The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Featured Sites

As I visited each diarist’s site to add to the Links section, I came up with an idea:

I’d like to do a mini-interview with various participants about their sites and interests. Just five or six questions. There’s such wide range of interests here that I would love to give each participant who wishes it a bit of individual space, separate from the Journal entries.

I will visit sites in more depth over the coming weeks, and send each person a few questions. If you don’t wish to answer them, there’s no pressure.

I just thought it would be fun to share our sites.


Welcome to Participants!

Links to be updated to the right, as all the paperwork comes through. If you signed up, but don’t see your info, it’s because I don’t have both the letter of agreement and the contact info, stating the way you wish to be referred to on the site! I may have one or the other – as soon as I have both, I’ll add your links!

Originally, I was going to try to keep the links in alphabetical order, but I think that will end up being a raging bear to administrate, so I’m just linking them as everything comes through.

Thanks for your interest!

Thought Waves (Journal #1) is making the rounds backstage. In between shows, we had a photo shoot with one of our contributors, the fabulous Chelsea. Photos posted soon, and, perhaps, an excerpt from her entry.

I hope to the material to stitch the traveling cases next week. I’d like to send out the first journals toward the end of next week – just after the moon turns to new – instead of waiting until the full moon.

Let’s get these journals out on the road!

Thanks to everyone for your interest!


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The First Journals and The Letter of Agreement

I sent out the Letter of Agreement to those signed up. It sets out the expectations of the projects, and, also, the limitations. In order to protect myself from potential lawsuits, I had to add a paragraph or two that I would rather have not. But, I can’t put myself in a position where someone decides I’ve violated the law in the name of free expression (and, since the project is world-wide, the First Amendment only pertains to the US). So I had to put it in. It will be interesting to see if anyone drops out of the project because of it.

The photo shoot went well yesterday afternoon, but I still don’t have exactly what I want for the logo. I did make up simple business cards that will serve the purpose until the “perfect” logo is created.

As soon as the Letters of Agreement are returned, I can ask people to choose which Journal they want. Also, once the Letters are returned, I will add participants’ links to the side bar.

The Journals currently available are:

Journal #1 – Thought Waves
It is a basic 6 x 9 hardcover book, with a cover of retro waves in fuchsia, lime green, blue, red, and gray that reminds me of waves.
This book will start on the Broadway show on which I’m working this week. People at the show are quite excited about it.

Journal #2 – Fronds of Thought
This is a wire-bound journal. It has a black cover with a cut-out of a palm tree. The pages are a deep green, unlined.
This journal will start in Edinburgh, Scotland, with Colin Galbraith. You can visit his website here.

Journal #3 – Tranquility Taverna
This is another hard-backed journal, in beautiful shades of green, with Chinese characters for Tranquility, Clarity and Harmony on it.
The journal will start in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Journal #4 –
I’ve asked our Starting Diarist a few questions about the type of book that will best suit his purposes – it will travel with him to the UK in August. As soon as I’ve got more information, I will post it.

Thanks so much to all of the interested participants! Your enthusiasm and joy for the project is wonderful!


Interested in participating? Click here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Who Is This Person?

In case you want to know a bit more about me and why I started the project, here’s some info:

First and foremost, I am a writer. I publish under a half a dozen names, both fiction and non-fiction, in various genres. Devon Ellington Work has some of my credits. Ink in My Coffee is my blog on the ups and downs of the writing life. I’m in the process of transitioning out of a long-term career in the theatre while writing into writing full-time.

I’ve kept a diary since I was a small child. Diaries have always fascinated me, especially writers’ diaries and travel diaries. I’ve taught journal writing workshops throughout the world.

I find 1000 Journals fascinating. However, it’s filled up and it’s on such an enormous scale – I wanted to try something more intimate. The looks of the two sites are quite different, and the energy of the two projects is quite different.

I’ve toyed with similar ideas for years – I used to call it “Round Robin Journaling”. When I found out about the 1000 Journals project, I was so excited that someone was out there doing a project like this.

For awhile, I figured that because 1000 Journals were out there, I didn’t need to.

But, recently, the urge to create this project grew and grew and grew, until, just after this past full moon of Summer Solstice, the project birthed.

And I welcome anyone and everyone who wants to come along on this journey. It is an honour to collaborate with you.


Choosing Journals

I constantly see interesting and inspiring books – but who knew that the search for specific books for this project would get so involved? I hiked about quite a bit on Friday in search of just the right books.

Several times I spent as much as a half hour carting a volume around, but . . .it just didn’t feel right.

I finally purchased three volumes that “spoke” to me. They now have names, and, over the next couple of weeks, I will build them cloth traveling cases. Don’t worry – it will be a lightweight fabric so as not to drive up the postage costs! :)

The first recipients of the three primary volumes are all set, and a fourth person contacted me with a good idea and agreed to be a first recipient, so four volumes will go out in mid-July.

I will have a photo shoot today and/or tomorrow for the first three books. At best, I will figure out how to post the photos – at worst, I will at least put up verbal descriptions, so that those who have signed up can pick which one they’d like to receive (at least for now). On Wednesday, I have a photo shoot scheduled with one of the primary entrants here in New York – I’ll explain after the fact – it’s pretty funny!

Thank you to everyone who’s shown interest. I’m sending out contact forms as quickly as I can. The letter of agreement will go out in the next day or two.

I will have photos, a logo, etc. shortly, which I will post here.

And then we can start filling up the lists.

My two original concerns for the project seem to be moot points right now, and I hope they will stay that way. As a friend of mine suggested, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Stay tuned for more info.


Friday, June 24, 2005

How The Project Works

Over the next few months, I will accumulate 13 blank books of various types. Each book will be named.

Interested diarists can contact me and I will create a list for each journal. The journal will pass from person to person on the list for entries, eventually returning to me.

Initially, I will put 20 diarists on the list for each journal. As we get closer to the top, such as at Diarist #17 or so, I will check in. If there’s still plenty of room, I will add people to the list. If, earlier than that, it looks like the book is filling, the person will let me know and the remaining diarists will be put on a different list.

I will keep the list of contact information, which will not be made public. Each diarist will have the person’s information who sent the diarist the journal and the information for the person to whom the journal is sent next. If diarists choose to put an e-mail address on their entry, diarists can contact each other directly; otherwise, an e-mail can be sent to me here and I will forward the message. If the contributors to a particular journal want to form a more interactive group, they can contact me and I will set something up. “Something” means I haven’t yet figured out what yet, but I will! :) One step at a time.

Interested diarists will have to sign a letter of agreement for participation in the project. While I don’t want to pressure anyone or stifle creativity, I want serious participants. I want to avoid someone who signs up in the heat of the moment, but, upon receiving the journal, tosses it in a box and forgets about it.

Diarists are welcome to keep the journal for as short a time as a single day or as long as a month. I’d like to keep them moving, so please forward your journal within a month. Stay in contact with me to let me know when you send a journal and when you receive one, so I know it is safely moving from place to place. Diarists can make as few or as many entries as they wish during their time with the journal. Add sketches, photos, fabric swatches, et al. Please date each entry with the month, the day, and the year. Diarists are welcome to sign their entries with either their legal name or a name used for this project, and include an e-mail address.

Diarists are encouraged to e-mail excerpts of their own entries or responses to previous entries they’ve read at a separate address (I'm having trouble processing the address). I will post those entries on the blog, so that diarists and other interested readers can keep up with the process. No entries will be posted without permission of the author. I will also post the progress and any other journal-related news of interest. Photos of the diaries or the diarist working on an entry are also encouraged.

The first three diaries are expected to go out on or around next month’s Full Moon (July). When filled, they will return to me.

If you are interested, e-mail me here to request a place on the list. As soon as I acquire the first three volumes, I will post their names; feel free to request a specific journal.

Coming soon:
Brainstorming on two potential problems – I’m interested in your viewpoints.
The continuing life of the project once all the journals are completed.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Welcome and a Beginning

Welcome to The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project!

This project was inspired by the 1000 Journals Project. But, since every journal and journaling experience is completely different, this will have its own unique perspective and energy.

It was named because today is the day after the Summer Solstice Full Moon, and there are 13 Lunar months in a year. Since I did not want to even attempt to send a thousand, or even a hundred, journals out there, I decided to use the number 13.

Today’s post is an excited opening, an idea that’s been kicking around in my head and my heart for months. I finally decided to simply start it and let it fly.

I have to fly, however, metaphorically speaking, but I will post soon to let you know more information on this exciting project.

I hope you decide to join me!