52 Questions in 52 Weeks

My first exposure to the 52 Questions in 52 weeks came via the Innovative Journaling Facebook group. (If you journal and like pens of any type I recomend this group. They are a hoot.) One of the members was starting the challenge and asked if anyone else was doing it. Several folks likewise asked what it was. 

There are 52 queations relating to your life, family history and other interesting tidbits. It provides a really good starting place for folks that are interested in writing down their family history. Questions range from earliest memories, things you enjoyed from your childhood, advice for future generations, how you met your spouse and other stuff. Anyway you pick a question you want to answer and take a week to write the answer. As little or as much as you like. This isn’t all inclusive just a starting point. 

I have later found several blog posts about and each one has a similar backstory. The person wanted to record the family history before it was lost through death or disease. One IJ-er took a journal and the sole purpose of that journal is for the challenge. I am in this same boat. Three of my grandparents have passed and my remaining grandmother is lost in Alzheimer’s fog. As I have watched her and my nieces and nephews, I realized they don’t know her pre-Alzheimer. By recording my memories it may give them a glimpse of her when she was healthy. 

I admit I keep reading over the questions and yet I haven’t put pen to paper. I get all twisted and tongue tied when I start to write down even the simplest question; Where does your name come from? 

Well I know Mom told me that my great grandfather didn’t like my name and said he would have named me Pamela, if he had known my parents didn’t have a proper name for me. According to Dad my first name came from the daughter of a man whose horse farm he worked on while in the military. I have never really asked my Mom where my first name come from. My middle name was supposed to be a mix of Linda and Jeanette ie Lynnette. But as the story goes when the nurse asked Mom she was half asleep and gave Lynn. So those are the stories I have heard related to my name. I was almost a Pamela Lynnette and I mean no disrepect to the Pamela Lynnettes of the world, but that isn’t me. In my mind’s eye, a Pamela Lynnette is a strong, willowy blonde or red headed lady, graceful and at home in her own skin. Me, I’m a short round lil brunette that lives in her head more than she should. Exrovert vs introvert. 

Well look a there I guess I just answered the first question. One down 51 to go. Cheers on this post Harvest Moon Friday, james

Bullet Journaling: Update


The aforementioned website is where I got my start with bullet journaling. I saw a post on the Innovative Journaling’s facebook group. Very cool group dedicated to journaling, writing and fountain pens, all brought together by IJ founder Arthur Scharf. I posted on my start last week. 

I have been doing this for a week now. Some things I like, some I’m not really sure of, and some are my own personalizations. On the website it says try it for a month. And I seem to feel like things are getting done. Still learning and the Index makes lots of sense, its just getting used to a different way of thinking and working.
Do you bullet journal, or use another manner of keeping up with day to day life? Feel free to share.

Cheers on this stormy evening, james

In like a lion, out like a lamb

March has been a strange mixed bag of weather this year. It has also been a strange month for me writingly speaking. I have been writing more in my journal, and less on my WIPs and this blog. Part of this is coming from joining the IJ FB group and being more aware than I usually am. Not that this is bad, my journal has been the place I turn to when something excites, bugs, or frightens me. However the more time I spend journaling, the less creative writing I do. I haven’t found the correlation between the two, but that is how I’ve been since I can rember.

So as March closes and April sweeps in, I want to consciously renew my connection with my WIPs, while maintaining my renewed zeal for journaling. I want to keep my newfound passion for fountain pens going. Getting more familar and improving my pennmanship as well as a slower more conscious way of writing will influence my writing and my way of thinking. Sometimes I write fast caught up in the moment only to run head first into a wall. Then it seems to take twice as long to find a way around, over or through the wall than if I’d been a hair slower in my writing and a tad faster looking ahead.

Cheers on this cool, moody, Thursday evening, james

Do you journal?

Since joining the Innovative Journaling Facebook group I’ve noticed journalers seem to cover every walk of life. One member has been journaling over thirty years and has a whole bookshelf for the journals. At the same time there are men, women, young people all keeping a record of moments in time. There are some awesome journalers that draw, paint and use other methods of media. A lot of them are long time fountain pen users or novice fountain pen-ers, of which I fall into. In fact I ordered three Hero medium nib fountain pens. Lot of mixed reviews on these pens, but all agree they are a great starter pen. So this weekend maybe I can get to a Michaels for some ink. I don’t think my local Staples sells bottled ink. The pens I have are ones that you fill directly from the bottle. Wish me luck on finding the ink locally and getting started learning to use a fountain pen.

In my journal I write on a Barnes and Noble 6×8 lined journal refill in a green Wilson leather cover. So I never thought about sketching or painting or anything else, but write in it. Then I got my Primer journal from Innovative Journaling with the scariest thing, unlined paper. I have always steered away from unlined paper because my writing isn’t straight and travels slanted across the page. But it was a small page and I decided I would try and if I couldn’t bear looking at the results I could … you know. Anyway since then I’ve written smaller, neater and yeah my lines wiggle and wobble. I feel freer like those lined pages were jailers bars imprisoning my creative flow.

I used to try and keep a daily journal over the years, but I have settled into more of a important thing vs daily. Weird dreams, life events, needing to vent and exlode without restraint, those are the big things I write about. Then the days I feel restless as if the words are right under my skin crawling about and I have to write them out. Okay that is kinda super creepy. Lol.

So my question to you is do journal? Daily, big stuff, little stuff, for your kids, or for future you or future generations? Lined vs unlined paper, writing, sketching, doodling, painting, scrapebooking? All of it counts, all of it records a snapshot of our thoughts at that time and place.  Cheers, james

Innovative Journaling Announcement

Dear Readers,

A week or two back I posted about this awesome company in Santa Fe that makes journals. They even give you a free journal (love my lil book) if you give them email.

They have set up a Facebook Group dedicated to journal and fountain pen people. If you are a kindrrd soul, please check them out. So far there are 290 people that have joined. I despise Facebook, but I signed up and there are some cool folks to meet.

Cheers, james

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