Friday, 30 December 2011

Woody Guthrie's New Year's Resolutions from 1942

Below is an image of Woody Guthrie's journal with his New Year's resolutions from 1942. Admirable by anyone's standards. This might give you some ideas for your own resolutions for 2012.

You can see a bigger, clearer image at

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Forgotten Notebooks

While I was rummaging beneath the dining table (which is actually a book table) I looked into my post-it box. And in it I found notebooks I'd forgotten about....

Most of these are years old, some even more than a decade old. Couple of these contain poetry I used to write, two are still unused, and tiny notepad came with a packet of crisps. When I found them, it was like finding a treasure, especially the poetry books because I don't write much poetry now. 

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

To All My Wonderful Friends

May you all have a fantastic Christmas! 

All my best wishes, and love. I appreciate any and all the time you spend reading this blog. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Great Gatsby Notebook

When I saw this in Waterstones, my first reaction was WOW. Just the cover is gorgeous, and then there is the fact that The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite books ever. To possess a notebook inspired from that was very tempting. It is bit steep at £6.99 for this quite slim notebook, but as I was spending vouchers, I decided to treat myself. 

The front cover is a replica of one of the popular editions of The Great Gatsby cover. 

Inside, left flap has this image. Very bookish, and very appealing to a library lover like me. 

But it's the pages where the real art comes in. The whole notebook is lined by tiny sentences. These lines are made up actual words, and if you want to attempt to read them, you will need a magnifying glass, though with good eyesight, you can probably squint and recognize a few words. It is very bookworm appealing. I haven't yet written in this journal, so can't confirm the quality, but the pages feel of good quality. 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Journaling Classes

Today I have a question for you, and I would appreciate as detailed answers as possible. 

I have been journaling for years, and over the years I have tried new techniques, developed them, and tried something different. I have figured out good stuff, waste of time stuff, and what works for me. But there is always more to learn. Some new insight that someone else might have that I haven't yet seen. That's why I read books about journaling and follow journal keeping blogs and read published diaries. 

What about you? Do you feel there is always more to learn? 

If you were to take an online journaling class, what topic / what niche would you like it to be the most? What it is about your journaling that you want to work on, and feel that you can benefit from someone else's input, whether it's group participation of journaling together, or an instructor providing a structure for you to follow? 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

5 Reasons Why You Should Comment On Blogs

I remember, when I first started reading blogs I used to read a lot of them, and comment on a few. Then as I got more into blogging community, began to appreciate the work and effort people put into their blogs, I stated leaving more and more comments. But eventually, it came to a stage where I simply didn't have time for reading that many blogs if I wanted to do anything else (like writing), so now, I read far fewer blogs every day. But for all the ones I read, I try to leave a comment as often as possible. 

Here is why: 
  1. It says that you found the content helpful / interesting / amusing enough to take a minute and leave a comment
  2. It encourages discussions amongst others who comment and also between the blog writer and the readers
  3. It shows new visitors to the blog that some people do read the blog and leave a comment, which might encourage them to do the same
  4. Everyone feels good about being appreciated. In blogging world, comments are an easy way of showing this appreciation of the content someone's providing
  5. It's a give and take thing. If you leave a comment on someone else's blog, it encourages the other person to leave one on yours.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 31 - Priorities

Good things happen when you get your priorities straight. - Scott Caan

But do you have your priorities straight? So often, we end up running around after things that simply stumble across us, or we stumble into them. Whether it's a job you fell into or a relationship or an activity that takes up your time. Have you taken the time to consider if you really want to do this?

Take the time now. You may discover that all the things that take up your time and space in your life, are not necessarily the things you want.

Knowing it is the first step. Once you know, then you can set about doing something about it. You may not be able to eliminate doing everything you don't like (for example, a job that pays the bills, but doesn't necessarily bring you fullfillment). But now that you are powered with the knowledge of what is and what isn't importrant to you, you can make a plan.

What can you do? What are your options? What interests you? How can you spend more and more of your time doing the things you love? What's more important to you?

Action expresses priorities. - Mohandas Gandhi

What are your actions saying about your life?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Does Grammar and Punctuation Matter in Journals?

Whenever I write anything, I try to write it as correctly as possible without obsessing over it. For example, if I'm writing emails or blog posts, I would make the effort to make sure my spelling and punctuations are mostly correct by paying attention to them as I write. After that, I might do a spell check, but I wouldn't necessarily worry about every comma or semicolon. The key is to make sure that everything is readable, and correct for "normal" people, as opposed to Grammar Police.

For my journals, I take the same approach. I don't like reading things without any sort of punctuation or with excessive spelling errors, so I never write like that. I want my journals to reflect my language skills, not my laziness. But I'm little less strict with journals. If I am writing really fast because I want to get the words out then I don't worry about spelling or grammar. I do it as best as I can while maintaining the speed. And that's okay, because in those entries, it's  the emotion that matters. Punctuation on the whole is there anyway (because people who write without commas and periods should be severely punished), and spelling errors are more due to speed. But on the whole, I would say that yes, grammar and punctuation does matter. I believe that if I am going to do something, I might as well do it well. That applies to journaling.

What do you think? Do you care about grammar and punctuation in  your journal entries? How much do you care?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 30 - Being Busy

"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these needs there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing."
- Thomas Alva Edison

Modern lifestyle for most people is about being busy. We are rushed at work, we are rushed at home, and weekends are usually spent running one errand or another. Being busy, we are told, is good. Being busy means you are doing something with your life. 

But are you really? 

Being busy does not mean we are doing something. Getting results means we are doing something. Being busy is sometimes the biggest time waster of all, which keeps us occupied without getting results, and stops us from relaxing or doing things we enjoy.

So open your journal and write about the things that keep you busy. Are you accomplishing anything, or are you simply wasting time being busy? If so, what will you do to change it? 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Reading Other People's Journals

Before you start shouting "sacrilege" let me assure you that I only mean journals I've permission to read. That means, published journals.

I will admit, reading people's journals hold a strong fascination for me. As a journal keeper, I want to see what they record, how they do it, and whether they can inspire me/teach me to do it better. As a person, I want to learn about their life through the most intimate medium. I know that their journals may not be the most accurate history of their time, but it is their history. Not just of facts, but of their thoughts and emotions. And as an extremely curious (nosy) person, I just want to uncover delicious secrets (which actually most of the time are incredibly boring.)

But, because I am a journal keeper, I would not dream of reading a person's private journal because I would not want them to read mine. That's where published journals are good. Author has given me permission to read them, so there is no guilt or a sense of crime, and I'm free to indulge.

I am always on the lookout for good journals. Of course, it is inevitable that most of the journals I end up reading are from writers/poets etc. because writer's mind holds a fascination for me. I am also more interested in learning about them,  than say a modern politician's diary. Currently, I'm reading "Time Out of Mind", Leonard Michael's diary. I came across this book in a bookshop in New York. Until then, I'd never heard of this guy, and now here I'm reading about his private life.

Some of my favourite journals are Anne Frank's Diary, Virginia Woolf's writer's diary, and Christopher Isherwood's diary. 

What about you? Do you like other people's diary? If so, why? And if not, why? What are your favourite diaries? 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 29 - Brainstorm

Journaling is not just about recording our life. It's also about evolving it. So today, focus on brainstorm. Whether it is for a particular project you want to work, a story or a play, a poem. It doesn't matter what it is, let your creativity flow. For me personally, it's going to be brainstorming for NaNoWriMo, which starts on November 1. If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, click here and enter a world of insanity. 

But back to brainstorming. What's the point? Well, the point is that our brains are bit like elastic. We need to stretch them to expand them. If you brainstorm, let your creativity drive you, your mind might surprise you. You may find fresh insights, some new ideas, some unlooked for connections. So give it a try. And have fun! 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Moleskine Sketchbook & Pilot Frixion

Finding good pens for particular journals is always bit of a journey, so when I do find one, I generally tend to stick to them. And for moleskine sketchbook, my choice of pen so far has been Pentel Energel 0.7. But in the middle of this journal, the last Pentel Energel I had ran out of ink. And so I searched through my pen pot for a suitable substitute, and found Pilot Frixion - which turned out to be fantastic. Pentel Energel is still my first choice - because Pilot Frixion is not as dark. It's meant to be erasable, so the softness of its ink is understandable. The flow is smooth, and the ink sits well on moleskine sketchbook's thick pages. Just for practical purposes, Frixion is very comfortable, easy to use pen, which is important for me, since my journaling style is predominantly writing. Lots and lots of writing.

What about you? What are your preferred pens for moleskine sketchbook?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 28 - Look at Your Journal

Usually, we talk about writing in our journals here. Today, I want you to do something different. Read through your journals (or if you don't read your old journals - think about what you write), and consider your focus.

Are your journals focused in the past, in the present, in the future? Are they combination of all or leaned heavily towards one than the other? 

Why might that be? Is that a reflection of your general outlook in life?
What does your journal say about you?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 27 - Obession

No, I don't mean the perfume! Obsession -- even the word sounds beautiful, like it will reel you in and never let you go.

We all obsess from time to time, some of us more than others. Sometimes, we obsess over small problems, but then there other longer term obsessions. Perhaps it's a habit, or a career goal, or a family goal. 

What do you obsess about? Why? Is it because it's so important that you must have it to make your life meaningful? Or is it a force of habit? 

So journal today about obsesion, and see what you discover about yourself. And whether it's healthy or unhealthy obsessions you are nurturing.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

NYC Moleskine

NYC Moleskine

I managed to find perfect NYC stickers while I was in New York to decorate my moleskine. City Moleskines aren't my thing (too many wasted pages), but this certainly made me fall in love with pocket size, since I usually use large.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 26 - Dependence

For last three days we didn't have Internet or phone. Phone wasn't an issue, but Internet was. Initially we assumed it would come back on, when nothing happened for two whole days, we began to get annoyed/antsy. Today was full blown stress and even anger. It made me realise how dependent we are on the Internet. These days, whenever I want some information, my first response - like many people - is to google it. 

I'm sure that if Internet went out of the world somehow, we would all revert back to old days and manage to survive, but while we do have it, and while we do use, dependency increases daily for most people. 

So that got me thinking about dependency on other thing. Or even other people. 

That's today's topic. 

What are you dependent on? Perhaps you don't even realise it - if these are ordinary objects / services that we take for granted. What do you think you can't live without, or would be greatly unhappy living without?

How do you feel about that dependency? Are you okay with that, or will you be taking some steps to change that?

Monday, 29 August 2011

A Week In Your Life Challenge - How Did It Go?

Did you participate in last week's challenge to record a week in your life? If so, I would love to hear how it went. 

For me personally, I discovered or rather re-learned few things:

  • I journal a lot, so it wasn't an effort to journal. But at times, I had to remind myself to focus on specific topics, because I was supposed to record my days
  • I quite enjoy recording facts. I don't do this regularly, and probably don't do it well, but I like it. It especially makes for good records, and makes looking back at journals far more rewarding because it practically transports you back to that day.
So now that this experiment is over, each day, I am going to try and make sure that my entries do cover at least some of the seemingly ordinary, mundane things that happen to me in daily life. 

What have you learned? 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Two New Blogs

Hello Peeps! 

A little advertisement is in order...

I have two new blogs. 

Four Hour Body - A Vegetarian Experiment
Is to record my experiment with slow-carb diet based on Tim Ferris' book "Four Hour Body" plus general comments about weight loss, fitness, healthy eating. Hoping this to be a record for striving for a long-term healthier habits. 

Language Dabbler 
This is a blog to record my love of languages, and attempts to learn new ones. Methods, madness, resources, facts and fun....anything to do with any languages. 

If you have interests in either of those areas, I hope to see you at my new homes too. 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Your Life Not Worth Recording?

People comment sometimes that they don't keep a journal because their lives are boring, ordinary, and nothing record-worthy ever happens. Is that you? Do you ever look a pretty journal and worry about defacing it with your mundane life? 

Well, if you won't listen to me about worthiness of anyone's life for journaling, I do hope you will listen to Mark Twain.

There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy. 
                         - Mark Twain 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Journaling Challenge - A Week In Your Life

I'm going to start a new journaling challenge, and I hope some of you (or maybe many of you) will join me.

We journal for different reasons and in different styles. I know that my journals include far more introspection, rather than facts and things that go on in my daily life. So I have decided to record a week of my life in minute detail.

So this will be what is generally a diary entry - logging things that happen. Actual events. People you meet, things you see, things you eat, time you go to many details as you wish.

That doesn't mean that you can include the usual things you journal. So for example, I will still no doubt include my introspection, my feelings about various things, lists and tasks and whatever else comes to mind. But the main thing to make sure is that you record your week as it truly happens, so that years from now when you look back at these entries, you will know exactly what this particular week was like.

Don't worry if it feels mundane. Most of us live through mundane days, but so did all the people whose lives we now find fascinating.

I will be happy to post excerpts from people's entries so feel free to send them to me.

The challenge will be for August 22 to August 28. It begins at midnight on August 21, and ends at Midnight on August 28. So entries for this challenge must be from this time period. I hope you will join in, and we can share this journey together, and share some of our entries or discuss how we found the experience, and what we learned if anything.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 25 - Curiosity

Today's prompt is Curiosity. 

Curiosity of mind. Curiosity of heart. Curiosity of life. Do you have it? Do you yearn for new knowledge, new experiences? If so, are you getting them? Journal about them.

Or are you comfortable just staying as you are now, with what you have, and not keen to get out of your comfort zone? Journal about why that might be.

Each of this topic has two sides - positive and negative. See how it affects you. Journal freely...don't worry about labels and headings and breaks. Just write: Curiosity, and then free write and see where your words take you.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 24 - Gratitude

We often think about all the things we would like to have in life, but today's prompt, let's focus on what we have.

What are you grateful for? It could be material items, like a comfortable house, enough food, nice clothes, a car. It could be emotional aspects - people who love you and care about you, friends who support you. It doesn't matter how little or how big these things are. Make a list of all the things that you are grateful for.

Count your blessings! And by the time you are done, your life will feel the richness of your life.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 23 - Here and Now

Focus on the present. Where are you right now in your life? You can journal about the physical location if you wish too, but think about your overall life. Are you happy in your present, or do you keep wishing for the past or the future? What would you like to change about your present? What you like to keep in it? 

We spend far too much time in non-present (or maybe it's just me), so let's bring our journals and our minds in here and now. Dig deeper. Dwell in the present. 

Friday, 8 July 2011

What Do You Use For Journal For?

I'm looking for nouns, quick phrases that describes why you journal. As soon as you read this, what popped in your head? 

Why do you journal? 

I journal to...


And I am sure there are other reasons, but these are the ones I thought at this moment.

What about you? Why do you keep a journal? 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Meet A Journal Keeper - Shane

I began journaling on January 1, 1991, my Freshman year in college. I don't know why I started. I just had an empty notebook and wrote "journal" on it and never looked back. I am so grateful I stumbled across this incredible pastime. I was 22 when I started and have been journaling for 20 years now. I love journals. I have been on the hunt for manly journals ever since I bought my first hard back journal. There's plenty of blank books with kitty cats and flowers, but I have to dig deep to find the type I like. I like nostalgic covers, preferably with superheroes or Peanuts characters. My journals must be hard back covers and ruled, not that I've never made an exception. I like the standard size journal. Too big and too small messes up the visual on the bookshelf.

What do I journal about? Life. When I first started, my entries were pretty boring, just giving the run down of my day, but I ended each one with a prayer. I look back on some of those expressions to God and am overwhelmed by how much I needed His assistance in life. Now I write out my prayers (still), observations from my Bible study, funny or poignant things my kids say, victories and failures (because you can learn from both), revelations about marriage, and just over all how I'm feeling. When I was single, I journaled a lot. I would fill a book in 2 months. Now that I'm married with three kids, I don't have the same gumption for writing as much as back then, but the passion is still there.

I have filled over 50 journals and have about 25 waiting for me. I never start a new one until I've finished the current one, which is really hard when I have a really cool one waiting for me, but it's a rule established early on and I've kept it. I'm proud to say I earned the title of "Notebook Addict of the Week" from Nifty over there at the website Notebook Stories, and never knew how obsessive my passion for journaling was until I wrote about it to get nominated. But it has been fun to find websites like this and people like me who are fellow "Journal Addicts."

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

What Do You Do With Your Journals?

We all journal for different reasons. But what do you do with them after you have written them? Do you keep all your journals? Have you ever destroyed any?

Do you know - when you start keeping them - what you will do with them afterwards? Do you ever read your journals? Do you analyse them? Do you make notes in them or modify them?

I hope many of you will share your methods / madness / I would love to start a discussion about what we do with our journals.

Friday, 17 June 2011

How is Your Journaling Going?

I haven't been regular on the blog lately - but it happens. Life takes over. That is precisely why I have always refused to make a schedule for this blog. Because I love this blog - it's supposed to be fun, to share my thoughts and ideas about journaling process. 

I follow the same principle for journaling. With the exception of rare challenges I go through, I don't have a schedule, or a ritual, or a particular place or time to journal. I journal whenever I feel like, wherever I feel like, and write whatever I want in it. And it works for me, because journaling is supposed to be personal. Us humans have whims and fancies, so why shouldn't our journals? 

How many of your whims and fancies go in your journal? Does your journal reflect the pattern of your life? 

Monday, 6 June 2011

Notebook Addict of the Week

This week's Notebook Addict ....yours truly! 

Check out my journal / notebook craziness here

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 22 - Dare to Dream

Journaling is not just about facing facts of your's about opening your mind and your heart to possibilities. It's about believing in yourself. And if you are generally big on feeling down, it's about believing that good things CAN happen to you.

So today, Dare to Dream. Journal about something you would like to be, or achieve, or see. might be something like travelling to a dream destination, or finding the man/woman of your dreams, having a child, having grandchildren, being famous...anything. Go all out. 



Don't even think about it not being realistic. Don't tell yourself that it probably won't happen. Who cares about reality....this is your time to dream. So go and dream. And have fun! 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 21 - Right Now

Today's journaling prompt is all about focusing on right now. Right this minute. (well, as soon as you read this, and open your journal). 

Open your journal...write the date, the day, and what time it is 
Then start writing, what's on your mind.

What are you thinking about? What's your state of mind? Are you happy? Sad? Worried? Normal?

What's driving you? Focus on the moment. Focus inwards. Pay attention to your thoughts, and write them down, as quickly as possible. 

The purpose of this prompt is to learn to pay attention to the moment, as well as to later evaluate what's taking your energy. Are you worried about stuff that has nothing to do with your present life? Are you focusing on the right thing at the right time? Are your energies divided unequally? Pay attention. Assess. Journal. 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 20 - Recharge

Oh boy, it's been a while since I posted here. Sorry about that. I was having 2 weeks of real vacation for a change. 10 days holiday/family visit in New Jersey / New York, and then rest of the week off at home with my husband. Hardly any work. No looking at to-do list. It's been refreshing and relaxing. 

So that's our prompt for today - Recharging Batteries

How do you recharge yours? Do you at all? Do you know when you need to? I will admit, I rarely give myself time off. Sure I have time off from my day-job, but not from my home-job as a writer + mental stress out telling me to push myself to do this and that. Sometimes, I know I need to take a break, and so I take a day or a weekend off. But I am not good at taking the time to recharge my batteries. At least not without guilt for "wasting time." 

How do you feel? Are you okay to just sit down, do nothing, or watch TV? Or do you suffer with guilt? Journal about this. See whether you are taking care of your self, giving your mind and body time to charge and energize, or are you pushing yourself too much? 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 19

"Melancholy diminishes as I write. Why then don't I write it down oftener? Well, one's vanity forbids. I want to appear a success even to myself." 

Above quote is from Virginia Woolf's diary. From October 25, 1920. So many years before our time, and yet I bet it would resonate with each one of us. Just look the amount of prompts you have in that one quote. 

Let's break it down. And see how you can use this.

"Melancholy diminishes as I write" - How does journaling make you feel? Does it ease your burdens? Does it give you insights? Does it surprise you? Does it comfort you? How do you feel as you write in your journal?

"Why then don't I write it down oftener?" - Well, why don't you? What stops you from journaling regularly, or frequently? What are the reasons you think are facts? What are the excuses you make to yourself?

"Well, one's vanity forbids. I want to appear a success even to myself." - I don't know about you, but I'm certainly familiar with this problem. It is sometimes easier to use self-deprecating humour or comments to others, but admitting failure to oneself is harder. It may be just little failures, or perhaps just injury to one's vanity. How do you deal with it? Does your journal know the truth about you, or does it know the truth as you want it to be? 

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 18 - Busy Life / Stress / Responsibilities

Let's face it - this must be one of the most common excuse for not journaling. People have jobs, families, hobbies, and other obligations. Most of the time it feels like we don't even have time to do what we need to do, let alone sit down and journal.

I picked this topic today, because currently I am going through incredibly busy period. That is saying something since my to-do lists are usually a mile long. But usually my busyness is self-made, whereas right now, there are more external factors outside my control. Most of the time my days seem to go in such a flurry of movement that it seems like blink of an eye between beginning of a Monday and ending of Sunday.

But here is the thing - I STILL JOURNAL.

Okay, admittedly I don't write pages after pages on most days. Though some days, I even do that. In fact, when I am incredibly busy it almost seems more necessary, because there are far more things going through my head and much less time to process them. So journaling means taking the time to clear my thoughts, reflect on what I am doing. As I said, I can't do it everyday, but I still manage to capture the highlights of my day.

So here is an assignment for you - no matter how busy you are, take few minutes to write in your journal. Write about your day. Write about what is keeping you busy. If you can't seem to focus on your thoughts because your brain is scattered all over the place, then write about all the things that you are doing, thinking. Even if it is mere fragments of thoughts going through head, and they make no sense. It doesn't matter. Write. Journal. Capture those thoughts.

If you are stressed - what is stressing you out? You may not find all the answers right now, and that's okay. At least you will know the causes.

Responsibilities - are your burdened by them? Perhaps you wouldn't even want to admit that it is a burden. Very well, but you are shouldering those responsibilities nonetheless. What are they? What do you HAVE to do? And now here is the interesting bit ....what IF didn't do it? That's right. Go ahead. Speculate. What will happen? This will either show you the importance of what you are doing (in which case, hurray to you, and feel empowered for having this power over something), or make you realise that you could either stop doing this or delegate it.

So go ahead and journal. Your days may be busy, but make sure that your life is still productively busy, not merely stagnant.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 17

Keeping a honest journal takes time and effort. I'm not talking about honesty in terms of facts, what you did, what you ate, wore etc. I am talking about honesty of feelings.

How did you feel when various things happened to you? What about feelings you don't want to admit? What if you got so mad at someone you know you really wanted to hurt them? Or perhaps you felt attracted to someone you shouldn't be feeling attracted to? Or maybe you are ashamed of something you have done.

Do you admit those feelings? Sometimes, we don't do it, because writing them would be admitting and acknowledging them. At other times, we don't do it, because we are not aware of it.

Avoidance is easy. Acknowledgement takes an effort.

So today I want you to acknowledge and accept one negative feeling. Pick one negative emotion. Whether it's anger, shame, pain, greed, jealousy....whatever you want.

Pick an emotion and write a letter to it.

Yes...I am talking about ....Dear Anger...

Then free write. Set a timer for minimum 10 minutes, longer if you feel up to it. Start writing. Don't worry about what you are writing. Don't worry about words or grammar or reptitions. Just write.

When you finish the letter, sign it. Seal it in an envelope.

Put that envelope away.

Give it a few days, or even few weeks, depending on how strongly whatever your wrote effected you.

Make a note in your calender, set a reminder in your PC, in your Blackberry...whatever you use. Make sure. Do it.

Set a date. And on that date, open that letter, read it, and journal about it.

Writing the letter was admission of your feelings.

Reading it, and journaling about how you feel as you read it, is acknowledgement of those feelings.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Dr. Who Moleskine 2.0

I decorated my last moleskine with Dr. Who stickers. That's well-worn now, and full of course, so while I am using Jane Austen journal for a bit of a change, I spent some time decorating my next moleskine. Dr. Who theme again :-) So that's Dr. Who Moleskine 2. Totally Love It!! This is going to be my next personal journal, and I can't wait to use it. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Isherwood Diaries

Now and again I come across a book or an author, and I find myself annoyed thinking, "How the hell didn't I know about this writer before?" Christopher Isherwood is one of those people.
I discovered him just recently, a mere few weeks ago thanks to BBC. There was a dramatisation of "Christopher and His Kind", Isherwood's biographical book. After the dramatisation there was a recording of Isherwood's interview from California. I watched these two programmes, and I was fascinated.

So that weekend I went to the Central Library, looked through the shelves, and found "Christopher Isherwood Diaries Volume 1." This volume 1 is over 1000 pages long, and covers his diaries from 1939 to 1950s I believe. I haven't gotten that far yet.

I got this book from the library, but after reading the introduction and about 150 pages, I know that I will definitely buy a copy for myself. By the time this book begins, Isherwood is settled in America, and has been in a habit of keeping diaries. His diary entries reflect his life - life that to us may seem glamourous where his everyday contacts are authors, poets, hollywood directors. Life that seemed to exist for a lot of people in 30s and 40s who were part of a class which either came from blood or money or sometimes just right connections.

What I find fascinating is the fact that his diaries are about his life, but also about his inner journey. His struggle with himself, to find a deeper meaning in the world, of his confusion, of his relationships. This is a person's life. And what that person is someone as observant and insightful as Isherwood, reading those diaries take on a whole new meaning. They are also fascinating for the observations they offer of other people we may recognize. Imagine a casual observation by Isherwood that Huxley is writing a new novel, called Brave New World, set in an Utopia. You see, as you read this, how their writing, their choices, the beliefs and themes in their books, are reflected by the world they live in and the confusion they face.

I always enjoy reading other people's diaries. I wouldn't dream of reading someone's diary without their consent, simply because as great a temptation as it would, I wouldn't want someone to read mine. So published diaries are a treat. The authors are giving one permission to pry into their personal thoughts, into their intimate details. When these diaries belong to writers, they become even more fascinating for me.

Isherwood Diaries, I am sure will become one of my favourite book ever. Something that I would like to thumb through for a comforting read, or for journaling inspiration.

If you enjoy reading diaries, I strongly recommend this book. And if you have never tried reading diaries, what are you waiting for?

If you have read good diaries, then please recommend those in the comments. I would love to read more.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

FJC - Greetings From....Guest Post

Sue - From the Magpie's Nest sent this post as a response to 13 Feb prompt - Greetings From...

Greetings From…
The Fireplace Hearth

I’m sitting on the rough red bricks that surround the fireplace with my back to the flames. It is mid-afternoon but might as well be twilight. What little light that reflects off the unbroken snow outside the sliding glass door is quickly swallowed up by the insulating curtains that stretch from ceiling to floor. This room is all about warmth and comfort. The walls are paneled in a reproduction of walnut, there is wall to wall carpeting on the floor, and all of the seating is upholstered, punctuated with squishy decorative pillows. A reader’s table stands between the plush recliner rocking chair and the nubby plaid love seat that also rocks. A cluster of pendants lamps allows the room’s occupants to choose the light that suits them best. There are magazines in the side racks of the table and library books stacked on its’ surface. Bookshelves flank the fireplace, supported by those same red bricks.

I am sitting on the hearth because that’s where the real warmth is. I’ve folded back the glass doors that are intended to keep sparks from flying into the room. They also intensify the heat. I wouldn’t be able to sit here and enjoy the warmth of the flames if the doors were closed, it would be too hot. Beyond the occasional snap of moisture vaporizing in the fireplace the room is quiet. No television (although there is one in the corner), no radio, nobody else in the house at the moment; just the scratching of my pen across the paper in my lap. This, truly, is bliss.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Review - City Moleskine - New York

When I first learned about City Moleskines. I wanted them immediately. They seemed like just perfect products. So finally, I bought one.

When I received the package, my first surprise was that it was pocket size. It was my fault of course, for not checking, but I just assumed that with all the maps and stuff, pocket would be too small. So my first reaction was disappointment. That's because I never buy pocket moleskine. Large moleskine is my definition of compact journal, so that's just about the right, portable size for me.

However, despite the disappointment, I knew that I would get over it. So after a couple of days, I looked at my NYC moleskine again, and slowly, I got fond of it. Now, I am really looking forward to using it for my upcoming trip.

BUT said that, I will be using this because it's cute. It's moleskine. And it's a novelty factor.

I will not be buying any more city moleskines. Half the pages taken up in maps, with legended pages etc. I just don't believe this journal is a good value for money. There is not enough room to write. It's far too expensive for what's there. I will also be sticking my normal, large moleskines.

But to end with a positive are pictures of my NYC moleskine, which in about a month's time will be filled up :-))

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 16 - Internal Vs. External Writing

Today I want you think about what you write in your journal. I say "journals" but I mean a combination of journal and diary - but let me define the difference between a journal and a diary.

A diary is a record of your life. What you did, what you ate, whom you met, where you went - facts and progress of your life, mixed with your observations, that is a diary.

A journal focuses inwards. It is more about your thoughts, exploring your psyche, wandering amongst your dreams and wishes and hopes and fears.

I use the term "journal" because I prefer it. However, my aim is to strike a balance between the two in my own writing. I want to record my life as I live it, but I also want to explore my mind.

In my everyday journals, focus tends to be more internal than external. I am on a quest to address this. In my travel journals, focus tends to be external rather than internal, and that I am trying to balance.

So today, think about what it is that you are keeping?

Are you keeping a journal or a diary?

Is it a conscious choice?

Do you want to address the balance? Do you want to do something different?

Write about it in your journal.

Monday, 21 March 2011


I did several pages for this prompt. A personal letter, as well as a copy of one of my favourite letters ever, from Persuasion. Then the pasted page is from that day's Metro's letter page, which had a topic I felt inclined to comment on, and so scribbled all over it.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

FJC Title & Balance

My Pages for February Journaling Challenge Title Page & Page for Balance

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Stylish Blogger

Here's what you gotta do:

1. Thanks and link back to the blogger who passed this award onto you

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Award other recently discovered great bloggers

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Thanks to Girl Schmuck for giving me this lovely award 

7 Things about myself
1. I am a fiction, working towards becoming a published author
2. But Monday to Friday, I am a regular office drone
    (Starbucks TOPS the favourite lists)
4. I have lived in three countries
5. Addicted to Stargate SG 1 and Stargate Atlantis
6. Favourite Fast Food Chain: Taco Bell 
    (I really really miss that about America) 
7. Favourite Dr. Who - David Tennant 

People I am passing on the award to
1. Shaynie at Journaling Journeys
2. Rowland at RAM

Friday, 4 March 2011

New Journal

My New Next Journal

This is my new journal. Journal #21 to be precise. It's a beautiful Jane Austen journal by Potter Style. I am really enjoying writing in it. My Parker Frontier pen works great on it, and the journal is handy size for carrying it around. Looking forward to filling it up. 

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Meet A Journal Keeper - Karin

I've never been the classical daily journaler, you might better entitle me as 'Special Event Journaler'.


The best thing about traveling - I think, we don't have to discuss that - is for sure the journey itself! The second best, at least in my case, is being at home again and putting together a nice scrapbook full of memories. I like sitting in my living room, having tons of pictures around me, selecting the best and arranging them with tickets, prospects, postcards and other collectibles. It's like making the journey a second time. Most of the time I also have separate travel journal, where I keep all my thoughts and memories, a picture couldn't preserve. I wonder, why I've never came up with the idea to combine my scrapbooks with my notes? For sure, the next time I won't have any separate travels journals anymore, like the ones you can see on that picture.


With my not existent history of diary writing, I've never expected myself to do that. But who's the person, who always used the quote 'Never say never!'? Yeah, right, that's also me! So, now I have to eat my own words. But like written in the intro, it had to be a 'special event' that brought me to use pen and paper. And then it had to be a special journal, too. I instantly fell in love with the 'Paperblanks Journals', their elegant look is simply predestinated for becoming a diary.

My daily journal stayed with me exactly as long as it takes to cope an illness a couple of years ago. But one thing remained. For the first time I really paid attention to the pictures, my brain produces during the night. That's what I still love to do: Write down all those fantastic adventures and sometimes even illustrate them! Have a look:

Those dreams are also my creative resource for my writing, my current novel is based on one of them.

I won't talk about my 'Wreck This Journal', you can already see the results on my blog. But this little book was my start into Art Journaling. Below is a cover I created for February Journaling Challenge