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Start Collecting!

As the school year quickly approaches, now is the time to begin collecting some ephemera from our everyday lives. Ephemera (the stuff of life that you would normally throw away) adds a dimension to writer’s notebooks that words alone can’t achieve. Here are some things to consider collecting to share with your students.

  • Newspaper clippings
  • Photographs
  • Receipts
  • Tags from new school clothes
  • Grocery lists
  • Candy wrappers
  • Text messages
  • Emails
  • Mail
  • Restaurant menus
  • Sticky notes
  • Ticket stubs

One of the purposes of a writer’s notebook is to collect bits and pieces of life. Ephemera is a great way to look at our ordinary lives through new eyes. Will you join me in collecting this week? Let me know some of the cool things you’re choosing to put in your writer’s notebook instead of in the trash can.

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

5 thoughts on “Start Collecting! Leave a comment

  1. Yesterday as I was walking away, bags in hand, from my checkout guy at Wal-Mart, he said to me “Have a great life.” Caught off-guard, I hesitated for a second because he told me something I had never heard before from a checkout person at any store anywhere. I’m accustomed to the “have a good day/night/afternoon/morning” responses. I replied, “Wow, that’s a great one and one that I’ve never heard.” His smile was so big and it was obvious that he was being very genuine. He really meant it. After all, given that the chances of him ever seeing me again (or vice versa) are small, “Have a great life” is a much longer-lasting hope than one for a single morning, afternoon, day, or night.

    While many people would probably not think twice about the checkout guy’s reply, it is something I have been thinking about a lot since last night. Even though not tangible, this is a piece of ephemera that I will include in my writer’s notebook. I’ll just hand-write it in. I am excited. I am also excited to start collecting more ephemera. It will really help me to start slowing down at times and to see life in newer, fresher ways.


  2. Ephemera… hmmm and all these years we’ve called grandma a pack rat….. Who knew she was just ahead of her time?
    Congrats on your book. You’re famous!!!


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