Thursday, April 30, 2009


Do you know the Flickr tag SOOC? It means straight out of the camera. SOOC indicates an unmanipulated image. Isn't it amazing that in a handful of years that distinction has become important? Well. All my pictures are straight out of the camera. At least until I learn Photoshop Elements, which is one of my summer projects.

This post is something different. My own version of SOOC.

You see, I am a keeper of journals. I probably have more than 40 journals in plastic storage bins under our bed. I still have each journal I've written except the one gone missing in a stolen purse. Don't you know, I still long for that little notebook.

The first journal entry (I called it a diary back then.) I ever made was on January 1, 1980. The diary was a Christmas present. A treasure in hunter green leatherette with a gold clasp and tiny key. I was 9 years old and I couldn't wait for New Year's Day so I could write an entry in my pre-dated diary. It never occurred to me to do anything but write on the page that the date provided. I remember years of trying to squeeze my stories into the few lines provided for a particular day. I have no idea how old I was before I finally said to heck with that and began doing what I wanted to with my own diaries.
Anyway. We experienced an earthquake that day. Mid-morning, New Year's Day, 1980. At the epicenter, the quake registered 8.2 on the Richter scale. At the time, we lived on Tecera Island in the Azores, many ocean miles from the epicenter, but the earthquake still did quite a bit of damage to the island. Let me tell you, a major earthquake = a major life event. Wanna know what I wrote in my diary?

We had an earthquake today. How exciting! Green beans for dinner. YUCK!

So not kidding. My journaling skills have grown a bit since that day nearly 30 years ago. (Oh my. How can I have lived long enough to remember something thirty years ago??) My journals are a melange of... well. Of me. Here. I'll flip through and show you. My last journal was handmade in Nepal with a graphic black and cream cover and rag paper. In the first twelve pages I have:
~ written in four different ink colors
~ glued in three magazine snippets
~ drawn four doodles
~ tucked in one note from Jeffrey,
~ given Sloane a page to doodle on
~ written a list of Evocative Words and Phrases
~listed Ten Things I Would Like To Do Every Day
~ written a movie review
~ listed 6 books I perused at Borders complete with notes like "library, don't buy" and "Blech!"
~ noted three websites to visit
~ wrote three separate To Do lists
All that and some meandering rambles through my brain in loosely arranged paragraphs. I love to journal. Love it! I carry a journal and pen absolutely everywhere I go. Actually, I always carry a journal, at least three pens, a book, and my camera. But, that's another story.
This post is about SOOJ. Or, it was going to be before I waxed rhapsodic about journaling. From time to time on my blog I plan to post something straight out of the journal. Unedited, unchanged. See? SOOJ.

Come back tomorrow for my first SOOJ post, won't y0u? I think you'll like it. I do. Happy Friday.

I took the first two photographs. The last image is a journal entry by Jo36, journal artist extraordinaire. Click here for a wonderful post about journaling.


Mrs. E said...

We are SUCH kindred spirits!! I have been keeping a journal for years. My grandmother's journals are in my Dad's possession--about 40 years worth from the 1940's through 1988 when she died. I have such an appreciation for putting your thoughts on paper. Journals used to be a huge part of my classroom, but for the last 5 years or so, I haven't done them. I have been feeling the urge to add them back into my classroom. HS kids need the outlet! You've given me an idea for a post. LOVE your blog! I stalk you. Thanks for not caring! : )

spread your wings said...

i can imagine your journals are works of art in many different ways. i can't wait for you to share.
My mom still has her journals from her teenage years AND she also has HER mother's journals from the 1920s . They are a real treasure. It's very interesting to read what life was like way back (stories of when my grandmother was dating my grandfather).
T keeps some semblance of a journal in her drawing notebook- the pages are quite interesting.
can't wait to see what you share with us!

Southern Drawl said...

Relyn, We have home-schooled for the last 14 years and journaling plays a big part in our studies. It has been most rewarding. To this day even the older ones still love to write.

Derrick said...

Hi Relyn,

Isn't it strange. I have never kept a diary or journal! Probably because, once upon a time, I didn't consider my thoughts to be worth recording. And then one never develops the habit. The boring, practical side of me would also think about having to keep/save them all somewhere! But now, I could look upon my blog as a sort of journal - not that it contains my innermost thoughts!!

Jeanne said...

Love you my sweet friend
Love all you share
love YOU



beth said...

I love this...SOOJ idea....and your purse/bag must look just like mine....ALWAYS a journal, a few pens, a book and a few note cards...and a few friends and family members that are like, "huh", what for?"

elk said...

wonderful anticipation ...i admire you and your writing so much and look forward to the entries

Patti said...

Yup- Kindred Spirits too...I LOVE journals. I am very sporadic with writing in them, but one goes with me (along with my camera) wherever I go. I have been writing since I was about 8 or 9 and can not find my little red diary (with the key). It has chronicles of my 8th grade year which was one of my best (lol) and I would love to re-locate it! Art journaling is one of my goals for this summer. Anyway- what a fun idea!!!! Can't wait to see what you said... Also- thanks for the kind comment- always love and appreciate a visit from YOU!

Joanne said...

What a wonderful idea. I love your earthquake journal entry - oh to be 9 and have an earthquake be just a mere part of the day. Your journals do sound like a work of art, and I'm looking forward to seeing your journal genre!

amy said...

For whatever reason, I haven't been able to hold on to my journals. Too much whining--I like to let it go.

I'm trying to change that by being more creative with my journaling rather than just keeping a diary of complaints and sorrows and worries.

Thank you for sharing these beautiful images from your journals!

interesting coincidence: the word verification for this comment is "cryingso"--perhaps I would be more tempted to keep my journals if I didn't "cry so" in them!

sallymandy said...

Oh, scary, about the earthquake! But I love what you wrote about it. It's fascinating that you lived in the Azores.

I'm so behind the times with the acronyms that folks use online. I don't even understand "DH" and "DD." I mean, I gather those are about a husband and a daughter, but what does the "D" mean? Darling? Dear?

Anyway, thanks for sharing your SOOJ memories. Nice, lovely as always.

Char said...

a great turn on the SOOC subject. it's so difficult in this changing world to see all the changes we have gone through....until you look at something like this. I hate to admit I destroyed my old journals as there were some dark times in my life that I never wanted to see the light of day again.

~ ennui ~ said...

Love your doodling! I'm excited for you about learning Photoshop- Your obviously a very creative person and this will be just another outlet for you. Your going to love it!

maddie said...

i love little peeks into

they are such a gust of
the person who scribbles those
secret thoughts

going back into mine
(especially the teenage years)
are quite funny and tender
and entirely overly emotional

i love that)

is that a page from yours?

at the bottom?

beautiful illustrations....:)

Jeanie said...

For ever so many years, I too, kept a written journal. It's something I started as a kid and never stopped. Well, till I was much older. Now The Marmelade Gypsy and my poetry books for Rick are my journals.

I've always kept them, though. (Have I ever done something like that I didn't throw away? Note to self: Work on clutter.) They were in cardboard boxes in the basement -- the story of loves lost, grieving family deaths, love found, angst, joy, anger, exuberance. But about eight years ago, a neighborhood sewer back-up destroyed anything on the floor that wasn't in plastic. Tossing those was the hardest thing I had to do. I still have a few. And still can't resist an artist-designed journal or one of lush paper. But sometimes I wonder if my thoughts and doodles are worthy of such beauty.

Maybe they are...

Jaime said...

My aunt gave me my very first journal when I was 10. I loved that thing! But over the years, I have become less and less disciplined. I will find a beautiful journal, and have the best intentions, but rarely do I reach the last pages...rarely do I even come close!
But I have other little I put my favourite quotes in, one is a gratitude journal, and another is a book to put inspiring photographic ideas in. So I guess, in my own quirky ways, I do journal.
What a lovely idea...SOOJ.
I wonder what you will share with us?

TheChicGeek said...

You are an artist, Relyn :D
I have wanted to start an art journal for a long time but haven't felt it would be pretty enough. Maybe I should just begin and it will improve over time. You've inspired me!
Thank You!

A.T.Raghu Nandan said...

hey, u've got a nice and interesting blog. congrats for the book and for happy to see some nice photos and good writing...

enjoy life as it unfolds :-)

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Such a lovely idea and can't wait to see some of those SOOJ's! BTW, I just awarded you the One Lovely Blog award (which you've most likely received before)! Stop by anytime to pick it up. You were my very first blogging friend and it seems so fitting you should receive my very first award. Not to mention your sweetness is the love-liest of them all!
Cheers to you,

SE'LAH... said...

The only journal I ever wrote was a Pregnancy Journal...I knew right away that it was "one and done" for me. It remains unfinished as she was born premature. We sometimes sit and read it together. I'll pass it on to her one day.

And now, I have a blog. ;-)

Jerusalem said...

I had NO idea about SOOC. Will have to use that for sure! And props to you for your wonderful journaling skills. I have slacked off since blogging. But I still play at it from time to time.

Miko's Girl said...

I used to an ardent journaler as a child/teen. I would journal my thoughts, and lists of quotable quotes. I gave it up in my late twenties - and trashed my journals. I think my blog is my current journal.

Jessica said...

This is a fabulous idea. I was cleaning out the other day and came across journals that I kept with my best friend in middle school. We used to write back and forth to eachother between classes. It was so fun to relive those days.

Suvarna said...

What a wonderful idea, I have often kept jounals but most of them are only half filled, I write in spits and spurts. Your doodles are divine, looking forward to more ....

dutchbaby said...

This is a fantastic idea. I was given a blank book the first time I went on a cruise. Now I carry a travel journal with me most every time I travel. Like you, I started out simple and then my entries became more and more elaborate. I've come full circle though. The idea of creating elaborate journal entries became too daunting, so now I try to go back to those early simple entries.

SOOJ is a great concept!

Wendy said...

Yay for journaling! I keep a traditional journal (straight writing) because I find it hard to take time to do more than that. Well, and if my kids see glue they will make me share. :)

I read an article one time about a woman and her grandson who go out every Sunday morning for breakfast and they have a cafe breakfast and sit and journal. That's a tradition I'm anxious to start with my kids!

Oldies, but Goodies