June 28, 2017

Take Note of Note Takers -- Bruce Atchison

I blogged some years ago about how my journal helped me remember my vacation to Trinidad in 1982. It certainly did help with the details when I wrote my How I Was Razed memoir. Many of the incidents either had faded from my mind or I misremembered them.

But notebooks aren't the only way we can remember times in our lives. Looking at photos and videos show subtleties which our notes might miss.

The snapshots and home videos of my bunnies sure helped me with details which I wrote in When a Man Loves a Rabbit. Seeing them doing all their cute things helped me to add an extra layer of description to my narrative.

When I wrote Deliverance from Jericho, I had few photos and no video reminders. Instead, I listened to songs from the sixties which brought back memories of those times. Some of those recollections were quite painful but writing them down became excellent therapy for me.

Old e-mail and newsgroup posts were also a great help with my writing. I save my correspondence and that helped me with my recalling of exactly what happened. The paper letters I kept likewise remind me of what people wrote and even the style of their writing.

One thing I enjoy doing when on vacation is recording local radio stations. The cassettes I taped in Trinidad as well as when I visited Moscow in 1997 gave me the local cultural flavour of the two countries. I still treasure those recordings and I've digitized them.

I'm glad I hung on to all those letters, floppy disks, tapes, photos, and videos. And thanks to YouTube, I was able to find songs which I didn't have in my music collection. In future, I'd like to scan all of these letters so  I can preserve them. My nephews and nieces might be curious someday about what their strange uncle with the rabbits wrote.


  1. These are some excellent ideas, Bruce. I hadn't thought about many of them before, but as you say, I'm sure they jog one's memory. thanks for sharing!

  2. A picture is worth a thousand words - that's what they say and so it is true. Snapshots definitely help jog the memory. Thanks for sharing some great advice!

  3. Thanks, Bruce. I also appreciate the ideas you mention and how you use them as tools to jog your memory. I'm often amazed at what you are able to do in spite of your visual impairment. May God bless you and reward your perseverance.


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