Friday, December 28, 2007

Gramma's Diary Has a Home!

Regular readers will remember how exciting it was for the Australian side of the family to get to read my Gramma's diary from Canada ... well the story continues. The diary has been doing the rounds of family and recently returned to me again.

This time it had been with the namesake of its original owner. My sister was named after my Gramma you see ... so she really enjoyed having a read and finding out that they had some things in common. My sister was lucky enough to know and love Gramma (she died before I was born) ...

Anyway having had her turn reading it, my sister made a beautiful box to keep the diary in - hand painted with her folk art. It was SO OVERWHELMING to receive this! It is painted with my Gramma's favorite flower (the pansy) and has a photo of Gramma and my sister (as a baby ) on the top. My sister did a stunning job and I am still feeling really emotional about it. She also wrote out some memories she has of Gramma so I have left those with the diary ... who knows what generations will do with it in the future, but the stories will be cherished, that's for sure.

So Gramma's diary now has a real home ... and is in the pride of place in my office for all to see ... I just hope Gramma doesn't mind us all reading it!

Thank you Esther for such a wonderful gift for ALL the family ...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Christmas Lights are on in Madison

Regular readers have heard about Madison Town before ... it's Stuart's model railway town ... his hobby ... his deal ... but as a writer I can't help but give every little model person a name and wonder who lives where and why the young boy is skateboarding while the other kids are at school ... I see it a little child-like I think ... almost as if it all comes to life when we aren't around.

Of course the other option here is that as a writer I am in need of the men in white coats to take me away too.

What's important, here in the season of Christmas, is that Madison town has its own Christmas lights! Not enough to have lights in our house and yard, Madison had to be all gussied up too!

You gotta love this time of year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Christmas Journal

Of course there is such thing as a Christmas Journal! How else do you think Santa keeps himself organised to get around to doing everything on his list?

Christmas Journals are often a mixture between an organiser for the Christmas Season and a perpetual annual journal ... sometimes only used for one year, more often dragged out year after year in December.

Some start as Christmas Card lists in a book, or lists of presents and present suggestions, menus, and shopping lists. Even without ramblings of what went on each Christmas, a book of these simple lists can be enough to bring back the memories of Christmases past.

If you don't want to buy a blank notebook, or can't find one that is Christmassy enough for you, then you can always cover an old notebook in your favourite Christmas wrapping paper from this year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sex and the City

They say when you are looking for something ... you will find it ... often in amazing places!

During my research for New Century Notebook, there have been plenty of references to writing about sex in diaries.... it's a part of life! Some came from members of the Erotica Writers Association and were linked to erotica writers using the diary form to create stories and adventures. Others were from run-of-the-mill folk who just wrote about sex in their diaries. It often came up as an issue people were worried that others might read about. One woman wrote about a sex diary that she and her husband kept for fun - and to keep their sex life interesting.

As you know I have been looking out for references to diaries and journals in the movies ... and had a little giggle when watching an old episode of Sex and the City ... where Charlotte's doctor gets her to keep a Vagina Diary because she thinks her vagina is depressed ... Typical Sex and the City it was a fun perspective ... but that got me to thinking about people who are asked to keep them for medical reasons ... I haven't had any responses from people in my research who use diaries for medical reasons somehow linked to sex ... So if you are out there please feel free to email me for a copy of my survey - I think this would be a useful inclusion in the book don't you?

Oh and for Sex and the City fans ... the new movie was announced in Australia today ... cool huh?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Every kind of art is a journal in the end ...

This week's diary quote is from Pablo Picasso. It reminds me that for all artists, the journal is represented in many art forms. I don't know many artists (including writers, poets, sculptors, photographers etc etc etc) who only ever do one art form ... we all have our addictive art, the one we can't live without ... but we all experiment with our left over creativity in other ways too.

Most artists keep a visual or written diary of some sort ... and for most of us it is part of living, breathing and eatings ... however I also think its important to acknowledge our particular art as a journal of sorts too ...

Which brings me to the quote for the week .... with thanks to Picasso ...

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary"

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Encrypting Your Diary

It seems the theme of "who might read my diary" is a pretty common one when talking about where you might keep your journal or diary.

What I think about sneaks who read another's diary is surely obvious on this blog ... boil in oil, burn at the stake etc .... If you think your diary is at risk there are some lovely techniques you can use to encrypt your handwritten diary (electronic ones simply need really good passwording systems) or hide it.

Here are ten tips:

  1. Write in another language (great practice too!).
  2. Write your life as if it were a short story - use fictional characters for the main people in your life.
  3. Create your own code (you know the kind you had as a kid ... A=5 B = 13) for entries that you are really concerned about people reading
  4. Keep your diary where no one else goes ... eg if you are the only one who does the vacuuming keep it with the vacuum cleaner!
  5. Write in a notebook that doesn't look like a diary ... an old school exercise book for example.
  6. Buy a really boring old book at a second hand shop ... calculus or something ... and write your diary in the margins and spaces of that book.
  7. Don't fall for the "between the mattress and the bed" hiding spot ... its more obvious than you think (especially to pesky little brothers and sisters).
  8. Write and burn.
  9. Change your hiding spot regularly ... one person in my research even had a decoy diary!
  10. Don't bother writing one at all if it stresses you so much. :-)