It was this last sentence that stuck in my mind, and I came to see the smash book idea (that's the concept with a small 's') as a great way to organize thoughts. So, low on cash, I decided to make my own smash book with a hard-cover spiral notebook. Evening after evening, I sat with my smash-notebook and jotted down notes about places I would like to go or return to. I clipped photos from old travel catalogs, and maps (some showing tours like the Christmas cruise on the Danube below), and I raided my scrapbooking supplies for stickers and papers.
|Wouldn't you love to cruise the Danube at Christmastime, stopping at Christmas markets in Europe's great cities?|
|My smash book no longer closes, but it's going to get thicker.|
If I had stopped right there, this still would have been a fun exercise, but I began to think of people who had visited these places already. Why not ask them what they remember most fondly and keep those memories with my notes? So I asked friends about Italy and India, and included notes from a colleague's talk about a trip to Greece and Turkey. My smash book pages were getting full, so I had to insert these on folded bits of paper like a pop-up book.
|My Greece spread with sites to see, notes, pictures, stickers, movie titles, and impressions from another traveler on a yellow pop-up|
This is a great way to organize ideas. I finally sprung for a brand-name Smash book and decided to devote 2-page spreads to ideas for future articles. I already have recorded possible sources, drawings, ideas for interviews, quotes, and possible angles and organization strategies for the actual writing. This little 'tween/teen activity has become a great visual organizing tool! Got a notebook? Try it.