Sunday, 18 October 2009

Off Preparing for NaNo

Sorry, haven't blogged regularly lately. But currently, I am focusing on outlining my book for NaNo challenge that begins in November. For those of you who may not know, it's National November Novel Writing Month. Thousands of crazy people, like me, sign up to write 50000 words from November 1 to November 30. The rules are simple You have to start a new project. You can't work on a half completed book, because the idea is to let your creativity flow, and not get bogged down by editing. You can outline, but not writing anything before November. And that's it. I am hoping to complete 80000 which would be a full length of a novel, so let's see how it goes. So blogging might be bit slow until end of November.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Journaling to Unearth Your Memories - Prompt 3

Places We are very much a product of our environment. The place where you grew up, places you visited as a child, places you wished you could go, they all contribute to who you are today. Make a quick list of places you remember as a child. It could be anything: name of your hometown, favourite playground, a park, beach, school, friend's house - anything. Don't think too much. Write by instinct. Once you have this list, then go through each item, and again just by using your instinct do a quick brain storm. Write down words and phrases that immediately come to mind. Once those immediate associations and memories are written down, then you are ready to dig a bit deeper. Now go through each item carefully. Think about what kind of memories that place invokes in you? Happy? Sad? Angry? Frustrated? When were you at that place last? Would you like to visit it again? Do you get to see it as much as you would like? Would you rather not see it at all? Why? Do you miss that place? What do you miss about it? With each of the questions you answer, you should have a better understanding of the importance a particular place holds in your life.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Journaling to Unearth Your Memories - Prompt 2

The things we fear tell us far more about ourselves than we realize. Not all reasons are deep, but many have layers that we hardly ever peel. So today, think about fears. What did you fear as a child? Fear of the dark? A monster under your bed? Or perhaps you feared a grizzly uncle or even an older sibling or one of your parent? Make a list of all the things and/or people you remember being afraid of. Don’t think about it. Just make a quick list of anything that comes to mind, even if the fear was short lived. Keep going until you can’t think of nothing else. Once you have your list, go through each item one by one, and in detail first write what you remember. For example, you remember being afraid of your great aunt Nelly. When was this? Do you know why you were afraid? Did you do something wrong and were trying to hide it, or was it simply the way Nelly was that made you afraid? Or maybe she was drunk, and you were always afraid of her when she was drunk? Write all you remember about feeling that fear. Now try you think of it from an adult perspective. Do you realize now why you were so afraid? Is the reason quite different from what you remember as a child? What does it tell you? Does it tell you that you have changed, or is it simply your perspective that has changed? Now go through the list again, and again in as much detail as possible, write down if you conquered that particular fear, or is it still there? If you did conquer it, how did you do it? If those fears still exist, dig deeper. What exactly are you afraid of? Is there any way you can overcome them? Do you want to overcome them? This prompt could be used on ongoing basis. As you grow and change, so will yours fears. Good luck, facing them.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Journaling to Unearth Your Memories

Even though I seem to have very good memory, I don’t have a lot of vivid memories of my childhood. I have lots of pictures though, so often I get confused wondering if I remember something because I have seen it in a photo, or is it an actual memory. It’s most strange and often frustrating, and as much as I regret not keeping diaries as a child, there is nothing I can do about it now. So I am always on the lookout for ways to dig deeper into my memories. Photos are good, but if you have as vivid imagination as I do, it’s far too easy to make up your own memories. All a photo tells you is where you were, who you were with, and maybe what you were doing. It doesn’t really tell you what was going on at the time. It probably doesn’t tell you how you were feeling, or what you were thinking, so as much as I love photos, they are not completely reliable source of memories. But they can be tools, as can many other things – tools to be used while journaling to dig deeper into your memories. For the next few days, I will post a detailed prompt to help you on your way to uncover your past. I suggest you print them or write them down on an index card and keep them. Use these prompts, and then re-use them again after a few months, without looking at your old entries. It is often surprising how many different things you will learn from the same prompt. So get that journal ready, pick your favourite pen, and let’s start digging. Here is your first prompt: Photos as tools – pick a picture, any picture from your childhood. Either at random, or by looking through and taking one that appeals to you, or makes you wonder what was going on at the time. Place that photo in front of you where you can easily see it, and just start writing in your journal. Write what you see in it. Write what you remember. As you start doing that, more thoughts will come. Some random associations might also come flowing through your pen, but that’s okay. One memory often leads to another. Keep writing until you have said all that came into your head. This is an endless exercise, since you can use every photo you have, and you can also use them more than once to learn if you remember anything different the second or third time around.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Ending Journals

This is my "Everyday Journal" #15, almost near an end. I love ending journals. Because by the time I am at last few pages, I usually have a new journal waiting. This time is a brand new moleskine. I have already talked about my moleskine love in the previous post, so I will spare you that.
Ending journals is practically a ritual, in a sense that I always end my journals reflecting on the journey I have been on during the course of that journal. Between the pages of each journal, a part of my life resides, a part of my very soul even. Not all pages are deep and emotional. Often many are pointless chatter, rants or even just endless list of goals. But each of those pages contain a part of me, and by the time I get to the end, in the last few pages I always pick up things I have learned along the way, or the things I need to focus or reflect on. I don't even need to look back to old entries. My subconscious is automatically picking up on things recorded between those particular dates.
Each ending of a journal is not necessarily closing a chapter in life, but rather opening new doors, finding new directions. And then each new journey takes me forward in some of those new directions.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Moleskine Love

For years, I had seen moleskine notebooks in the shops without being the least bit tempted by them. They were ordinary, black bound notebooks. Nothing special. Definitely not worth the price. Especially when I could get much fancier journals for a better price. That was my first opinion of moleskines. The fact that Hemingway and Picasso used them had no influence over me. They weren't exactly living in the golden age of stationary shopping. So every time I went journal shopping, I ignored those inconspicuous moleskines, and carried on buying different journals. Then in June 2009, I was looking for a perfect travel journal. I considered buying one from Paperblank or Paperchase, which I have used before, but I wanted something different. While researching on the Internet, I came across moleskine websites, and then ended up on moleskine art pages on flickr, and I was lured in. What I found alluring was the fact that there were actually tons of people raving about moleskines, and that there were whole groups and communities about them. Not only that but there were international exhibitions for moleskine art. So there must be something special in those journals. So I ordered a large moleskine sketchbook to try it. Once I started using it, I was hooked. It is impossible to explain to normal people, but the stationary addicts amongst you will understand - writing in those pages is pure pleasure. I have since then used few different moleskines for various purposes, and each one is perfect. I have always enjoyed the act of physically writing, but moleskine takes it to the next level. I no longer look for fancy journals, and I know that once I use up what I have already got, the only new ones I buy will be more different moleskines. What do you think about moleskines?

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Words are the Wings I Fly With

I did this art journal page in my watercolour moleskine, for Theme Thursday Challenge. The theme for this week is "wings." Since I am first and foremost a writer at heart, it is no surprise that a theme about words emerged automatically. Read the letters in the skirt from left to right, and they carry the heart of this page.