It’s time for “Know Me By My,” Journals edition!

Look closely. What do you see? An odd and mundane assortment of journals? Maybe less than what you might see if you opened them up and peeked inside, but you can gather a fair bit of knowledge from the covers. And besides, half of them are still empty, waiting for me to pluck them off the shelf and fill them with new worlds, strange characters, and dangerous schemes.

Journals

Let’s start with the crushed burgundy velvet journal. That was a long-ago romantic Christmas gift from a spouse. I still have the journal but not the spouse. The acid green book is swag from my new company. I’m sure they intended me to use it for work, but not much of what I do requires written notes. The journal next to it—the red one with a heart on it—was a gift from a dear friend and fellow Marine. It contains a log and photos of one of my road trips between California and Texas to see my kids, which I made several times while attending language school. My personal challenge was to make the trip in less than two days while finding the cheapest motels possible along the way (an E3 doesn’t make much . . .)

The colorful journal in the middle row is filled with early drafts, edit notes, and potential series ideas for the middle grade book I’m currently querying, Colossa and the Big Kids. I don’t remember where I picked it up. The lightly-used black and white composition book is recycled from my son’s college days. He no longer wanted it, so I claimed it as my own. I use this journal for short story ideas and notes on my ROYAL series. It’s very nearly full. The notebook next to it was salvaged from the local little free library just down the road. I like its spirit: the previous owner decorated it with pieces of an old road map. It contains my random thoughts (thus, the title on the cover), and it, too, is nearly at capacity.

The collection of baby journals splayed across the top and middle rows are writer’s essentials. I carry one of those little suckers with me everywhere. One is a party favor from my niece’s Bat Mitzvah while another is a freebie from the title company who handled our current mortgage. The baby journals are completely filled, so I’m now on the hunt for a new one.

My favorite journal in the bunch is also the oldest one I own: the one in the far top right. It started life as a basic composition book in the 90s. I wanted to feel more inspired when I opened it, so I covered it with the beautiful intro page of a fashion spread torn from a magazine, though I don’t remember which one (maybe Vogue or Elle.) “Romance For Rebels.” It suited my personality at the time, and I shared with it all of my tragi-love poetry and angsty musings.

Come back next month for KMBM: Mugs!