Posts Tagged ‘mini blank books for journal writing’

Small Delights

August 14, 2020

If you are like me, your diary entries might read like the newspapers and other media: all the best-selling bad news, all the tragedies, all the wrongs and slights, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

So I was pleased to rediscover the joy of two small journals I began but never finished.  I think it would be uplifting to try again.  The little black book was supposed to be a gratitude journal.  It includes entries from 2004 to 2010.  I wish there were more entries because there is nothing dark or negative, only happiness.  I quit because it is awkward for me to be “grateful” when I have no god or guide to be grateful to.  Maybe a pantheist needs to simplify to a one to three sentence record of the best thing that happened that day and leave it there.

Some entries:

12-30-2004 “Drove Camel on errands and to the feed store.  He started right up and ran fine.  I loved driving the pick-up again.”

12-31-2004 “Watched the flamenco dancers at First Night.  Beautiful!”

1-13-2005 “I struggled on through with the computer and made a flyer for pet siting.  Hooray!”

4-29-2005 ” M. gave me a photo of the lamb I saved, a mug with women writers, and a book of famous last words.”

1-30-2008 “I enjoyed people’s reaction to my beret.  As always, so many people stare or smile and the men respond.  Everyone defers.  Why is this so?  Why does this hat give me so much power?”

10-18-2009 “My favorite time of the day was sitting in the swing watching the sunset, drinking a cup of coffee after four and a half hours of farm work.”

I think it is quite amazing how much can be conveyed in just a few sentences.  The reader knows a little about me already and about what is important to me, what makes me happy.

Actual diaries from the 1800s, those pocket-size books with about an inch of space for an entry, also convey a lot of information, though not so much the feelings of the diarist.  I.e. “killed three chickens today,” “planted the peas,” “visited old Mrs. Turner,” or “Sally’s baby has colic.”

The second journal in the picture, 3″ by 4″ in size with the beetle on the cover, was an attempt at haiku-like poetic thoughts.  I tried to do one every night before turning out the light.  There are no dates.

Some examples:  “Milo’s eyes twinkled when he saw me.  How flattered I am to be so loved by a cat.”

“Evie tells us: ‘My daddy is the best daddy ’cause he’s soft and cozy.'”

And: “Today I wore the sixties again

Fine in flowing orange cotton India blouse and black pants

Where did the years go?”

And:  “Blond curls. Naked butts. Romping in pool. Such beautiful edible innocence.”

And: “Cat curled on the chair.  Evie pets her, kisses her.  Annie does not run.”

And: “‘Tell you what,’ Evie says to the doll.  Smiling, I see I have been copied again.”

Each one of these short, simple entries, capturing the best moment of each day, is remarkable in the boost of happy memories it brings during today’s dark uncertain times.  It has been like going through old photo albums.  Word pictures.

Mini Books for Micro Journaling

January 19, 2013

Generally when I write I prefer the broad canvas of an 8 ½ by 11 inch unlined page. You can write, draw, or paste in photos or clippings. But I find the tiny, “mini journals” irresistibly attractive. While my regular journals are inclusive of all aspects of my life, these mini journals each represent a single microcosm.

The notebook with the marbled cover is a gratitude book. As a discipline, I tried to write one thing each day that I was grateful for or admired, one thing that brought joy into my life or that I thought was beautiful.

The red book with the ladybug on the cover has been the start of expressing one “haiku” thought on each page, an attempt to learn to say more with fewer words.

The gorgeous bejeweled book in the center is the book I chose to record the charming things said by my three year old granddaughter. I will do another book for the other granddaughter as she begins to talk.

These mini books are the purest joy to re-read because they filter out the negative. They sit on the table beside my bed. After a difficult day it is uplifting to remind myself of all that is good in my life.

I have started giving mini blank books as presents in the hope that others will be encouraged to use them for similar purposes. I do have other tiny notebooks I use to record things like houseplant and garden notes and the work I do in the bee yard. That notebook is covered in propolis (bee glue) and I must write with a pencil.

When purchasing these mini books, never buy one that has pages that are bound in with glue.   Look for books that are sewn in or all of your pages will fall out over time. That goes for regular journal books, too.

It is interesting that many of the antique diaries I have seen, including my great-grandmother’s and great-great-grandmother’s, were so small that the space for each entry could hardly contain one sentence. Just one sentence can still convey a lot. If you don’t believe me, read haiku poetry.
IMG_0162


%d bloggers like this: