I Was Illiterate

First Annual BlueJays Deaf Expo

Writing on the Road and There’s No Pen

  • April 29, 2018
  • Blog

What do you do when you’re driving and a great line of dialogue pops into your head?

I try not to think of my stories during those times but sometimes it’s a natural progression of thought (do we ever really stop thinking about those people?).

I had the line, the perfect sentence. But I was driving and there was no place to pull over. I called a friend.

“Please write this sentence down for me.”

My friend rose to the occasion. “All right, let me find a pen.” Pause. “There’s usually a million pens around here, where are they?” Sounds of paper rustled. “I don’t understand, there was a pen here a minute ago, why can’t I find one when I need—”

I tried desperately not to hear her, repeating those prized words in my head like a mantra. “Please stop talking,” I finally begged. “I’ll lose the sentence.”

Silence. Then, “Okay, go ahead.”

I said the line and waited.

“Okay, got it. Do you want me to email it to you?”

“Yes!” I’ve got truly wonderful, understanding friends.

“I’ll do it now. Talk to you later.”

But what if no one is home? In my panic, I forgot another, simpler solution: call my voice mail. (Thank goodness my car has hands-free dialing.) I wonder if I should invest in a small recorder.

What do you do when your story rears its head and you’re not in a place to write it down?


  • Ken • April 30, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Siri is your friend! I set up a system so I can dictate to Siri and the text goes directly to Evernote as text. It does not have to be Evernote. It can be any service that accepts email to a personal inbox.

    • J. M. Levinton • April 30, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      I’ll look into that, thank you!

  • Lydia • April 30, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    What a good friend you have!

    I’ve been known to email myself ideas, snippets of dialogue, etc if I can’t find a pet. I have a smartphone, though, so I almost always have that ability.

    • J. M. Levinton • April 30, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      Considering how rude I was being, I’m lucky my friends cut me some slack when I’m in writer mode! I have a smartphone but driving at 55mph made me blank. LOL

  • Jeff K • May 12, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    You have a smart phone, trust me there IS a voice recorder APP already on there you just need an icon on your screen for it

    • J. M. Levinton • May 12, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you!

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