My Le Vent journal and Peter Paupier Press Dragon pin with my green Wing Sung 3008 fine nib fountain pen.

I am still journaling even if I haven’t been writing much lately. I am excited by this particular journal cover by Le Vent. I found it on Amazon and the dragon pin came from Barnes and Noble. The cover is leather and well made. I am almost finished with the journal that came with it. It is a standard A5 7×5 so refills should be affordable. Le Vent has refills available at 100 pages, lined and unlined. However I like a thicker book and would rather have 200 pages at least.

If you journal, show them off. If you are looking at starting a journal it is not the tools but the heart put into them that makes them worthwhile.

Journaling Tips

-Good paper, loose leaf, or bound. Just have a way to keep your entries together.

-Good pen. I love using a fountain pen because I have less cramping issues. I have journaled with sort of object imaginable. From burnt sticks to fountain pens.

-Set aside a few minutes to put down your thoughts. I prefer to journal at night before bed to get the junk of the day off my chest. I am not a morning person, so might be some bias.

-Make your journal a haven. I hate using “safe space” but be secure in whatever you put in your journal is for you and you only. Now I am not suggesting writing how you think your boss is a flamin cat turd and then leaving it where the boss can read it. But when I lived at home I tucked my journal in the corner of my mattress. When I moved out on my own it lived on my nightstand. Now that I am married it hangs out where ever I happen to be. The back of the couch, the nightstand, the headboard etc. I have no problem with my husband reading my journal but he also knows that its my ranting spot. Reader beware. If it makes you feel better put a book curse or warning on it. (Google Victorian Book curses, you won’t be sorry)

-Enjoy the process. I am a stationary/pen whore and my hubby knows and accepts this. Days I am down or in a bad mood he takes me to Staples, and bookstores. (I know I got a keeper) Do you, if decorating the cover and pages makes you happy go for it. Just black felt tip sharpie is what you crave. By all means.

Cheers, james

Plot Complications

I seem to have developed a complication already in four pages. A subplot just developed between Gisella, my Female MC’s little sister and the Male MC’s best buddy, Cody. Seems they are romantically plotting together. Hmm didn’t see that coming. This could explain why he was a little more tip lipped in his interview than she was. He didn’t want to say much, and I misunderstood his reticence. Once he was done getting his buddy to back to civilization and then the buddy not remembering anything about the camping trip. That would be the last we saw of him. This is how I originally saw his character play out.

The more I write him, the more I like him and that fact there is already romance in the air. He’ll get to hang out a little longer than I originally thought. He provides the serious to Keith’s manic personality. Whew, wonder how in the world I am going to deal with a manic were-beastie. However I have to rethink the role he has given himself. This might just turn out okay after all. Wonder what else is going to crop up.

There is also the fact my sisters, Glory and Gisella. And then Cody and my maverick government hunter Caleb. I usually try to avoid naming characters with the same first letter. Except these developed naturally. I am hoping there will be enough distinction in the names and the characters so I won’t have to change them.

Cheers, james

Gogol on Amazon Prime

I subscribe to Amazon Prime and love some of the series. Bosch and Titus Welliver have stolen my heart. Although I have been a fan of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch since my early teens. Boy that was a fun conversation with my mom. Just a good clean murder mystery. I don’t think she ever read one of the Bosch books. Oh well, I digress.

This weekend I was browsing along and one of my recomended programs was called Gogol. It is a Russian series with english subtitles. I just finished episode one of season one. It is a new series released this year. At first glance Gogol is a murder mystery set in Russian in the 1850s. However it draws you as a mix of Sleepy Hollow meets Sherlock Holmes. Wow!

We have a gifted legenday dective taking on a “bumbling” clerk, Gogol. All is not what it appears and Gogol acts as Guro’s new clerk for a new strange case. That approtiately enough takes place in the middle of nowhere easy to get to.

Cue meancing music, creepy landowners, and everybody in the village is suspious of the newcomers. A bevy of murdered girls and the game is afoot as Holmes would say.

If you like creepy well plotted series this is one to try. Let me know if you watch it and what you think. Cheers, james

Getting the Junk Out

Getting the junk outta your writing.

A man lunging a horse in western gear.

The image above leads me to a story. There is a point I promise. So let us wander into the fog of yesterday’s memories.

We see a man in a round ring with a little girl about 8 or 9 outside the fence watching intently. Sweat darkens the horse’s sorral (red) coat almost black. The steady sound of hooves thump the ground. The easy manner of the man holding the rope tied to the horse’s halter. He watches both horse and child.

Come here.” He beckons the child. He stands her in front of him and gives her the rope. He guides her fingers into a loose but firm grip. Silently he steps back watching them work together. She is focused on the horse and keeping her grip on the rope. She doesn’t realize he has backed up and she alone is controling an animal easily 5 times her size.

Alright turn her and go counter clockwise.” She turns to him and looses focus. The horse sensing the lack stops and turns towards the fence. “Now what are you going to do?”

She looks at him and the horse. The rope is limp and long in her tiny hands. She tries to pull the horse’s head to her. The mare fights the rope. She closes the distance between her and the horse. A knowing eye stays focused on the back feet and the ears.

Both are relaxed, although the horse is resting on three feet. The other back foot is tipped up, the girl knows that would be the kicking foot. She mumbles to the mare. Finally at the horse’s head, she tries to pull the mare away from the fence.

Come on Miley. Just a lil longer. Please” she whispers to the horse.

A great brown eye studies her young handler. She noses the girl and allows herself to be led back the middle of the ring. She patiently awaits the comands the rope and man will give her. A blade of grass catches her fancy and she leans down for a snack.

Okay so now what have we learned? Other than I was an avivd horse lover back in the day. And lunging was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn.

According to my dad, lunging is how to get the junk out of the horse. His definition of junk was getting the horse past the “I don’t wanna work” mentality to the “It’s work time” mentality. And if you know anything about horses is they are all about the “don’t wanna” rather than the “let’s do this”.

As writers, we need a lunging/getting the junk out period. It focuses our inner brain and gets us ready to work. For the last several months I was bogged down trying to write. But I couldn’t focus beyond a few words. Fed up I opened up a new document and titled it “Junk Writing” and I spent an hour or so writing. Getting out the worries, fears, agravations of life, writing and doing stupid people tricks for my dogs. After that hour, I felt so light, and focused.

I started working an outline for a story. In fact that outline is posted to this blog under the Broken Writer post. I still haven’t figured out what is wrong with it yet. Maybe one day. Anyway once I got my brain settled into the work time mentality the words came easy. Or as easy as they ever do.

So next time you find yourself staring off into space try a mental luunging period and see if it helps. We don’t have to be great to get started. We just have to get started to be great. Thank you Mr. Les Brown for my writing motto.

Cheers, james