Story wallet

Notecarding: a method of story planning in which chapters or scenes are written on index cards, then shuffled into order.

Nabokov did it. He wrote entire novels on index cards, so he could carry them around when he went searching for butterflies or whatever.

Holly Lisle does it. She’s written more books than I can count, and actually makes her living as a writer.

I do it. Slightly less glamorously than Nabs and Lisle, though.

When I pulled my calendar out of my bag at the orthodontist’s office last week, a mini avalanche of 3x5s landed all over the desk and floor. As I scrambled frantically to collect them all, the receptionist watched with a mix of pity and fear— a look usually reserved for people muttering into brown bag covered bottles on subway platforms.

I left panicked that one of my chapters had been left behind— and with no clue when my next appointment is.

Something had to be done.


A greeting card envelope, approximately 5″x7″, when folded in half becomes a magical miniature folder for corralling my stories on the go.

1 The flap is tucked inside.


2 The envelope is folded in half. Traditional: folded to the back, open sides in. Stapled once along center line. May still require a paperclip to keep it closed, though.


3 Exposed: folded toward the front (to hide stamp and address), open sides out. Staple, tape, or otherwise tack down the outer edge. (This green one is stitched.)


Nice and snug! Notes are now organized, whether I’m at the dentist or out on the butterfly trail.


Bonus: they take up much less space than the repurposed sushi box I keep story ideas in at home. Yes, I am painfully thrifty.

I’ve got another novel idea brewing, so hopefully someone sends me a card soon. Preferably in a blue envelope.



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