During the mid-1990s, my sister gave me a blank journal with a black cover for writing. I was restless then as I am sometimes now about not writing enough. I didn't own a computer yet in 1996, so the journal, for one summer, became my primary writing outlet. I was working extreme mornings in Madison and would get home usually by 1 p.m. every day, giving me free afternoons. We were living in an aparment complex with a pool, so on summer weekday afternoons, I'd bring my Walkman, a book, the journal and a towel and relax by the pool ... and sometimes write.
At the beginning of that summer, I had gone for a walk in our neighborhood listening to a tape of songs off the radio from 1984. I hadn't listened to this tape in years, and it resulted in such a rush of nostalgia that I wanted to write it all down. That summer, I began to do so, in the blank journal my sister gave me. The summer after, when we bought a PC, I wrote some more -- four stories in fact that were part of a grand plan to be an author. I never achieved that plan, but started writing nostalgically again when I began this blog. For now, this blog is part of a different plan -- not as ambitious perhaps, but just as important, just as effective in satisfying my need to write.
Back to the journal: I would sit by the pool and write, some of it stories from my youth, some of it what was going on at that present moment of my life. I only filled up about a third of the journal, then never brought it back to the pool after that summer. It has stayed on my bookshelf all these years, never written in again. One of the stories I wrote was about my most memorable season of baseball, and with me blogging about baseball lately (in 1978, 1979 and 1980), I broke out the journal to see what I wrote about 1981 15 years ago.
I'm not sure if I'm going to transcribe the baseball story exactly, start from scratch, or proceed with a combination of the two approaches, but just reading this journal again after years has been worthwhile. Eventually, I'd like to get the few stories I wrote from the black book, as well as the four stories I wrote from my journal, onto this blog. It seems like just the project I need for summer writing.