Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WTJ: Do Some Rubbings with a Pencil

Wreck This Journal frequently asks me to tap into my inner artist. Though I've never been completely capable with a pencil in my hand (Re: Art and Math), I have always enjoyed designing things ... especially once computers came into my life.

My most recent "design project" was working on Stag and Doe tickets for my sister and her fiance.  That's where I took the inspiration for today's Wreck This Journal exercise. Armed with my pencil, and whatever knowledge I still had lingering from Gr. 9 Art class, I created this "masterpiece."

Adapted from . . .

This is just a generic version of the ticket... Edited for privacy reasons.

It may never find its way into the Louvre, but it has been pretty fun to reconnect with a more creative me. Who knew wrecking my journal would become such an artistic endeavour?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Time Out for a Local Author Shout Out

Last week I missed the opportunity to meet and listen to a reading from a local author.  Sault Ste Marie author, Jamie Zeppa, introduced her debut novel Every Time We Say Goodbye on Tuesday, March 22, at the SSM Public Library Main Branch.  It really was a great opportunity to meet with an up and coming local author.  So, because I missed said opportunity I wanted to give her a little shoutout for whatever readership I do possess here on the World Wide Web. (I mean, I might as well use this blog for the forces of good, and what's greater than plugging local talent?)

Might I say, I love the colourful cover! But, as the saying goes "You can't judge a book by its cover," (though routinely, I do) so I'll continue with what's on the inside.  The novel is set in Sault Ste Marie and other Ontario towns (like North Bay - another special place of mine). It's described on as being "heartbreaking and hopeful," an "emotional rollercoaster," and "rich with mysteries, plot twists, a paternity question, broken promises and in the end, some mending of hearts." 

I have done some considerable reading up on this novel and it definitely sounds like something that will make its way to my nightstand in the near future.

So, whether you're reading this from Sault Ste Marie, or from some other spot around the globe, (Italy, Hungary, Vietnam, the UK, or USA*), consider taking a look at a book from an author from a small Canadian city.

*This is just another quick shoutout to the readers I've aquired from these countries. My stats show me you check in every now and again, and I just wanted to say thanks!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WTJ: Scribble Wildly, Violently, with Reckless Abandon

2 words: CRAY-ONS! ...Okay, that's 1 word, but SO FUN is 2 words, and that's exactly what this page was.

When was the last time you scribbled recklessly with with crayons?  Grade school?  Probably.

I challenge you to pull out that old box of colourful waxy goodness (or go buy a box if you aren't so fortunate to have classic Crayolas laying around) and reconnect with a younger you!  I'm not sure if it was the act of colouring, the colours themselves, or that unmistakable wax-arific aroma, but I feel great!  What a wonderful way to start my day!

Thanks, Crayola!

Note: I realize the instructions for this page were to scribble wildly, violently, etc, etc. And I think I did. But my inner perfectionist needed to add the decorative frame... I'm getting there.

Monday, March 21, 2011

WTJ: Scratch Using a Sharp Object

This was like running nails on a chalkboard.

I mostly used a mangled paper clip and sometimes chimed in with a push pin.  It felt awful, and it resulted in tearing through the pages. Basically, this was the least fun activity I've had to do to date. So I'm happy to get it out of the way so I can get on with scribbling, tearing, stickering, and otherwise dirtying my journal.

Note: I realize the goal is to destroy my journal with a reckless abandon, but I find I try my hardest to destroy it in the most organized ways I possibly can. This is, perhaps, something I need to work on.

Ready to Get Lost in "The Lost Girls"

Do you hear that? It's the Songs of the Humpback Whale fading into the distance.

I have no intentions to dwell on it for too long. It was an okay read. Which I realize is not a sterling review. But the forward-backward timeline basically took a lot away from what could have been an otherwise very emotional climax and storyline in general.

With that said, I am very excited to get started on my next novel, The Lost Girls, by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett & Amanda Pressner.  The tagline for the novel reads: "Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World." What makes it even more appealing is the fact that it is a travel memoir, and therefore, a true story told in 3 voices. (Seems very Eat, Pray, Love x 3).

This novel comes to me at an appropriate time. Purchased months ago, it has sat on my bookshelf just waiting for me to crack the spine (metaphorically of course . . . spine cracking goes against my book treatment code of ethics. For more information see my post on my New Project).  I'm anxious to read about the adventures of 3 women, roughly my age, looking for something different and new to shake up their lives. I can't help but feel similarly to them, although I'll leave the four continent world tour to the likes of Gaga and Bieber. I'll keep you posted.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The New Project

I started this blog for several reasons.

1. With all of my free time, I had been reading a lot more.  I felt that writing about what I read would make that time seem like time spent productively (whether or not this is true remains a mystery).

2. I used to love creative writing in high school. That love of writing had since been sucked away thanks to university and the wonder that is the 30+ page report.  Getting back into writing about things I care about in a creative way seemed like a nice way to rekindle my love of writing.

and 3. It was supposed to be therapeutic.  And I think it has been mostly so far.  I read things, feel things, write about things, and then chat about them with whoever feels so inclined to respond.  Books as therapy is not a new concept.  Just take a stroll through your friendly neighbourhood bookstore self-help section and you'll see what I mean.  These books can be outrageous, preachy, ridiculous, sincere, honest, indulgent, and yes, sometimes helpful.  I've been known to snub my nose at some and swear by others (Re: He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo - It's a seriously funny and, I'm afraid, truthful hard look at understanding men, or at least trying to).

But why am I talking about self-help books?

Well, two Christmases (Christmi?) ago I received a self-help book as a gift.  Its goal was to encourage the readers, presumed "perfectionists," to "live more recklessly."  The book was Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.  I thought this was a hilarious gift!  A book with complete instructions on how to destroy it page by page.  And how appropriate to give it to me, the girl who will read a book awkwardly from cover to cover without cracking the spine, "dog-earing" a page, or laying it out, splayed openly to save my page. 

Well, I would accept the challenge this book offered, and so I began my journey.  It took me 2 days to figure out how to crack the spine the best way.  I suffered through writing the page numbers on each page, just so, as the book instructed.  I coloured a few pages, stepped on some, spilled coffee on others, and then, just 9 tasks in, I quit

I still don't know if I quit because I simply got bored, forgot, or because the challenge became too much.  I'm sure it was one of the first two options (as the last one seems a bit dramatic, even for me).

But today, in an effort to fulfill the mission of my blog, which is something about using books to gain a better understanding of myself and the world (and let's face it, pure entertainment value), I am vowing to finish wrecking this journal. A task a week until it's finished.  And as the book says, I will dedicate my journey "to perfectionists all over the world."

Taken from the introduction to Smith's Wreck This Journal