Monday, February 23, 2015

Interview a Notebook: Spanish Notebook

If you recall my porcupine story, then you’ve already been introduced to this notebook—my Spanish diario. It’s hot off the press, as I finished it only earlier this month when I decided to leap the last hurdle and reach the last page. So I turned in thirty extra pages but that’s okay.

I went to my teacher and begged to have it come home on a weekend trip with me, so we’re going to take the opportunity to interview it while it’s here!

Tell a little bit about this notebook. Where did you get this notebook? Why did you start writing in it?

My Spanish teacher assigned us a free write, so I needed a notebook. Mom went to Staples and found some “Renewable Earth” notebooks, and she asked how many I wanted. I said three. She was skeptical, but I am using two for school, and I’ll use the third for writing when I get through the open ones.

How long did it take you to fill all the pages?

I began August 20, 2014 and ended at 11:40 PM, February 6, 2015. I crammed the last few pages—I once wrote over ten pages in a night, because I really wanted to finish the notebook while I was motivated.

Summarize the things you’ve written in the notebook. 

Basically anything that was on my mind—it’s like a continuous stream of thoughts. There’s plotlines, there’s what’s going on my life, my rants, my thoughts, rough drafts of blog posts, everything. Other people wrote like they expected their Spanish teacher to see it. I wrote like I was going to use what I wrote. Which I will.

Paste a snippet from within the story, as is. No editing allowed!

Trilobite- un serpiente de China 
Trilobite es de un templo en un pueblito de los tiempos antiguos, antes de Cristo, etcetera. Fue creado para decorar las paredes. Cuando él se juntó con la piedra, él empezó ayudar a los ciudadanos del pueblito, y con mucho éxito. Sin embargo, durante el siglo IXX tenía un accidente, y causó demasiado agua inundar al pueblo.  
Un explorador del gremio estaba sospechoso de que una quimera hubiera causado el problema cuando él encontró a un pueblo muriendo de hambre—las inundaciones mataron los campos y habían sido personas barridos de la tierra por el agua.  
El explorador le quitó a Trilobite del pueblo para neutralizarlo—su sentido de necesidad fue ruinado, y ahora él no podía confiar en sus habilidades nunca más. 
(Apunte: para neutralizarlo, ellos cambiaron sus percepciones de demasiado a demasiado poco.)

I apologize for the many errors. Sea lo que sea.

What’s the best doodle/brain bubble in the margins?

I couldn’t decide between the Soy Catbug! I drew upside down (based on the episode when he was born, complete with my inferior drawing skills) and a happy T-Rex.

Are you still working on anything originally written in this notebook?

Yes. The last thing I did to fill pages was to draw out character sketches of the chimeras in my current WIP—about a page for each one. I’ve been told they need some development, and I developed them, and then I turned them in which is why I had to beg for it back. Let me tell you: it’s hard to edit when you don’t have your notes.

Now all the pages are scanned, so I can refer to them whenever I want.

Do you think you would go back to anything written in this notebook?

Two stories. On the one hand, I wrote about 50,000 words of a superhero novel that has great characters, but I ended up falling through about halfway through the plot. I love the characters, so I might come back to it someday, but I don’t think that I am ready to write it just yet.

Secondly, as I approached the last page I got an idea I really want to pursue, basically summed up with “The Underworld Intern.” I don’t know exactly what I want out of it yet, but it would be Greek-mythology based and basically follow someone working through the ranks of the Judgment Bureaucracy.

(Also, Hades would be a main character—because I love Hades.)

Are you mostly embarrassed by this notebook, or mostly proud?

I’m actually quite proud of this one. I’ve never spent a lot of time writing in another language, and so I’m glad that this is something I can keep to prove that I know at least a little Spanish. Plus, due to my initials (“doble h”) and my status (“dobleagente”) my Spanish nickname is “Doble.” And I did doble the work, let me tell you.

What is your favorite thing about this notebook?

I like that I never held myself back. Usually when you know someone is going to read your notebook, you hold back, because what will that person think? But even though it was my teacher’s assignment, I maintained that it was MY notebook. The end.

Just for fun, edit the snippet from before—do you think you’ve grown?

(I’m actually going to translate it into English, because I assume most of you don’t speak Spanish.)

Trilobite- a Chinese dragon
Trilobite is from an ancient village’s temple, B.C., etcetera. He was created to decorate the walls. When he bonded with the stone, he began to help the townspeople, and successfully. However, during the nineteenth century he had an accident and caused too much water to flood the village. 
A guild explorer suspected that a chimera had caused the problem when he found the town, dying of hunger—the floods had killed the fields and people had been swept away by the water. 
The explorer took Trilobite from the village to neutralize him—his sense of need was ruined, and now he couldn’t trust in his abilities anymore. 
(Note: to neutralize him, they changed his perceptions of too much to too little.)

That’s what I’m working on this week! What about you? What are you working on? Drawn any doodles? Oh, and any great story ideas to share? 


  1. Okay, you know what but I love Trilobite maybe 3000% more now that he has a complete China-based backstory. (I don't know how much of it is thought up and/or relevant to the plot, but I can totally help you dig around for actual Chinese myths or folklore that this could have been grounded in. We got a lot of those.)

    Also, HADES. I want that one.

    It's amazing how fluent you are in Spanish. I used to learn French, but my skills are mainly down to "How much does that cost?" and "Too expensive!" (You can see my one-track mind.)

    Love these notebook interviews -- keep them coming! OH! I just had a random thought the pleases me very much. You said in the other post that you were still looking for guest posts -- I'm already doing that, but maybe you could interview someone else's notebook instead! *much pleased with self*

    1. Well, he always had a China-based backstory... I just never really mentioned it because I wasn't thinking about it even though it was important. *cough* Anyway, it would definitely be cool to add more details as I go on, so thanks. :) ('Course, I'd have to do the same in Italy, Madagascar, and Egypt, so we'll see where this all goes!)

      I want it too... But I am editing so I am waiting.

      XD I'm a long way from fluent, but thank you. Your French is hilarious, though—I'm sure that you could have a lot of fun acting snooty in a French flea market. And, I mean, I assume you know English and Chinese... or something... maybe? (That went awkward fast.)

      Anyway, I'll be taking a break from them in March, but we'll see where they go. That's a fascinating idea, though—I'd definitely be curious in seeing what other people besides me write in their notebooks! :D

  2. I love the notebook interviews xD I'm pleased with myself because I actually figured out some of the Spanish without looking at the translation stuff, but I'm still pretty rusty. Sigh.
    But the happy t-rex doodle is seriously my new favorite thing.

    1. XD I'm glad! And, it's cool that you understood some of it, even if you're out of the loop. Learning languages is hard.

      :D It was an enjoyable drawing fest, let me tell you. :)

  3. Aw, this is such a creative idea! And also hats off to you (I am an English gal, please imagine me doffing my top hat as you read this) for finishing a whole notebook IN SPANISH! I stopped learning languages when I was 16, but by that point I was pretty fluent in French (my dad lives in France so I had a bit of a leg up)... Not fluent anymore. I wish I'd filled a notebook in when I could still speak the language!
    Beth x

    Oh, and also, thank you for inspiring me to get to work and fill in my own darned notepads!!

    1. It's worked out pretty well, I'd say! And thanks—we Americans don't really have top hats anymore but I can give you thumbs up *thumbs up*. I know that someday I'll probably lose where I was going—but you're right, it will be a great memento someday. :D

      You write, write, write! :) It's great to finish them.

  4. For my money, Hades is the best Greek god. (I have to admit, my favorite version of him is probably from the Disney movie.) I've wanted to write a story featuring him for a long time (YEARS) but it just isn't coming together yet. Also, I am in awe of the fact that you can write so much in Spanish. Great job!

    1. I agree—and I love him in the movie, too. He's so funny! And, it's hard to find new and exciting things to write about the myths, but I'm hopeful. :D Thanks so much for reading! :)

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  6. Nice interview! And wow, you're really good at Spanish! I don't think I've ever fully filled a notebook before. I usually just leave them half-empty and move on to the next one :P
    P.S I'm the one who removed that comment above, in case you were wondering.

    1. Haha, thanks! I'm still learning, but I'm enjoying myself. I am pretty good about filling up notebooks, though. It's very gratifying, for me at least.

      Ah, I gotcha. Wrong account? :)

  7. I love your happy T-Rex! I think it's cool you treated it like it's your notebook, and didn't write differently because you knew your teacher would see it. Some of what I think is my best writing is in notebooks that are just for me :)

    Also, how do you learn another whole language?! My brain doesn't do that xD

    1. It's a great T-Rex! And yeah, I am that way when it comes to my writing. Sure, they can grade it, but it's my property because I bought it and I don't take no for an answer. *hair swish* Anyway, I also know that I do get a little crazier with my personal notebooks, just because I don't narrate my life in those—so I more or less know what you mean. :)

      A lot of people don't. I am good at Spanish and I don't even know why.

  8. It's cool that you can write so well in another language. I'm taking French and, well, let's just say that, while I'm not terrible at it, there's no way I could write a 50,000 word story in the language either.
    Also, The Underworld Intern. I want it. Now.


    1. XD Believe me, I'm still a novice! There's no way I could write 50,000 words either; but I'm getting better the more I practice! I hope you continue to work hard at French, too, just because languages are awesome. :)

      *frowns* I do what I want, and I say no. *hair flip stalks away and then turns back and giggles* Really though I still need to write it.

    2. I know you need to. Because I wanna read it ;)


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