The Stack That Is My Life

Describe the most intriguing creative project you've ever worked on.

On the top shelf on the far right wall of my closet, there are stacks and stacks of dog-eared, worn-out, bent-up composition notebooks. Well, mostly composition notebooks, but there is some variety -- like a locked plastic purple diary that my older brother gave me on my ninth birthday, a half-filled spiral of love letters with ‘K+L’ scrawled across the cover, and a leather-bound journal I spent thirty dollars on when I was fifteen. Some of the notebooks are colored or patterned, but because no one snoops around in a composition notebook that looks like it’s intended for school, most of the ones I have bought are plain black. They’re all stacked rather precariously on the shelf, so unsteadily that one falls off with no encouragement at least once a week. To be honest, their proximity to the wall and to my closet light probably would classify them as a fire hazard. But I still keep stacking these notebooks; I find myself carelessly throwing another filled notebook onto the stack every three or four months, with total unconcern for the pandemonium that could result if every smudged book of pages came crashing down at once.

I think it all started when I read Louise Fizthugh’s Harriet the Spy in the second grade. Harriet kept a...

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