Sunday, March 2, 2008

If you steal from many sources, it is called research

I have been reading other blogs, enjoying the writing, and stealing ideas. Well, maybe that's too harsh. I hope so. I am reading about things that are interesting and that I'd like to explore on my own? OK?

Annie at writers, witches and words (http://anniekelleher.blogspot.com/) wrote about journaling, and not being a journal writer. I thought that was interesting, and as always, amusing. For some perverse reason, I ended up buying a new journal that day.

I like to think of myself as a journal writer. I think I'm more of a blank book collector. I love the feel of a new blank book or even a plain old spiral notebook. Clean, clear, and ready for all of the ideas, hopes, angst and to do lists I can pour into it. I almost always buy a new pen when I buy a new journal. It just works that way for me. Some people match purse and shoes, I match pen and journal.

Most of my early journals begin: "This time I really am going to lose 10 lbs." My later journals begin: "My old journals began, 'this time I really am going to lose 10 lbs,' but this will begin with..." whatever.

I tried theme journals.

Journals of story ideas and poems.

A pregnancy journal. Unfortunately, that one ended prematurely along with the pregnancy. I decided not to do that again.

I found a journal I'd written when I was 20 and miserable. It was a bound book with a print of a lovely woman on the front which had been given to me by a very good friend. The book cover was red. For once, I wasn't trying to lose weight. I had copied poems I'd written earlier. They are not terrible at all. I had written about how desperately miserable I was, and how I felt that even when I was happy it was just a short phase. I ought to show that to my counselor, huh? Anyway, I gave it to my son, who at 19 or 20 seemed to have similar thoughts. I don't know if he read it, and if he did, whether it reached him. I don't know what helps us get through those times. I didn't have Prozac and the beer didn't really help that much. He seems better now, but if he's like me, the thoughts are there still, eating at his faith in himself and his life.

But that's a different subject, and not necessarily my story to tell.

The new book I bought is also red. Red faux suede --- that's what the label said. I bought ultra-fine Flair pens to go with it. I wrote for two pages about journals. This is when I remembered a distinct advantage of blogging over journal writing. My hands cramped and my handwriting started to look like the scribblings of an old drunk. Genteel and yet erratic. Sums up my life, really.

Most of my journals are four or five pages of writing and a whole lot of blank pages. Some books cover many years, with huge gaps in between. They are usually mundane, trite, and frankly boring.

But I keep writing. I picture my grandchildren reading the books and giggling. I wish I had journals written by my grandmothers. My notebooks will probably by tossed with the things that you can't even sell at a yard sale, but I'll still keep writing them and hoping there will be something for someone in there.

It's in my nature.

3 comments:

Lydia said...

I think the reason you collect blank books is the same reason I do. We have so much inside of us that we want to say, that we want to write, that we want to express and those blank pages could be filled if we just had the time and opportunity and inspiration altogether. And someday, we will. :o)

Hobbit said...

In college I kept a journal. It was in a series of spiral notebooks. I even kept parts of it in Tengwar (a writing system invented by JRR Toliien and madified by me to work w/English). LOL -- I am not sure I could even read those entries any more.

annie kelleher said...

haha - how funny to find myself on your blog... ty for the nod. i find the blog itself is a sort of journal... dont you?