Friday, December 30, 2005

The Bride Stripped Bare

Christmas always brings surprises. The best kind of surprise is when someone you love buys you a present that shows they really understand you. Stuart bought me The Bride Stripped Bare as one of MANY Chrissie presents this year. The book is fantastic ... and so timely for me at the moment with my journey into journals. It is written in the second person and I don't remember ever (sucessfully) reading a book written in this POV before. I felt totally led into the character and her thoughts and life. It resounded women's stories in one journey. The use of an eighteenth century anonymous woman's journal for beginning quotes was another addition into women's stories .... and where better to gleen them than from journal ramblings ...? I am sure there are a million differing opinions on the actual book's content - but as a light erotic read (and ignoring the hooplah about being an 'anonymous' writer in these days of high level book marketing) and the book is a new exploration in the erotic genre. Despite being off on holidays over the break, I still managed to keep 'working' as the book led me up the two paths I love to write the most - journals and erotica ... it was all very tastefully done yet challengingly erotic at the same time ... I am off to check for web links ... will add it to this blog if I am successful. It reminded me of reading Affair years ago.

Then ... as if this wasn't enough ... Stuart also bought me a digital recorder. I made a very real attempt at an audio journal for our holiday away at a beach cabin - surrounded by emus sounds, kookaburras and frogs ... but I suspect most of it probably sounds mostly like wind ... I need to work on loading the recordings on to the PC now .... yet another love of mine coming to the fore with technology .... *sigh* ... so much to do so little time ...

I love learning new things, thinking new things and being new. Oh, and spending Christmas with people you love and who support your dreams and aspirations.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Excited About the Smallest Things!

It doesn't take much to excite me at the best of times ... but even I was surprised at my reaction to getting my first comment for this blog (thank you Elain!). I can see that much addiction comes from the interactive nature of blogging and the opportunity to engage in conversations of interest.

Journals are conversations with oneself (or future self) and blogs are the ultimate conversation both with yourself and with others. And as Elain reminded me - others means other people internationally. The possibilities for opinions is endless.

This experience reminds me of when I first discovered the internet and telneting (as we did back then!) and ultimately email and chat rooms and virtual communities. It feels overwhelming at first, but it also comes with an interconnectedness that is difficult to describe.

Anyway - comments make it feel like the project has started for real. And that's kinda cool.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Voyeur Induced Anxiety

If you have performance anxiety then don't read. I think the worst thing I did was do some blog lurking. A little like sitting down to write the great novel of the new century and reading someone else's, blog lurking can make you cringe. There are some fantastic blogs out there - and so creative, funny, intense, silly, intelligent etc etc etc. I will continue this venture of reading more of course as this is an essential part of the research - but I think it might be useful for me to get some questions out there to bloggers to hear more from them about their experiences. Not sure what format to do that. If I am not careful the book will be about blogging and nothing else. I have to be careful with myself when I start getting intense - obsession usually follows very quickly.

What is interesting of course is that in journal writing and diary writing you are rarely invited to read other people's journals so you don't get the same sense of voyeur induced anxiety ...

It strikes me that I haven't really written anywhere here yet about the point of all this. Does that matter? I suspect it will end up having a life of its own anyway.

Or maybe I am just feeling lazy because its nearly holiday time. That's probably more the case.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What is it about journaling?

Is it just me?
Or is there a resurgence in journal type writing and recording in this century? Diaries, journals, notebooks - call them what you like, people have been recording their stories in these forms or in the form of oral histories and storytelling since humans inhabited caves. Perhaps they have never been out of fashion, but more people are talking about it now. Or more open about what they are doing. Journals don't seem as private as they once were ... Between on line journals, diaries and blogs and a new wave of scrapbooking and selling of blank books, journal writing appears to be a more open trend. I know that there are certainly more blank books out there to choose from than there has been in the past.

As a journal writer and notebook keeper from way back I have watched the introduction of technology and its impact on the writing of one's stories and tried to maintain an academic interest. What a joke. I am way too passionate about the topic to be able to achieve this end. (Apologies to Simon and our endless discussions about objectivity vs subjectivity!).

I must go through my old thesis and some of the journal excerpts where I struggled, and a subsequent conference paper on journals in research and actually allow myself to reconnect with the passion. I need that passion to come back to feed me so I get intense before I start writing the book in any serious manner. The draft outlines are way too bland for my liking.

Hey - I have arrived well and truly as I note I begin to ramble ....

Monday, December 19, 2005

Converting Old Habits

Choosing PC over paper is a difficult habit to form. I woke this morning with things I just had to say, and despite the fact I check my emails most mornings over coffee, I certainly didn't feel like writing on the PC. My first reaction was to grab my notebook. The notebook I have set aside for my musings about the New Century Notebook is a really special one. It is a beautiful handmade red leather journal with quality white paper - and the smell of the leather is no competition for the bland PC screen.

I have been through this experience before. When I was writing my thesis I choose (after much deliberation and theorising) to insert excerpts form my journal into my research thesis. Just seeing a converted statement go from purple pen scribble to black and white on the screen was a gut wrenching experience. Now to get used to writing my thoughts straight on to the PC is causing me some angst.

I am trying to work out what the angst is. I am making sure I don't edit my thoughts on here (I am editing the typos though, and anyone who knows me will be thankful for that!). Knowing that blogs are published the second you hit the 'Publish Post' button doesn't help me... so I recognise some performance anxiety here. But more than that it really is more about the difference between writing by hand and writing on a screen with a keyboard. I am not sure if other people feel it, but there is a totally different set of habits that go with each action. For example - what do I do over the Christmas break when we have planned a holiday which purposely doesn't include internet access and the electronic media in general? I have only just started this web log and the habit of writing in here will be broken before it even begins.

Anyway I obviously got over the hurdle of writing to the PC and did write in here - but not until I had sat out the back garden listening to the fountain water, the budgies and enjoyed the garden. I think the PC is still a more sterile place to be. Perhaps using a laptop would change that?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Blank Page Nerves

Blank pages. They do it to me every time. Whether they are handmade pages in an artistically crafted journal or virtual pages, blank is sexy, blank is spiritual, and blank is so endless it is firghtening. The ultimate performance anxiety inducing situation for most writers, is the facing of the blank page.

Once over the initial hurdle however, every writer and would be writer slowly begins to feel at home and then drift into a schema of the unknown. Suddenly the blank page becomes an exciting territory to discover and recover with thoughts and feelings that otherwise would be trapped and unshared. For there is something about releasing thoughts onto the blank page that allows them to grow and flourish. It never ceases to facinate me that my thoughts look so different when they are on the page from when they were concieved in my mind - even if it is only a space of a few seconds or partial seconds between the two. No matter how fast I type or write, there is a shift in how these thoughts appear when written down.

And thus the first blank page is conquered. And already I feel excited.

No more for today. I need to navigate this new place, and enjoy the experience. I will return to do a first page introductory blog another time. I am also on a journey to learn to enjoy the now you see.

Nerves gone. Blank page eliminated. PJ - One point: Blank Page - Zip.