Monday, August 11, 2008

Accomplishment #1: Create a Journal (#3)

And so it begins!

Okay, so I'm cheating a bit on this one. Just a bit. I've had many journals -- but I've never had a finished journal. (I even have a livejournal that I never update.)

But I have always loved the idea of a journal. After all, I've always wanted to be a writer, so therefore I should be journaling my daily experiences, even when I think they're stupid. Because when I read back on them, I am astonished by my remarkable insight, my clever wordplay, and extreme and noteworthy talent. Not to mention my creative spelling.

For example, here is my TRAVEL journal from fourth grade:
Junk for the blog

My parents took my older sisters and me to Hawaii for a week, so Mrs. Jones, my fourth grade teacher with a tight poodle perm and piggy nose, assigned me to write a journal all about my adventures. I was very diligent at first:

Junk for the blog

I like how I declare that "Hawaii is no different than Alamo really but it's on islands." And then a few sentences later I report that we saw all the sugar canes. Okay, I highly doubt that I saw ALL the sugar canes. And Alamo is the town where I grew up, and there are no sugar canes there. I can say with certainty that Alamo and Kauai are, in fact, very different.

But then I go on to have more adventures:
Junk for the blog

Obviously it was time to dazzle my audience with my cursive skills.

"Boy, is is super!" Notice how I was obsessed with bars, even back then. And always the victim, as my hamburger, apparently, was the only burnt hamburger on the island. I bet I sulked. In fact, I'm sure of it.

I may have actually finished this journal, as it ends with us checking out, though I forgot to put a period on the end of the sentence. But I lacked a finale. No quiet reflection on the plane all about how I had to eat poi, got a third degree sunburn with blisters, got sucked down by the undertow, jumped into the pool and landed on my nose and ripped the skin off... it was the best vacation EVER!

I didn't attempt a journal again until 1981, when I got this beauty:

Junk for the blog

I probably bought this for myself, as I loved Hello Kitty. I had a Hello Kitty address book, My Melody and Little Twin Star stamp sets, Patty & Jimmy toothbrush, and all sorts of smelly little markers and pencils and erasers that no fingers belonging to anyone over the age of two months can hold. LOVED them.

At that time, I was also on a big Anne Frank kick, along with YA novels about tragic female heroines who had cancer or polio and leg braces, written in diary format. I looooved those, even more than erasers that smelled like bubble gum. And I wanted to be just. Like. Them. I was hell-bent on writing my own diary, filling the pages that someday would be discovered in the secret annex of my bedroom, heralding my life as an aspiring young writer.

Junk for the blog

Convinced that I was going to fill the 500 pages, I wrote in tiny handwriting in pencil. And not only do I love the horrifically embarrassing warning about reading my horrifically embarrassing two diary entries, I even DREW A PENCIL -- you know, to ILLUSTRATE what I was all about. And all I was about was pants with parrots on the butt, candy, bubble-gum ice cream, and my thinly veiled attempt to convey my absolute hatred (while trying to sound, like, wronged) for Jenifer Laffoon who lived down the street and in the same carpool. And then all I say is, "Horrible report card." I'd like to hear more about THAT.

Kudos to me for writing again, just a day later:

Junk for the blog

And there I go, channeling my inner Anne Frank. I swear to God. The more tragic I figured my life was, the closer to heaven and Anne Frank I'd be. I probably wrote that and went and ate a bunch of Doritos and watched "Electro Woman and Dyna Girl." And for chrissake, the next day was my BIRTHDAY, and I know I had a party where I got a baseball tee shirt with a sparkly Pegasus decal on it. The Nazis were not about to bang on my door, nor was I going to be spending the summer in an iron lung. And a year later even I could recognize how pukey I was, even if it was scrawled in fury with a pen that ran out of ink. Given the time period and my love for them back then, I bet they were those erasable ones. They always stopped writing.

And so did I, but resumed a year later:
Junk for the blog

Already showing a glimmer of who I am today; I had found my VOICE. I like that I am 12 and I say, "Today was horibly stupid" and use the word "crap," which I still do on a daily basis. And then a few sentences later declare that "G.G.'"(for the record, Greg Gonzalez, the friend of my friend's older brother, whom I just stared at) is a babe. All the while seething with hate for my mother, who probably told me to stop eating so much candy and do homework or something.

Yep, this diary heralds the life on an aspiring young writer, all right. The hopes, dreams, aspirations, love of ice cream and hatred of my fellow carpooler of a future Pulitzer prize winner. And that's all there is, really.

Except for practicing my autograph:

Junk for the blog

But unlike this Hello Kitty mess and more forlorn livejournal, I am going to finish this blog. One down, 96 to go!

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