Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Save It!

Novelist Peter de Vries said that while he loved being a writer, “What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”

I know, Peter, I know. Almost every precious scrap of paper and disk (aka floppy) I own gets saved in a drawer or box. The thought of throwing away my (or anyone else’s) precious prose horrifies me. I certainly can’t throw away cards and letters from children I met during my forty years of school residencies. The other day I ran across a pile of homemade Valentine cards given to me back in February 1987.

I’ll just share one:

“Mrs. Tate, I’m sorry today is your last day to be with us. Oh by the way I had a million zillion tons of fun with you. I enjoyed it while it lasted but now I have nothing to look at the clock for. Well, bye bye.”

Potential dialogue! Save it!
Eleanora E. Tate Feb. 7, 2012


  1. Eleanora, this is a lovely note to save and remember the good times. But where, oh, where to put? Happy V day to all.

  2. This is hilarious! It's true, but so funny. My grandmother has mail and newspapers from the 60's and 70's. "They're not collecting that light bill from '78, throw it away!" She keeps every Christmas, b-day card, too. But I see how it's so useful for characters and stories. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Alicia, yesterday I took a plastic basket full of papers, folders, newspaper clippings, bills, etc. out to be burned, and another plastic basket full to the landfill. I could do this for a week and still not be through. I had to wrest these papers from my hands as I told myself, but this is good for writing about a particular time period, on THAT particular street, in THAT particular town!
    No, Eleanora, throw it away.