Welcome to International Fake Journal Month 2013!

What is IFJM?
Please read the page "What Is IFJM" for details.
Learn the difference between Faux, Fake, and Fake Historical Journals.

Contests for 2018
Currently there are no contests planned for 2018. Check the side bar "Contests for 2017" to see if this changes.

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2018 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 6. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2017 appear lower in the same column. Please pay them a visit and check out their fake journals.

View a Couple of Roz's Past Fake Journals
Roz's 2009 fake journal takes place in an alternate Twin Cites, where disease has killed the human and bird populations. (It ends up being an upbeat tale of friendship.) Watch a video flip through of Roz's 2009 fake journal here.

Read an explanation of Roz's insanely complex 2011 fake journal.

Tips on Keeping a Fake Journal
Click on "tips" in the category cloud.

Remember, "Life's so short, why live only one?"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 2 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal—And a Bit about Narrative Flow

Above: Day two in my 2012 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. (Notice the shadows on the chimney and sky details as well as the time and window in the image's caption; it isn't the same image as yesterday.)

This is the second day's entry in my 2012 fake journal, April 2. A transcript of the text follows. The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The pencil used in the drawing is a Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watersoluble Colored Pencil and the sky is rendered with gouache.

April 2, 2012 4:30 p.
Pauly just left. I've been nauseated all day. Samantha Burglund showed up today. It has been awhile. "Just checking in." We did a little dance around the elephant in the room. She's already decided on what she wants so any contributions I make are beside the point. It seems a backwards way of doing business. It's not a result of long years in the governmental sector—my father had lots of friends among government officials and none were quite like her. It's a personality trait reinforced by life experiences. I tried to comply and listen. But mostly it seems I'm just watching her dig a deeper and deeper hole for herself as she talks. I don't roll my eyes. I keep my face neutral—knowing that will make the meeting shorter. As if responding to some unseen, but triggered panic button Pauly shows up, all smiles and hardly a hint of formality. Samantha cut short her visit. Pauly has no news, just good cheer and some Sebastian Joe's chocolate chip ice cream. I haven't had it in so long I didn't even know they still made it! He left without wanting to share any. I'll save it for dinner.
[Image caption] April 2, 2012 12:20 p. window #3 Cement patches handled better yesterday…but today some clouds. Too bright to look out any of the windows on the south side.

Narrative Thread?

The other day I was talking with an artist friend about IFJM. I explained quickly how being out on a bike ride had helped me clear my mind about my character. I knew where things were going, how things would end up.

"Is it always then about a narrative for you?" She asked.

"Yes, in some way, though I don't know all the points of the narrative until each day unfolds. But there is some sort of over arching flow to the entire thing."

Even when I write as someone who can't talk any longer (as I did in 2010) there is a narrative thread of which I am conscious. It's part of the full game that I allow myself to play during the month. In a way it also helps parcel out the tidbits of information each day, because otherwise I would simply sit down and fill the book up in two days. (That sort of defeats the purpose of the project after all.)

Do you have to approach this as a narrative? And as a narrative does it have to have a beginning (even if you begin in the middle as I suggest), middle, and end? Does there have to be meaning to any of this?

No, there just has to be you, sitting down and putting on the mindset of the character who is keeping the journal; writing and drawing in his or her voice; in that moment in which you sit down, on that day.

What you can ask yourself, as your project goes along, is how important is narrative flow to you? And as your project develops you can ask yourself whether or not some narrative thread has snuck into your process.

The point of IFJM is to learn something about yourself. What matters to you will show up on your pages—you can count on it. Sometimes its very absence is the screaming presence you can't ignore. The great thing about a little self-reflection towards your fake journal is that you can take action in your real life.


Miss T said...

Roz, I do approach my fake journal with an eye towards narrative. This year, my character is trapped and constrained in ways that limit what she can do and how much she can say about things, but that's the challenge: making the narrative come through anyway. This one's hard!

journalrat said...

Miss T, keep at it. When they can't talk we can often learn more.

Joan T said...

Your words always flow so smoothly. I enjoy seeing where your story goes.

journalrat said...

Thanks Joan, you're very kind. I'm interested to see where this goes as well. (though I have more than a bit of an idea of who's writing which I'm not discussing yet.)

I hope your project is going well!