Brown Sketchpad (Other, 05/??/02) Doc. #013

The Book:

Brown Book
An unassuming brown “leather” book.

This is one of the last remaining notebooks that needs to be catalogued. I acquired this book by winning a creative writing contest in my 10th grade English class. The contest, (also a required assignment) was to write the best “one year later” story for the conclusion to Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. We had read the “edited and abridged” version of the novel in our textbooks, complete with colorful illustrations. At the time I thought it was the complete novel. Later, when I found a copy at a bookstore and realized my mistake, I tried to read the complete work. Frankly, Charles Dickens sucks; I quit reading after 50 pages (my standard definition of “giving a book a chance”).

Inside cover note
My teacher’s signature censored here by me.

I can’t remember the details of the story I wrote, but I’m pretty sure things turned out well for Pip and it looked like he was on his way to getting laid. I’m not sure this story survived the sands of time, but if I find it, I’ll be sure to put it up.

I used the brown sketchpad mostly for doodling at school. There’s no drug-induced writing in the earlier pages of the book when I had it in high school.

Fruit Drop
Though honestly, you can barely tell this is not drug-inspired.

There’s also a lengthy scene from my unwritten novel, which will be transcribed and critiqued at some point in the future.

Just like Document #0002: Lime Green Sketchpad (Other ??/??/01) and Document #0003: Green Notebook (Other, ??/??/01), this book also contains the work of my high school friends:

Gumby Trip
A peek into the mind of my best friend, Tim.
I am going to call this guest artist “Scarface.” Not because he had a scar on his face, that would be cruel.
Mystery Drawing
I think this is Tim again, I just know it’s not me.
My friend Leslie really liked J.J. This is certainly not me living out my secret fantasies; my hair is much nicer.
I want to say this is a collaboration between Tim and his step-brother, Biff.

I lost track of this book less than a year after receiving it. For several years it was forgotten, until I rediscovered it one summer day in 2005 while I was reorganizing my bookshelves at my parent’s house. I brought it back with me to college that fall and took it with me on a couple of psychedelic trips, which led to some brilliant entries like this one:

Shroomy Thoughts
These aren’t bad hopes…

Additionally, the book contains some throw-away lines of poetry and rough drafts of poems that were later revised. This one didn’t make the cut:

Little Pleasure
I still love Q-Tips.

Perhaps most important to me personally, and certainly of interest in its own right, the Brown Sketchpad contains notes from the time I hallucinated that God spoke to me while I was experiencing a mental health crisis in 2015 (or possibly from the time that God spoke to me, I’m not telling you what to believe):

Message from God

Now that is a trip. I’ll probably share those entries at some point, but not now. They deserve their own posts, and some care in presenting them. Spoilers: I don’t think I’m an alien time-traveler, and if I am psychic it only really works with my wife.

Anyway, I hope you liked something here, and if you did, please click one of those SHARE buttons below! Thanks for reading!

~Sean L

P.S. If you find yourself feeling concerned about my mental health, I appreciate that. I am feeling much better now that I have a diagnosis and am getting treatment. I probably won’t have another episode quite as bad as I did in 2015. Probably. Thanks for caring!

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