Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Magpie Intelligence

This picture's from my journal on Jan. 19, 2002.

The phrase "a magpie intelligence" had caught my eye like a shiny object, so I wrote it down. (You can see the other unrelated trinkets I stashed on that page too.)

Are you a magpie writer? Do you collect random phrases, names, and ideas years before you know what to do with them? Is your journal as completely random as mine is, like a half-built bird nest?

And did you know that the magpie is in the same intelligence class as chimps and dolphins? (Yes, that makes me feel better.)


  1. I do this, too, although my "journal" is really a bunch of notebooks scattered about that I seem to go through phases of using--so the red one is in favor right now, and last month it was the purple.

    I am also one of those people always jotting things down on pieces of paper and then sticking them in my notebooks. My process is all very scattershot.

  2. I now know a lot more about magpies than I did when I woke up this morning.

    However, I love the visual of half built birds nest - a lot.

    It reminds me of my desk. This morning I looked at it and said, "Man I have to clean this up...but...I need all these piles"

    So - it's uncleaned... maybe, it's just half built... I need more stuff on it. Like a bird's nest.


  3. I have been so bad about keeping a journal since having kids. But YES, I have all these random half ideas and great book titles but nothing really goes together yet.

  4. It's nice to know other people have characters, bits, and phrases fluttering around in their heads years before they're used. It's why I never have an answer to "how long did it take you to write it?"

  5. I'm doing this for the children's chapter book I plan to write someday. When I hang out with my kids, substitute teach, watch a sport my kids are playing, I form characters and names and details in my head. This all goes into my red notebook at home. Safe-keeping for a rainy day!!

  6. it runs the gamut for me. like you. i keep a notebook and there are phrases, even specific words "crimson", bits of dialogue. they all get thrown in there. =) great post, sara!


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