Blank Pages

This past week, I acquired a new blank journal.  I’d filled all my others (and one spiral notebook) when working on the mysterious “handwritten piece,” which I started back in mid-October, finished in mid-January, and have been typing up, revising, and suchlike since.

Dragon of Potential

Dragon of Potential

I’m up to 30,000+ words and have quite a ways to go.

But that’s neither here nor there.  As you can see from the attached picture, my new journal is very lovely .  The cover was sculpted in polymer clay by my friend (and fellow writer) Emily Mah Tippets.  It’s a solid little book, and I’m still debating what to put into it.

I don’t know how it is for most people in these days of computers, but blank paper has a lure for me that a blank computer screen does not.  It seems like the incarnation of potential, which is rather ridiculous, since realistically it’s the reverse.  After all, on a computer screen, you can immediately erase whatever you write or draw.  When you write on paper, even with a pencil, the impact is much more permanent.

I don’t keep a diary (although I do keep a record of my writing).  I keep a separate journal of what I’m reading.  And I have a handmade book in which I occasionally record random thoughts.

What would you put in a blank journal?

This week’s installment is on the shorter side because I’m nursing a sore shoulder and keyboarding puts a stress on it.

Funny thing.  Handwriting doesn’t cause me any pain at all, so, don’t worry…  I’m still writing.

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13 Responses to “Blank Pages”

  1. Dawn Barela Says:

    I used to keep journals of the concerts I went to. Songs played, description of the light show and other thoughts. In separate unlined journals I put the ticket stubs, photos of the band and I would draw backgrounds related to the bands. Some simple and some very elaborate.

  2. Heteromeles Says:

    Maybe you should ask the journal what it needs inside it? Is the cover sculpture baked on or something? It’s so nice, I hope it doesn’t get damaged through use.

  3. chadmerkley Says:

    Wow. A very cool piece. I’d love to see some close-up shots of that, especially the details of how the gutter and hinge work, and what the boards are covered with.

    Back in college, for my required art class, I took a class called “Book Arts”, where we learned to make handbound books in a variety of ways. i still have half a dozen little blank books that I made back then and haven’t put anything into. Nothing has ever seemed quite “special” enough. Plus, I don’t trust my handwriting….
    But I totally understand having trouble coming up with what to put into such a cool blank journal.

    • Emily Mah Says:

      Actually, these journals are very simple, off the shelf sketchbooks with the polymer clay panels glued on. Eventually I’ll move on to hand-binding, but for now these are machine bound.

  4. Jas. Marshall 6 Says:

    A computer is the incarnation of potential because, with the ability to constantly re-edit what you’re working on, it’s so easy to never actually finish anything. With a paper journal, once it’s filled, it’s filled.

    I used to keep journals periodically. Then I realized I never really changed, after a certain point. I like the idea of a journal showing just what I’ve read (and what I’ve watched). I regret not having kept a journal with interesting quotes and turns of phrase I’ve heard (and their sources), because these days, I’ll say something that I *know* I picked up from someplace else, but can’t for the life of me remember where I’d heard/read it… and the internet is no help, since most people post such quotes without attribution.

    A journal of media read/seen/heard sounds like a good idea, though. I might try that.

  5. Paul Says:

    I’ve tried a diary a couple times back in grade school but the date spaces were always too big or too small.

  6. David Dunham Says:

    I’ve heard some dragons excrete oils that irritate or burn human skin. Handle with care.

  7. henrietta abeyta Says:

    Jane Lindskold ma’am I JASMINE OLSON keep mostly journals of accomplishments, or positive emotional opinions about several things.
    (FAVORITE CHARACTERS, MY IMAGINARY WORLD, HOW I FEEL LUCKY, HOW I FEEL THANKFUL, OR RECENT SUCCESS) MAINLY I ONLY WRITE WHAT’S DOUBTLESS OF THE CHANGE, USING PAPER IN A NOTEBOOK OR TYPING A COMPUTER PAGE. ONCE IN A WHILE I’LL PUT A PICTURE WITH THE WORDS.

    LIKE SWALLOW BIRDS FLYING AND A WREN RELAXING WOULD BE AN EXCELLENT PAIR OF DETERMINATION SIGNS.

    YOUR DRAGON PHOTO’S PLEASANT LOOKING. QUEST FOR CAMELOT OR ERAGON ARE THE KINDS OF DRAGON STORIES I CAN HANDLE WATCHING, BUT NOT THOSE WILD LIKE DINOSAURS.

    JASMINE OLSON MENTIONING JOURNAL HABITS, AND HER FIRM DRAGON OPINION.

  8. henrietta abeyta Says:

    BEAUTIFUL DRAGON OF POTENTIAL! I IMAGINE YOU

    ATTENTIVE LIKE THE NICE LIZARD IN FERN GULLY
    WATCHFUL LIKE DLACEY DRAGONS
    FAST LIKE BATS OR OWL DEPENDING ON SPACE
    RELAXED LIKE MUSHU WITH MULAN
    ADVISOR LIKE SAPHIRA AND SIMILAR TEASING WHEN IN DANGER OR GOOD COOPERATION AND SELF-DEFENSE LIKE EUSTACE WHEN HE’S TRANSFORMED INTO A DRAGON
    PLAYFUL LIKE DEVON AND CORNWALL
    FRIENDLY LIKE THE TURTLES
    WATER LEAPER LIKE FLYING FISH WHEN NEAR WATERFALLS
    RUSHER LIKE DOLPHINS WHEN CHASED BY SHARKS
    CLIMBER LIKE JUNGLE LIZARDS
    DANCY WING FLAPPING IN THE AIR LIKE BUTTERFLIES
    SPIRAL FLIGHTS IN THE AIR LIKE PARROTS AND SWALLOWS
    CONCENTRATOR ON SURROUNDINGS LIKE EAGLES
    SHORT NAPS IN BUSHES OR ON WIDE TREE BRANCHES
    LONG FLIGHTS AT NIGHT

    WAVE RIDER ABOVE WATER LIKE WHALES UNDER WATER KICKING FEET BELOW THE HUGE WAVES LIKE TURTLES DO

    AND INDEED PROTECTIVE OF FRIENDS LIKE ELLIOT WHO’S PETE’S DRAGON WITH A BIG DIET EATING LIKE FRUIT BATS/ BATS WHO GATHER NECTAR, VEGETARIAN TURTLES, AND FISH WHO EART SEA PLANTS.

    YES DEAR JANE LINDSKOLD VISIONS, A FANTASY FAN, LIVE AND LET LIVE WHEN IT COMES TO RELIGIONS, ENJOYMENT OF YOUR BOOKS, FRIENDS WITH GENTLE DRAGONS, AND ENTERTAINMENT OF THE FUTURE THIS IS HOW I JASMINE OLSON CAN PICTURE THIS CUTE SHORT DRAGON OF POTENTIAL ACTING, IF YOU EVER WRITE IT A SHORT STORY.

    ITS TITLE IS SPECIAL. THAT’S WHAT BROUGHT THESE CHARACTER EXPLANATIONS UP IN MY MIND, JANE.

    JASMINE OLSON SHARING THE WAY SHE IMAGINES THIS DRAGON OF POTENTIAL.

    • Jane Lindskold Says:

      One of my earliest published short stories (“Between Tomatoes and Snapdragons”) features a small dragon with an amazing power…

      You can find it in my collection CURIOSITIES.

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