Innovative Journaling


This is a product review for the Innovative Journaling’s Primer journal. Company owner Arthur Scharf gives new customers an opportunity to try the Primer journal for free all you do is pay shipping. The Primer is a tiny passport sized journal that is refillable and customizable, Mr. Scharf tells you the reason for the size is you are more likely to write in the notebook you have with you. This journal is perfectly sized for men and women, it fits in a pocket or purse.  All of his products are handmade from quality materials the world over and assembled in Santa Fe New Mexico.


I found Innovative Journaling website while searching for a refillable leather journal. I toured the website, and filled out the contact info form and got my free journal. I placed my order on Feb. 13 and I received my journal on Feb. 18. I did order a pack of refills, which comes with three refills. The journal came with one book and will hold two books. You had a choice of paper and if you wanted anything on it. There is a cigar, hunting, scotch, and some others. I chose blank paper and it is a nice high quality paper. The paper comes from France and there are two other paper types for fountain pens.  There are also personalizations that can be made to the journal.

I hope you will check out Innovative Journaling and Arthur Scharf’s products. He also has a life time guarantee even if you dog happens to use it for a chew bone. This last picture shows it beside a cd case to give you a sense of scale.


Cheers, james

Library of Congress

Okay so we know the Library of Congress (LoC) exists. But have you ever thought about the treasures, the wealth of information it holds? Guilty as charged, until I was looking for something and the LoC popped up.

Say what???? I’ve never visited their website until yesterday. You can order copies of maps, old maps from them. You can also download and save them or print them. Its no secret I love maps, they spark my imagination and lift my spirits. (Explorer in a previous life perhaps?) So to be gifted with the ability to look at maps from the 1600s and beyond blew my mind.

I have been so intriqued I have spent several hours looking through their site. Now I really want to take the trip to DC and see it all in person. How awesomely cool that would be? However there are a few speed bumps, mainly getting to DC and then getting a library card for the LoC. They have three buildings full of stuff, according to the website over 100 million items. 100 million and beyond. A multitude of reading rooms, and a store that sells stuff, not online but in person. Why did I not apply for a job there after I got out if school???

Anyways if you have a love for writing, books, and maps, maps and lots more maps. Check out the Library of Congress, it is well worth your time. And the best part admission is an internet connection.

Cheers james

Setting a rhythm

I am bouncing between three of my WIPs (work in progress), but the rhythm in each is different. And I had the really fun day where one character voice jumped stories. I didn’t catch on until I was skimming back over trying to figure why it felt off then going huh that sounds funny. And realizing my southern pyschic from my NaNo project was trying to be the healer in my fantasy/alternate history project. Although I learned they play very similar roles in their respective stories. They are very different folks.

So are you having trouble with your writing rhythm and how do you fix it? Cheers on a chilly Friday night, james

Misconception: Oops

It has become clear to me over the last few days that most of my wordpress buddies think “james” is a guy.

Lol sorry I am a chick. James is the nickname my grandfathers called me. They have passed on to a much better place. However I can feel them around me so in their memory and honor I write under james.

So please forgive me if you felt I have led you astray. It was never my intent and if you read the Call me james page. I mention it there.

Cheers on this cold yucky night, james

Last day of 3 Quotes in 3 Days

Thank you skybluedaze for sending this challenge my way. It has been so fun. And so much fun spreading the challenge around to other great bloggers. Since this my last day I wanted to finish on a high note.

Life is like a shiny new coin. You can spend it however you want. But you can only spend it once.

This quote is taken from an email ending and I don’t know who said it, but I love it. For us as normal everyday people this proves incrediblely true, as writers not so much. We live a thousand lifetimes everytime we let our imagination run wild. Writers are blessed in being able to see the world a little differently.

Love the life you live, live the life you love.    -Bob Marley

Nuff said and so ends my challenge. My nominations are listed below.

Opus Magnus, found his blog the other day. He was quoting Neil Gainman and extolling the virtues of fountain pens.

The Incidentalist is also a new blog. Let’s show some love.

The Renegade Press words from the wolf’s mouth.

Check them out they are well worth the time. Cheers, james

3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge: Day 2

The Muse’s friend, Tea, does our fancy aid;
Repress those vapors which the head invade;
And keeps that palace of the soul serene….
~Edmund Waller, “Of Tea”

I found this awesome quote on
I feel it acurately describes the relationship a writer develops with tea. Coffee is super good and pretty undemanding in the making. Tea, however, requires the maker to actively partipate in the making. From boiling the water, cooling it slightly, warming the cup, adding the tea, bag or infuser, and letting them meld in harmony. However woe can strike in over steeped bitter tea. Tea like writing is very much a ritual. My tea and writing rituals may be different from yours but they bring us to the same destinations. A perfect cup of a tea and words on the page, or computer screen.

I was nominated for the 3 quotes, 3 days challenge by skybluedaze. I urge you if you haven’t visited mosey on over. I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed. Now back to making my tea. 🙂

It seems I forgot to nominate anyone yesterday so I will double up to catch up.

Julie Allan, this is a super cool lady from South Carolina. She puts the lady back in “southern lady”.

Satis, this fellow is working on a cool sci-fi fantasy trilogy. I am reading book one and it is awesome.

Lily, my Canadian friend at One Thousand and Two. She writes a mean flash fiction on her group Friday Fictioneers.

The Queen of Blank or the Caffeinated Writer. She writes a neat blog about a lil bit of everything.

This next blogger is one I have been following for a fairly short time but have enjoyed it.

And last but certainly not least, 6 monkeys and a frog. This is a new blog but so much promise of good things to come.

I hope you check out one or maybe all of afforementioned blogs. Each one is a unique take on writing and they all have good things to say. I have enjoyed reading their posts and count them among wordpress friends. Cheers, james

3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge

Thank you skybluedaze for nominating me for this challenge. If you haven’t visited this blog, do yourself a favor and hurry on over and check it out.

You don’t have to be great to get started. But you have to get started to be great.
-Les Brown

This quote is all over my computer, my phone, doodled on scrap paper on and around my writing space. It reminds me that all my heros got started the exact same way I am doing it now. Every single one had a “real” job that paid the bills while madly scribbling away in the back room or the car or the bus, or train. Believing for all they were worth they would become Writers. Doubt plagued them, but that leads into my second quote.

Sucessful writers are amateur writers that didn’t quit.

So if Tolken could take 14 years to write the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmerian. I think I can keep putting word after word on the page. And be inspired by my heros, because they refused to give up and so do I. Somedays the words don’t flow fast and furious, but the times when it happens it is all the sweeter.

In closing this is a bastardized quote of Gaston Bachelard. I have condensed what he said and don’t think anything was lost in translation.

The blank page gives the pen the right to dream.

Because if we don’t allow ourselves and our voice freedom, how can we touch the world.

Cheers, james