Above: the April 25 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.Something always happens when I keep a fake journal, it starts to be a story of some sort. It Starts in the middle of things without a lot of background and lead up, but then something typically happens part way through the month. By the end of the month there is some sort of change has occurred or in process. Often there is a definite sort of end, actually written on the page, or implied by what is written on the page.
I enjoy this aspect of the fake journal. I think it is that Dickensian part in all of us that wants the world to be connected, coincidences meaningful and linked, an overview of understanding possible. I find that usually by April 15 I see where things are going and write a couple notes down to myself. I still go about letting things happen and drawing whatever comes up, but if I can get some of those points in the plan into the journal I feel pretty happy. That certainly happened this month. (One thing that popped into my mind about my journal's author was the knowledge that she had arrived in Minneapolis after loosing a working partner in Chicago, and this gets referred to a couple of times in her journal. This spread is one of those times.)
For other folks (and at least on one occasion for me) the point of the fake journal is in part to have even more chaos. To embrace the chaos of life, its randomness. The beauty in this approach is that people are getting a greater comfort level with the chaos in their own lives and it can be a month of ephiphanies about how they live their lives, what is truly valuable to them, and how they might want to journal in the future.
However you embrace the fake journal I hope you find new methods and approaches to incorporate in your regular journaling.
The text on the above page spread follows.
Across the top of the page
taller space but legs all hiddenRecto (top)
09.04.25 4 P.m. Bald Eagle!! On an old lampost on the edge of the old freeway 94 visible just outside the compound. I was told as a child these were extinct. I never thought I would see one—almost didn't catch it but it turned its head at the exact moment a ray of sunlight hit it—brilliant, unmistakable, incredibly large! Even Lou was excited!Across the base of the spread:
Chuck collapsed last night and is in the infirmary—at least we have one. It was hard watching Gordie ill and dying in Chicago with no medical help—except me, "the first responder." It's how I got assigned to the field in the first place—first responder status.
The med tech—Joe—doesn't know what's up with Chuck. A doctor will arrive tomorrow—high fever, stiffness. It's serious. I'm scared. I keep thinking "he's strong," but I've seen that doesn't matter much ultimately.
Everyone is treating me like a pariah, but Lou suggested Fleck and I come along with his team today—crows and songbirds at Witch's Hat. Afterwards he sat with me while I sketched outside the compound. He seems to know I have to keep busy.
I'd love to get on the old highway—with my bike, glide down the empty spaces. Trouble is the freeze thaw cycle has left them full of potholes + cracks. And then Chuck gave me a lecture when we got the bikes about problems with sniper fire from scavengers wanting our gear.