Friday, October 7, 2016

Notebooks are for Flotsam and Jetsam

My Friend Yvonne's Cat...Casey
Photo by Yvonne Sciolino

Students - Last week I had the good fortune to visit five schools in Northern New Jersey.  During a talk at Central School in Glen Rock, NJ, I mentioned how my cat likes to sit on notebooks and computer keyboards, always wanting to be close to writing.  Many students raised their hands sharing that their cats also do this, and so I pulled out my notebook and wrote:

Notebook Jot - Central School, September 28, 2016
Photo by Amy LV

Those four words simmered there for a little while in my notebook, and then this week my friend Yvonne shared a photograph of her cat Casey working away at a laptop.  See?  It's a cat thing.  Cats DO like to write.  Ah HA!

Keeping a notebook, just jotting down the flotsam and jetsam of life is a magical way to capture wayward writing ideas.  Snips of chat, wisps of wonder...slap them all down on the page.  We never know when such bits will come in handy.  The mind is a strange place, with thoughts-like-leaves blowing around here and there.  A notebook helps us corral them, tame them, give them form.

Today's poem is written in rhyming couplets, but stanza four is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out onto four lines instead of two.  I could have kept it two lines, but I wanted more of a listy feeling in that section of the poem, so dividing each line into two felt right.

In Sharing Our Notebooks (my other blog) news, congratulations to Brenda Harsham, winner of Kiesha Shepard's generous giveaway of a copy of Mary Oliver's book EVIDENCE.  Please don't miss Kiesha's wonderful notebook post, and Brenda...please drop me an e-mail to with your snail mail address, and I will share it with Kiesha.

Violet is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at her online home, Violet Nesdoly / poems.  Don't miss the poems, the friends, the book recommendations, the surprises.  All are welcome.  Always!

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. "to assume would be unwise" - exactly right, Amy. Fun to read how you got to "here" from "there". Have a wonderful weekend with cats and other creatures!

  2. Cats are old souls with poetry in their hearts, as any cat lover will tell you. ;)

  3. Love that last stanza!
    They do like to be in the thick of things, don't they?

  4. I always come away from your blog determined to do what you do, Amy--write random thoughts and follow them up, IN MY NOTEBOOK! You're an inspiration.

  5. Casey looks like our SavvyCat! Who hasn't yet shown an inclination to write... but does like to help my hubby with his accounts. He's *sum* cat! ;) I love your little poem, Amy. So much fun.

  6. Ah, cats! My constant companion just waiting for me to step away from the desk so he can take up residence. Love the way you use your notebooks to collect your "thought-like-leaves blowing around here and there."

  7. you gave me a glorious giggle! Love on your kitty for me. Mine wants me to go to bed...we are waiting for one of our kids to come home from the Homecoming Dance.

  8. Woo-hoo! So pleased to win the book. Mary Oliver is a personal poet-hero. (As are you.) I'm happy to win a book I don't already have. I love your cat-author photo. I always believed my cat had a lot to say, too, but I was just too limited to figure out what it was. Unless it was hairball related. That was hard to misunderstand. Thanks again for the book. Email is on its way to you.