Monday, March 02, 2009

Advice for travel writers, part four: "O Grunge Queen, Why Won't You Tidy Up?''

A few months back, we talked about the importance of bringing a high-quality leak-proof pen with smear-proof, water-resistant ink and a good journal with thick, absorbent paper for travel writers. In fact, you might even consider bringing a pencil instead of a pen because pencil lead won't run, and you can even write in pouring rain. Well, here's my latest piece of advice: make sure to store all your travel notes in a very safe place, even if you won't be using them for a long while. I learned this lesson the hard way when I stored two notebooks containing Pacific Crest Trail notes about Oregon and Washington. Absentmindedly, I decided to store them in a leaky shed out in Santa Cruz during the El Nino storm year -- and the water dripped all over them!!! Now, dozens of pages of trail notes about Oregon and Washington are covered with horrible, absolutely unreadable smears. On certain pages, only a few words survive, and now I have no idea what they mean. For example, one page has only one readable line of text, which says: "O Grunge Queen, Why Won't You Tidy Up?'' Now I have no idea what I meant by this. Who is this mysterious 'grunge queen' I was talking about? Where did this grunge-queen incident happen? Anyhow, don't make this silly mistake. Store those journals somewhere dry and safe. You never know when you'll need to use them for reference-- now or 15 years from now.

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