The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Journal Images Re-posted

I wanted to re-post the images of available journals for our newest members -- so they get an idea of their choices!

More interviews and updates soon!

Journal #1 -- Thought Waves

Journal #2 -- Fronds of Thought

Journal # 3 -- Tranquility Taverna

Journal #4 -- Roads of Inspiration

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Featured Diarist: Brooke Sikula

Brooke Sikula, one of our diarists for Tranquility Taverna, spends some time with us today:

1. How did a year in Madrid change your perspective on life?

How didn’t a year in Madrid change my perspective on life? Living abroad for a year gave me a much broader perspective on the world. Through my travels to Madrid and elsewhere, I think I’ve been able to burst the American bubble we all grow up in. More importantly, I learned a great deal about myself and [I think] I have become a more understanding person by learning and living immersed in a very unique culture.

2. Did you study a specific period of history, or was it a more general overview? Do you have one particular period that draws you the most strongly?

Due to spending my last year of college in Spain, I focused a lot on Spanish history. This was purely circumstantial – my true love is modern history from the 1900’s to present day. Two topics of particular interest to me in college were the genocide in Rwanda and the Spanish press during Franco’s regime. I think my interest in history has also nurtured my interest in politics because of the direct correlation to modern day history.

3. What is the hardest aspect of writing an SEO article?

The hardest part of writing any type of article or piece is to edit my own work. I find I really have to sit down and focus on correcting and fixing errors instead of becoming emotionally attached to my original words. The good news is that editing becomes easier for me with every project I do.

4. Has writing about parenting changed your perspective on both writing and parenting, and, if so, how?

I don’t think I’ve written enough about parenting to change my perspective on writing or parenting. The true challenge is to change my website so it’s up to date enough to reflect more current projects and interests! However, I will say that being a parent has changed my perspective on the importance of parenting. I began freelance writing so I could stay at home with my son. I can’t imagine having to send him to daycare and know that I am blessed with the ability and fortitude to be able to run my own home based business.

5. If you could take one fully funded year off, what would you do?

This is a topic of discussion from time to time in my household. My husband and I want to travel to Asia, probably China, and live for about 10 months or so either with or in close contact to a native Chinese family. After that we would spend the last two months sightseeing in countries we’d like to visit. This would probably include Australia, Thailand, Eastern Europe, Japan and Russia.

Thank you, Brooke!

Visit her website at:

Want to participate in this project? Email me here.
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Thursday, August 18, 2005


Eileen sent me some sketches from Tranquility Taverna; for some reason, I’m having problems loading them. As soon as it’s fixed, they’ll be up.

In the meantime, here are two additional links that you may find of interest:

A Passion for Peace
This site offers a “Write a Piece for Peace” Challenge for 2005. I’m definitely going to do it.

The site looks terrific, and there are interesting and challenging links on it. Definitely worth a visit.

Inspired to Journal
Is another excellent site. I found them while surfing, and we’ve agreed to exchange links. There are articles and resources for people interested in the journal process. It’s a beautifully set up site with great information.

Want to participate in this project? Email me here.
Want to submit an entry from one of the journals? Email me here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Featured Diarist: Brenda Williamson

Brenda generously shares her views and opinions with us:

1. Your book, Indigo Winds, will be published in 2006 as part of The Seven Deadly Sins and Virtues series. Would you talk a bit about the project, the authors, your interaction? Are all your characters within a specific world? How does that work?

The project was created by the publisher of eXtasy Books. It's a series containing 14 books, one each of 7 sins, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, sloth, & pride. And then there is the 7 virtues; humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, liberality, & diligence.

I'd list the authors, but sometimes things change so until the series is completed I can't give the names yet. Since each book is loosely based on the theme, there is no necessary interaction between the writers, but we all talk about our work on the publishers private authors loop. Everyone’s story is of their choosing and can be as varied as a ghost romance, to a vampire, to something like mine, a pirate tale.

2. What was the inspiration for Dangerous Desires, your serialized vampire romance?

No inspiration, just a plan to write a historical with a vampire. I write by the seat of my pants so I've no clue as to how a story will go from start to finish. As for Dangerous Desires, it was completed for a full length novel which needed editing so decided to adapt it for Keep It Coming.

3. Why do you think Gothic romances still hold so much appeal?

Because everyone likes mystery. Gothics use to be Victorian and more ghostly. Today's gothics can be contemporary, have fantasy, and werewolves. But what makes them likable is the often dark, eeriness in them.

4. How does your blog help define your work, if at all?

My blog is a start of something, but I haven't figured that one out as of yet.

For Romance Readers & Writers you're invited to join:

Or visit her website:

And check out her KIC serial:

Want to participate in this project? Email me here.
Want to post an entry from one of the journals? Email me here.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Entry: Julie Failla Earhart

Julie, one of our diarists for Fronds of Thought, shares this photo with us:

Thank you! It's nice to meet you!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Featured Diarist: patgalca

Patgalca, one of our diarists for Thought Waves, has a few words for us:

1. What draws you to writing in a diary?

Sometimes it is therapy for me. If I am sad or angry, it helps to get my thoughts down in writing. It's kind of a release. I also like to keep an account of what's going on in life to look back on later or for future generations.

2. Are you a life-long diarist or is it something that came along in

I took Creative Writing in Grade 10 in high school. Keeping a journal was a must for the course. I started then and haven't stopped. Well, perhaps I did stop for awhile because of time (raising a child on my own and working). Kind of wish I had those years written down now.

3. Do you read published journals and diariest? If so, which are your

No, not really. Does Bridget Jones' Diary count? LOL!

4. How do you think journals can enhance or impact readers’ understanding
of history?

I think if my children were to read what I went through as a teenager or young adult, it might help them to understand some things are a part of life or, boy she had it worse than me. LOL!

5. What other interests and activities that you enjoy will you share with

Writing and reading are my top interests. I used to bowl but had to stop when I became ill. If I could I would start again.

Thank you, patgalca!

Want to participate? Email me here.
Want to post an entry? Email me here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Journal Entry -- Fronds of Thought

Colin Galbraith wrote this poem especially for the journal:

Fronds of Thought

I feel it grow
inside my spine

stretch into my mind
inspiration flooding

branching out
in misty corners

leaves touching
hidden points

fronds fondling
patches of contemplation

destined to awake
reveal the depths

my inner mind
my heart and soul

in black
and white

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Featured Diarist: Michelle Miles

Michelle, one of our diarists on Fronds of Thought, shares some of her ideas and opinions with us:

1. What draws you the most strongly about writing romantic fantasy?

I love creating worlds and painting a picture of a place that doesn’t exist (although in my mind, it DOES exist). I’ve always had my head in the clouds and I’ve always wanted to live in a place where magic is possible. I try to steer clear of the typical fantasy elements in my fiction because I feel like they’ve been done to death. So I strive to create a vivid world full of fantastical things the reader can get lost in. I use a lot of magic, but never vampires or werewolves (I think they’re overdone).

Plus, I think there is a serious lack of romantic fantasy fiction in the marketplace. I always long to read a wonderful fantasy book with the romantic elements, where the hero and heroine fall in love. But those books are few and far between. That’s why I decided to write my own.

2. Do you feel genre lines are blurring a bit as people widen their interests, and do you think publishers should address that by loosening the often-restrictive guidelines? Do you think the guidelines can cause cookie-cutter type fiction?

Tough one!

I do think genres are starting to blur – especially with paranormals and time travels so big right now. Not to mention chick lit. I’ve read the chatter on the loops regarding what editors want (since the RWA National conference has just ended), and they want chick lit that crosses genres – paranormal chick lit; time travel chick lit, etc. – and the same goes for any other genre. Cross-overs are big and they want “high concept” ideas, too.

Editors are busy people and I think it makes sense to have the guidelines in place, but I also think there are exceptions to every rule and they are made to be broken. I think if you can tell a good story in a unique and interesting way, you can sell it. Every editor is looking for something different, something that grabs them, something with a different twist. It’s just getting past the slush that’s the trick. You have to be lucky and talented.

Cookie-cutter fiction – yes, I suppose there is that. Editors know what will sell and what won’t. They’ll stick to a concept they know will make them some money. Very rarely do they test the waters with something new. The market is flooded with Scottish paranormals, for example (don’t get me wrong, I love a good Scottish romp), but rarely do you see a good fantasy romance combining a great love story with a fantasy setting.

3. What have you found to be the upside to blogging? And, on the other hand, the downside?

The upside – Not only do I enjoy it, but I find it keeps me on track with my goals. I can write out what I want to accomplish via the blog, plus I keep the “word meter” on there so I can see my progress of the current WIP. It’s a good creative outlet for me and it keeps me motivated.

The downside – I spend too much time blogging! LOL Plus I like to tinker, so I’ll mess with the code on the blog until I get it just right (and I’m addicted to other writer’s blogs!).

4. Tell us a bit about Fiona Judd, and how you decide which “voice” tells the story -- Michelle or Fiona. Where did “Fiona” come from?

I love historicals. I had tried to write them before, years ago, and gave up. I would get stalled because I didn’t know some historical detail – clothes, hair, medicine, whatever. I gave up. But when I started writing the adventure serial (which is a time travel), I figured out how to write historical and what works for me. I find an event to “center” the story on and build from there. I decided to start a new medieval, but I wanted to keep it separate from the fantasy writing. Fiona Judd was born. Fiona Judd writes the historicals and Michelle Miles writes the fantasy.

I got the name Fiona from that silly Irish name generator on Blogthings. LOL I liked and have always liked it and kept rolling it around in my mind. The name Judd just popped into my head and it seemed to fit with Fiona, so I kept it. I knew then I could write under two different genres, using two distinct names. Sort of like JD Robb/Nora Roberts and Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley McGregor. When readers pick up a book written by Michelle Miles, they’ll know it’s a fantasy; when they pick up a book by Fiona Judd, they’ll know it’s an historical (I dream big, don’t I?).

5. How do you find your graphic skills enhance the writing, and how does the writing enhance the creation of the graphics?

Funny you should ask! Don’t tell anyone, but I create my own cover art when I start a new WIP. (grin) It gives me a visual sense of the story. I always look for some picture to keep the idea spark alive. Sometimes I’ll print it and keep it nearby when I’m writing. Other times I just save the graphic and refer to it occasionally. I wrote this morbid short story once called "Masquerade" and made this collage of masks to go along with the story. I loved that graphic. Other times, a graphic will spark the creativity and I can write from that. It’s just another creative outlet for me. But even when I’m creating graphics, I always think about the writing.

Visit Michelle Miles at
Her website:
Her blog, Ye Olde Inkwell:
As Fiona Judd:
Her action/adventure serial, The Adventures of Ransom and Fortune:
Her romance serial, Scars of Yesterday:

Want to participate? Email me here.
Want to post an entry? Email me here.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Featured Diarist: Angela Giles Klocke

Angela Giles Klocke, one of the Thought Waves diarists, kindly granted us this mini-interview:

1. You do a lot of work with teens (Bartow Teen Connection, One YoungParent). What drew you to this and how did it become part of yourlife’s path?

I am a former teen mom, so I know how it feels to be so alone at sucha trying time. When no one understands how you feel and what you're going through, it just makes everything that much harder. I knew whenI could reach a good place in my life, I would start something to help those in my old shoes. Working with teens is the best, in my opinion. It's HARD to be a teen, frankly...caught between childhood and adulthood. And the issues flying at teens these days...scary. But I relate so well, it just makes sense, even if I'm 11 years past that time in my own life. I have a teen son, as well. There's a fine balance between being ateen's friend and being the adult, but so far, I've been doing OK, and my work just grows and gets better. I look forward to it each day.

2. Would you talk a bit about blogging for charity?

Blogathon is a 24-hour blogging event to raise money for each blogger's charity of choice. I chose a local group, the fosterchildren of Bartow County, as my charity this year, and I hope to raise more money than last year. I'll be writing for 24 hours, beginning August 6 at 9 a.m. eastern, and people can sponsor me for flat donations. All monies pledged are sent directly to the Bartow County Foster Care Silent Santa program, never to me.

3. You mentioned that you collect and adore cow-themed items. What are some of your favorites? What are some of your most unusual?

My favorite cow items are my soft cuddlies and a Mary Moo teacher knick-knack an online friend sent me once. The most unusual cow I have is probably one that, well, kind of poops jelly beans. It was a gag gift from another friend, but it's so funny. And ick. So ick it'sfunny!

4. What are some of your ideas on ways people can make a positive impact in their communities and surroundings?

Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! Open your paper. Someone needs you. Schools need adult mentors. Shelters need mentors. I currently mentor at the children's shelter. It's an awesome experience. I also volunteer, of course, with the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force and Teen Leadership Team, and the work we've done has been wonderful. You don't try to save the world; you simply try to help one at a time.

5. On a down day, what is your favorite re-motivator?

I've reached a point where I allow myself the chance to feel down without guilt. As long as I don't stay down for too long. To re-motivate myself, I get active. It's easy to sit and wallow. But getting active when you're down is very hard, yet it's the thing to doto get going. And by active, I mean, get to the shelter to mentor, o rcall a friend to encourage her, or spend time with my family.

Visit Angela Giles Klocke at

and check out the Blogathon:

Sponsor Me!
Total Raised: $176

Want to participate in The Thirteen Traveling Journals project? E-mail me here.
Want to post an entry from one of the journals? E-mail me here.