on a story or novel I was writing, early versions of story drafts, ideas for stories, opening scenes for stories I’d utterly forgotten about. I couldn’t bring myself to recycle them. I tore those pages out, trimmed the ragged edges, and placed them into the acid-free boxes I use for my novel manuscripts. Maybe someday, I’ll want to revisit them.

At Heroes and Heartbreakers in the last couple of days, you can read my thoughts on Kristen Callihan’s Firelight and on Clothes in the Time of Downton Abbey, which means 1912-1919.

Published by Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s writing showcases her voracious lifelong love of books. She reads over 120 new books each year, especially historical romance, fantasy, and space opera, and incorporates these genres into her erotic fiction. Her first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. When not writing, Victoria conducts research in libraries and graveyards, lectures about writing and selling erotica, and speaks at literary conventions on topics such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotic science fiction/fantasy, and the empowerment of women through unconventional means. Her daily writing blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and author interviews. She also guest blogs for Heroes & Heartbreakers and The Criminal Element. She lives in Philadelphia.