The notebook

I am starting work on a new novel and going over old notes both digital and paper. I found a note that I wrote to my father after my mother died. Jane was an artist. She wrote in notebooks through most of her working life. We found a stack of them after she was gone. They were large composition books, the kind you use for homework, brightly-colored, spiral-bound, hers bent with age and worry, her handwriting spidering over the pages in straight lines at the beginning, then not so straight at the end. Her tone in the notebooks is by turns petty, bold, inventive, and finally heartbreaking. My father didn’t want to read the notebooks. He was afraid of what he would find in them. So he asked me to read them. Here is what I wrote to him about the last notebook.

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