TGIO: My Post NaNoWriMo Recap

Well, it's the end of November and I achieved what I set out to do. This year, I gone and done crazy (and it was crazy, believe me!). I wrote 50,768 words by hand. It took me 17 days; with an average of 3,000 words a day. If you go to my domain, you can check out the daily log that I kept through it all. It details my progress through the month: the good, the bad, and the whining.

TGIO, or Thank God It's Over, happened twice for me this year. The short and sweet point of it happened when I turned in the novel and got official approval of being a winner. However, the earlier and more bittersweet moment happened when I penned the words "The End" onto the last signature of my writing journal. That moment is the hardest, because I I had to say goodbye to the world I've created. Seventeen days is quite a long time to live in the world of my protagonist. A world where magic lives and good triumphs over evil--with nothing more than the power of intellect. I loved writing about the lives of my characters, their journey of uncovering information, and exposing the darker side of what could exist in our world. After spending all that time in this world, it's hard to let it go. This year, when I closed the leather cover, it made the transition from that world back to my world seem very real. I went to bed that night and cried. I wasn't ready to let go. Is any writer really ready for that moment?

But it's all over for me now. Seeing that I've had a week or so to think it all over, I wanted to share some final thoughts on what I learned from the experience of writing longhand.

I Dood It (for Shris)

Here's a pair of quick-and-dirty "I Did" list templates for Shris based on the discussion over here:

i-dood-it 2.jpg
Usage advice: 

Refer to this thread:

It is an editable template, so if you want to modify it, go for it.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Open Office

The Writing's on the Wall

Owning a home is fun. I get to hang curtains up (in a color of my choosing), I get to modify the house in any way that benefits my lifestyle, and most importantly, I get to paint the walls with color and patterns.

One of the things I plan on doing to my home, when I get my library, is to stencil and paint some of my favorite quotes on the wall as a top border. This has been one of my dreams for almost 10 years now. I thought that was a good idea and then I read about Charlie Kratzer and how he took a Sharpie (or 10) to his basement walls and hand-sketched murals all over every available wall.

I'm amazed at how wonderful it all looks! Maybe one day I'll draw in some effects for some of my walls. Once I overcome the fear of being a "bad" sketch artist.

Create Word Art with Wordle

I was reading Neil Gaiman's blog today and came across this interesting link. Someone had taken some of his prose (the infamous "I Believe" passage from American Gods) and rendered it in Wordle.

It's a word-art site where you feed it passages of text and it spits it out in a mind map sort of visual-word poetry/art. You can create your own account, upload all sorts of interesting passages, see how the site creates renders of what you add and share it with others.

I'm making all sorts of word art with it to use as covers for my journals, greeting card covers and just fun background image art.

Imitation Writing

Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones, used to write and rewrite poems in college so she could memorize them. She writes,

In college I was in love with literature. I mean wild about it. I typed poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins over and over again so I could memorize them. I read John Milton, Shelley, Keats aloud and swooned on my narrow bed in the dormitory.

I copy bits and pieces of my favorite writers prose down in my journals, tucked between entries of daily life and my own imagination. I keep various quotes and story snippets from writers I admire among my index cards. While I write them down, as the pen makes scratching marks across my pages, I look at the language: how it runs off my pen (or mind's tongue), how long the sentences are, and what words were used. I like to think that it helps me dissect language down into uncovering what makes them work and "so great."

Have you ever attempted to imitate your favorite writer's prose? How well did that go? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

Soft and Squishy: An Intro to Fabric Art Journals

closed art journal, by gramayreWhile I'm not a fabric person, per se, I can and do appreciate those who have a penchant for fabric based arts. These artists knit, quilt, sew or do needlepoint and come up with fabulous ways to make clothing and art. If you're an artist of this category, then you'll love what I'm going to talk about today. This is the one you've been waiting for. Today, I'm going to explore fabric art journals. This creative art form allows you to take all those left over scraps of fiber and fabric and use them for other purposes. I'll tell you what I know about this technique and give you some ideas on how you can go about creating one of your own. I've even got a few ideas for sample projects that you can undertake on your own. At the end of this article there's a small list of resources that you can turn to if you want to tap into this new art form. Please be kind, I'm no expert on this subject, as I don't delve into the fiber arts. But it does fascinate me and I love seeing what my fiber arts friends produce.

Art journaling, or the craft of recording your thoughts and feelings and events using images, is something I constantly talk about here on D*I*Y Planner. Fabric Art Journals is an extension of this concept. These journals are created using fabric pages and sometimes bound by fabric. Artists write in their journals either by with fabric words or painted words. It's a fascinating new way of journaling that lets anyone, who prefers fabric arts to paper, in on the scene. I've seen a lot of really nifty journals out there that combine elements of traditional quilting, felting, and custom needlepoint together to weave a personal and unique book. Some of the journals don't even take the form of a traditional book. I've seen artists who create their "books" by using wall hangings or pillows that tell specific moments, like the birth of their child or marriage. Anything goes when you get around to making a fabric journal.

Healing Through Words: Keeping a Grief Journal

Loss comes in many forms: death of a pet or person; the loss of a friend or position; the loss of youth we experience as we grow older. It's a part of life that we sometimes shuffle past and don't delve into. Today's post touches on this sensitive topic. I don't want to make anyone upset or trigger past emotional issues; but seeing that the topic of loss hit me hard during my hiatus, I felt that writing my thoughts down on this process and sharing them with all of you is important. 

Please, if you have lost someone and are having issues "getting past it all", find someone to talk to and perhaps keep a journal of your thoughts. Grieving is a long process and the more you deal with the whirlwind of emotions you feel, the faster you can start the healing process. Writing down your thoughts is one tool that can help you feel better about what happened and help you move on and rebuild your life.

Review: Write Free, Attracting the Creative Life

Editor's note: Hey everyone, yes... I'm back. I took all of last month to get my mind and life back in order. My husband treated me to a wonderful weekend escape to the coast, I am a bit more secure in what my new job asks of me, and I'm growing accustomed to having one less furry beast running around in the house. Thank you all for the warm wishes and support during my "time" away from DIY Planner. While I didn't respond to every comment from my last post, I did read them all.

One of my 2008 goals is to continue to build on my creative and writing life. I want writing and art to seep from every aspect of my being and help me grow as a writer and artist in this world. However, occasionally the daily grind of errands, doctor's appointments, and laundry push back the available time I want to devote to this practice. Then I heard about Write Free, by Rebecca Lawton and Jordan E. Rosenfeld. The title immediately drew me in. Finally, a book proposing to help concretely build, maintain, and attract a fully functioning creative lifestyle.

Writing Love

Happy Valentine's and Single's Awareness Day everyone. I hope everyone's feeling the love in the air and in their hearts. If not for some particular person (hi kender!) then hopefully for your own personal self.

Love and writing go hand in hand. Writing helps to express the deepest feelings we bury deep in our heart. Writing love entries also help us remember the good things and feelings on the days when everything seems dark and wrong. You can write love letters to someone you love, letting them know how much you care and why. You can make lists of all the things you love about a person or being in love. You can answer thoughtful questions about the whole meaning and purpose of love. And don't forget the mass amounts of written love-based poetry out there!

Write about love. List all the moments, objects, songs, colors that you associate with love. Remember what it was like to be in love for the first time. You know, that moment that someone swept you off your feet unexpectedly and did something that made you blush and think twice. Write it down. Write love letters to those actors you have secret crushes on. Spread the love of the written word down on the paper.