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

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2017 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 5. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2016 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?"


Monday, April 30, 2012

April 21 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal




Above: April 21 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 21, 2012 10:05 p.
I have been sorting my books. When was I home long enough to accumlate all these boks? What is best done with them now? They form a library of min interests—ideas I devoured because of curiostiy or sometimes pique. Some books stand as reminders of my succubus days. The essential attraction of the adored they represent is forgotten. All that's left is this or that row of books—their essential interests…which for a time were mine. My life and mind mirror this library. There are reflections clear and dazzling of me, shelved with the contradictions I railed against and discarded. Collections are a dangerous tell.
[Image caption] April 21, 2012 6:55 p.  window #1 a break in the grey sky showed brilliant white clouds above…but mostly it was dark grey whispy [sic] clouds over lighter grey…

The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sky is rendered with gouache.



Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 20 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal




Above: April 20 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 20, 2012 9:10 p.
Today I asked Kelsey to focus this week on vision. I had suggested several weeks ago that she read Aldous Huxley's "The Art of Seeing." But now I want her to pay close attention to "unconscious vision"—not just the rapid reflex of sensing danger…which one should always cultivate. Nor the type Huxley describes as exhibited by "the man who threads his way through traffic…He has no distinct conscious awareness of objects around him, and yet his body behaves as though he were aware." that too is an essential skill to cultivate. But I want her instead to focus on the "most normal" kind—"all those parts of the sense field which we do not select for purpose of perception." In this way she will develope [sic] her editing eye. She has no awareness yet of how this relates to what she wants to say in her art. She remains vague, fuzzy and trite. 
[Image caption] April 20, 2012 3:57 p.  window #12 looking southwest. The cheap blue pigment bled up into my lovely cloud.

The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sky is rendered with gouache.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 19 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal




Above: April 19 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
[Image caption] April 19, 2012 3:48 p.  window #12 looking straight out to where my lilacs have bloomed, reaching high over the fence and the neighbor's dead tree, which she chops at but never removes, pleads for mercy on the other side. Grey, grey day—crap blue paint still on the palette. Migraine.

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.



Friday, April 27, 2012

April 18 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal


Above: April 18 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 18, 2012 10 p.
I am ever grateful for my seemingly infinite capacity to entertain myself—anything and everything can interest me. I can study a rock for hours and not only enjoy its surface and its science but find myself hours later still wondering what role it played in history and who trod on it.
Coupled with my tolerance for routine it has been easy to rack up more hours on the indoor bicycle. It doesn't shift the same as my outdoor bike and the trainer's resistence [sic] wheel is not the same as road drag—but my hands are grateful to be spared the road noise. I continue to pedal furiously, going nowhere.
[Image caption] April 18, 2012 2:18 p.  window #3

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.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 17 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal


Above: April 17 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
[Quotation from Kevin Smith's Book, readable in jpg.]
Kevin Smith in "Tough Sh*t" p. 89 a bit of a confused point about being in the game of life with passion and quitting on one's own terms. But one always has to know where the puck is going to be. I am enjoying this book.
[Image caption] April 17, 2012 11:50 p.  window #12 outside the porch looking southeast.

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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 16 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal



Above: April 16 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 16, 2012 4:30 p. 
Busy day so far for visitors. Samantha stopped by to check on me. She looked very sour when she surveyed the damage, limited as it was. The appliance guy overlapped her visit. Everything is OK and no actual damage. I don't even need a new stove. I do on the other hand need a new pot. Pauly brought one by when he stopped in to have me sign some papers. He was full of last Thursday's news of the recovered Cezanne, stolen in 2008, Boy in a red vest. I have never liked this painting—or any of the existing versions so I couldn't join in his excitement.
[Image caption] April 16, 2012 window #1 11:26 a. pretty  much the view all around. That cheap cobalt (imitation) and lots of white—just to feel the thickness of the paint.

The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sky is rendered with gouache.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Less Than a Week Left in International Fake Journal Month 2012

I'll return to posting pages from my 2012 fake journal tomorrow—but today I wanted to take a moment to say "Congratulations!" If you have been working along on your own fake journal this month you are 7 days from finishing (if you count today!). That's huge. You set a goal and you've been working towards it.

Even if you have had to miss a day, or if you started late, I hope that you will take a moment today and savor the fact that you have been working towards your goal.

Then you need to get back to work!

And in the last 7 days there is still a lot of work to get done.

Ask yourself the following questions and think about your upcoming entries.

1. Is there a narrative going on and if so is it going to be open ended or will it wrap up?

2. If your narrative is going to wrap up think about what you need to get across in the next few days and make a couple notes. You aren't pre-writing anything, you're thinking about what might happen. Keep this list handy when you sit down and get into your character. Can he or she get some of those details down into an entry? If not, perhaps that's not really where you are heading and you need to listen to that.

3. Remind yourself what your goals for IFJM 2012 were when you started. Did you meet all those goals? Those goals may have been as straightforward as "make an entry each day," "draw with only this special pencil each day," etc.

4. If you have not met one or more of your goals ask yourself how you can still meet those particular goals before the end of the month. For instance, if your goal was to draw buildings but your character craftily avoided looking at buildings for the entire month, put him or her in a situation where she or he has to do that in 3 or 4 of the remaining entries. Go on, you can do it!

5. Are there questions about your character that have not been explored or answered to your satisfaction? Now is the time for him or her to write a little self-analysis in his or her journal?

This is just a short list of possible approaches you can look at in the remaining 7 (or 6 if you've worked in your journal today) entries of your fake journal. Don't end the month with regrets. Push your character to look at his or her life with renewed clarity.

And remind yourself you're almost at the end. Keep going!

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 15 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal


Above: April 15 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 15, 2012 7:30 p. 
All is calm and easy for me today. I love having an accountant. All is due tomorrow but it has already been taken care of. I have no tax worries at least.
[Image caption] April 15, 2012 1:40 p.  window #1 looking up. It stopped raining hours ago.


The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sky is rendered with gouache.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 14 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal


Above: April 14 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 14, 2012 10:30 p. 
Embarrassment today with food and fire. Under nine minutes response time—I know because when the alarm went off I was looking at the stove and saw its clock, and I'd just flipped open my cell phone and seen its clock when police and fire arrived. They found me in the yard with a burnt pot of rice and my phone. (Embarrassment 10 fold—I haven't burned a pot of rice in 20 years.)
Response time not bad since the alarm company has to call—and they were quite hostile about why I didn't call first. So you try to hoist an extinguisher and dial and not get burned. Happily there is no real damage according to the firemen—except to my cooking pride. But even now, three hours later, there is a horrible smell in the house.
[Image caption] April 14, 2012 6:10 p.  window #12 on the porch looking west. A changeable day. All sunny and blue this a.m., then hazy grey, and now some darker clouds mixing in.
The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sky is rendered with gouache.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 13 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 13 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 13, 2012 7:15 p. 
Kelsey's tutorial today. SHe had fewer studies than I had hoped. She seems distracted and not applied. I suggested that she give up Twitter and Facebook and, gasp, even TV, for a month. That she use that time to focus on her studies, making sketch after sketch. That she even just sit alone with herself and think. That is the greatest luxury the younger generation has tossed away for internet connectivity, not privacy. You can always achieve a level of privacy simply by walking away, disconnecting. It may not be pristine or inviolate, but it's privacy that can be rebuilt. But I think when you miss those early days of listening to yourself you miss learning to recognize what yourself really sounds like. Then when you try to speak creatively it's just bull shit.
I'm thriving on my internet sabbatcial.
[Image caption] April 13, 2012 11:30 a. All windows a grey flatness which nevertheless glows. Raining all morning
The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sky is rendered with gouache.

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 12 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 12 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 12, 2012 9:50 p. 
I live in a no-man's land of food delivery. Yes there are grocery services, and kind friends who stop by with specialty treats like ice cream and cake, and of course too many pizza choices. But the restaurants with the foods I love see 280 as a barrier. For St. Paul restaurants the fact that I'm just west of 280 is a deal breaker. It's as if they are afraid gravity will let go past 280! They will courier food to Woodbury and beyond, miles and miles away. They refuse my closer destination as impossible. And for the Minneapolis restaurants—you'd think they'd include me because I am west of 280. No, I'm too close to 280. So while I am less than two miles from some of them they see it as more feasible to scurry north or south 10 to 20 miles.
Perhaps I can prevail upon Pauly to bring me some Indian food on his next visit.
[Image caption] April 12, 2012 5:30 p. window #4
The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sky is rendered with gouache.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 11 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal



Above: April 11 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 11, 2012 10 p. 
I tried to meditate today but couldn't get my mind as flat and free as the sky was all day.
I spent two hours pushing hard on the trainer. It's amazing how the miles on the bike mount up, and even though you  are still here you might have been half way across the continent by now, if things were different.
[Image caption] April 11, 2012 1:10 p. All windows! I ran about looking at ll views. It is cloudless. A bit lighter than this dried, and of course minus the inadvertent finger smudge on the left.
The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sky is rendered with gouache.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Note from Carol Bonomo

Left: Paper Lunch Bag Avatar of "Roz" created by Carol Bonomo. Click on the image and view the enlargement. (Don't you love how my hair comes up into little horns? I think this is totally me!)


Carol Bonomo participated in past IFJM celebrations but decided since she was traveling for part of April she had better give it a miss this year. (I think that's a wise thing, especially since she was traveling where there would be burros!)

But before she left for her trip she created the manga lunch bag avatar for me, seen at the left. (She'd done this just in case there was going to be another project journal infiltration—that's careful planning of the type I love!)

She was making bags like this with a group of volunteers she'd trained to raise money for her buddhist temple. They finished 60 for the Hanamatsuri festival, which is weekend of April 25, and pre sold $38 worth to proud grandmas who gave them to their grandkids.

The group had so much fun they are already asking Carol what they'll be doing for their next fund raiser.

Left: Carol Bonomo's self-portrait on a lunch bag, part of her manga avatar project. 

Carol was kind enough to send this bag to me, along with the fun one of herself (see the second image in this post). I wanted to share them with you not only because I think they are great, but I think it's a fun idea for fundraising. 

Carol also shared a insight she had gained from previous participation in IFJM with me:
The point to me—which I actually "got" the first year I did IFJM - was not staying captive to a book for visual journaling.  That year I did painted postcards from my character, and it was the first time I didn't do something in a book,  I saved them in an exotic envelope I made for the occasion.  I saw the lunch bags we were making and said, "now THERE'S visual journal potential," so thank you for offering the opportunities to force us to think out of the book!
So often we think about journaling as something we can only do in a book. But not everyone's mind or method follows that pattern and structure. I know people who journal on scraps of paper. I love to make prepainted journal cards and journal on them during trips or special events. Right now I'm doing a memory-composition-drawing everyday on 5 x 7 inch cards and it has become a journal of sorts. I had hoped to do my fake journal on an iPad this year—perhaps next year?

Let your mind expand to journal in anyway that makes sense to you. And what better way to try something out than a project like IFJM or a two or three week intensive? Give it a shot. (And draw burros whenever the opportunity arises.)

Carol posts her artistic pursuits at Painted Photos. I don't see any burros up there yet, but she has promised me that some are coming. Pop over and she what's she is up to. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 10 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 10 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
[Two columns of text from a New Yorker article which can be read by clicking on the image to view an enlargement.]
Evan Osnos, "Letter from China: The God of Gamblers—why Vegas is moving to Macau." New Yorker, April 9, 2012 
[Image caption] April 10, 2012 1:49 p. window #10 minus the trees. Lower level not light or green enough with F.U.B.

Note: F.U.B. is French Ultramarine Blue.


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.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 9 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 9 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 9, 2012 10 p.
No life drawing for me tonight. Marta came today to discuss her latest landscapes—tiny precious scribbles of line and block[s] of color. I look forward to seeing how they translate up in scale
She brought a book to cheer me: "Hello Kitty Through the Seasons: Photographs and Haiku," Jennifer Butefish and Maria Fernanda Soares (photos); text by Kate T. Williamson. 
We laughed and laughed over the images and odd haiku. Until this one, accompanying a photo of Hello Kitty in scuba gear face down and soggy in a tidal pool.
Staring politely,I float above a starfishand avoid the sharks.
Words to live by. 
[Image caption] April 9, 2012 6:40 p. window #1 trees not fully leafed out…had to work fast to get fast moving cloud.

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.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 8 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal



Above: April 8 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
April 8, 2012 8 p.
The wind was strong today but I only saw that with the movement of the branches. I would have loved riding out even in a gale I think. I rode the trainer for two hours. The new television was delivered today. Two young men conversant with all the various auxiliary equipment and cables [came] able to make it all talk to each other. I have caught up on some of my TV viewing and am looking forward to watching the conclusion of "Great Expectations."
[Image caption] April 8, 2012 4:15 p. window #1 Tree heavily edited so I could get the fast moving clouds. The brilliance of the white at the edges on this side of the house was blindingly dazzling.

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.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 7 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal



Above: April 7 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
I'm beginning to regret letting the cleaners go. It has been sufficient time now where I can see I'm not dusting enough. Everything could use a good mopping. The inconvenience of packing up my projects on cleaning day so they could work around things might actually have been less trouble. I need to set a schedule and then just do it—like exercise. But the new people in Judy's crew weren't as thorough so I really would rather do it myself. Start now.
[Image caption] April 7, 2012 6:15 p. window #4. Raining all day and then these fast-moving clouds…for awhile I had the perfect "mud on my palette but ran out—no time to get more paint. The grey of the cloud top left.

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.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April 6 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal



Above: April 6 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

Transcript:
Being a mentor sometimes sucks. You want to be your normal sarcastic self—that self who is so popular at dinner parties. But as a mentor you are responsible as the last wall of defense for the spirit of another. You have to hold the snippy part of yourself in check and allow the protege to decide when it's time to fully take down the wall.
Kelsy dropped by for her tutorial this morning. All was fine until she started talking about Rembrandt and light. "He starts with the darks," she exclaimed, breathless, launching into an argument that totally explains the flatness in value of her thumbnail sketches. 
Slowly, patiently I showed her, with the help of his glorious etchings, how Rembrandt starts with the light and builds his darks around them reverently, ecstatically. He holds on to the light. And now she has a week's assignment to do the same.
[Image caption] April 6, 2012 4 p. window #15 The sky was more cobalt but the paint didn't wat to blend.

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.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 5 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal—And Distancing Yourself from Your Character

Above: April 5 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

This is the April 5 entry in my 2012 fake journal. 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.

Transcript:
>Edward Dolwich, "The Forger's Spell."
So primed are we to see what we want to see (and to reject what runs counter to our hopes and expectations) that psychologists and economists have coined an entire vocabulary to describe the ways we mislead ourselves. "Confirmation bias" is the broad heading. The idea is that we tell ourselves we are making decisions based on the evidence, though in fact we skew the results by grabbing up welcome news without a second glance while subjecting unpleasant facts to endless testing. 
This form of self-deception pops up in the most ordinary circumstances and in the most momentous. When the number on our bathroom scale is the one we hoped to see, the psychologist Daniel Gilbert points out, we happily hurry off to get dressed. When it brings dismaying news, we step off and try again; we dry off even more thoroughly; we see if perhaps we can do better by standing at a different spot on the scale. On the battlefield, generals respond to good news and bad news in much the same way. (p. 224-226, Harper Perennial 2008)
[Image caption] April 5, 2012 1:55 p. window #12 outside the door looking southeast. 

Today I'd also like to make a little point about distancing yourself from your character. I've written about this before in tips, but it occurred to me that I didn't point out what was going on in regards to handwriting in this year's journal.

I always try to write in a way that is somewhat different from my regular handwriting. I find that this slows my brain down just a bit and allows me to stay in character more easily.

Sometimes I do this by writing with a tool I'm might sketch with but don't write with (dip pen in 2009 for instance) and I will force myself to speed up—and write in a messier fashion if it's appropriate for the character or the character's situation.

This year I chose to write with a Preppy Fountain Pen and since I use them a lot in my regular life I experimented with different ways to write with one before I started my fake journal on April 1.

I printed neatly, wrote big circling, loopy letters, and even tried a backward slopping script. What worked for me was to use my regular cursive handwriting, slow down the pace, minimize the x-height and stretch out the letters. That's not how I would normally write. It feels "right" for this character because it is readable after a fashion, small and detailed. I do have to keep reminding myself to slow down and write deliberately!

If you are having trouble getting into your character's mind consider the handwriting. We are all very individual in our handwriting styles.

What if your character suffered an injury and had to write with his or her non-dominant hand?

There are lots of ways you can go.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 4 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal




Above: April 4 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

This is the April 4 entry in my 2012 fake journal. 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 sky is rendered with gouache.

Transcript:
I could live in a sea of sarcasm, but today I'll focus on a different route. Pragmatic. After three weeks I'm still having trouble remembering which window. I'm tired of mentally recounting and second guessing. This chart resolves that. Despite what others think boundaries matter to me. Now I am being sarcastic.
[Image caption] April 4, 2012 1:30 p. window #2 looking over the roofs. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 3 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal


Above: April 3 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

This is the April 3 entry in my 2012 fake journal. 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 sky is rendered with gouache.

Transcript:
There are many ways to fade. Simple silence works for me. Will visited this morning and who is to say this new dour-faced, non-joking man, thick around the middle, stooped, who has given up all hope of meeting ninjas is not the normal Will? Not I. Too long an absence. He talked about his parents. Aren't they mine as well? Oh I forgot—I've faded. And his wife and children. They all have "full lives." "Fulllives" said as one syllable so no devil can make merriment in the spaces. He talked about his childhood. Wasn't it mine as well? Not any longer. The important dates in memory contained at first a ghost image of me and by his departure even that image had faded. And he was relieved. Now I will have to rely on other alibies [sic] for childhood indiscretions—no when you fade you can't be held accountable because you weren't there when Randy broke his leg, or Sylvie lost the dog. Somewhere you had an alternate hybernation—and it made it simple to move into the final fading. Now Will's stories are all about strangers with whom I shared little space, scarce time, and no blood.
[Image caption] April 3, 2012 1:10 p.m. window #13 cloud fading even more as it dries here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Participants List Has Begun

People have begun to write to me and let me know that they have posted their pages. Saturday night I added three people into the participants list which is in the right-hand column of this blog, and labeled "2012 Pariticpants Who Post Pages."

Please go there and click on the links to find their fake journal entries. Once you get to an entry you might have to navigate about a bit depending on whether the participant is doing a dedicated blog for IFJM or a posting on a general blog, or creating a Flickr site. You're all bright and creative and I'll know you'll find your way.

I have sorted the list alphabetically by surname. I thought this would be easier as the list grows, to continue to find a particular journal you're keeping an eye on.

If you don't see your name on the list it means I haven't heard from you yet. Please take a moment to read the Contest Rules for instructions on how to contact me so that I can list you.

You can contact me any time until noon on April 30, as stated in the rules. (Because that will mean you had time to comply with the other entry parameters.)

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing what your characters are doing in their journals.

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.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 1 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal—with Background on How Her Project Evolved


Above: The first page spread in my 2012 fake journal. Read more about the journal, as well as a transcript of the text, in the post below. The journal is a 7 x 10 inch (pages slightly smaller) journal I handmade with Nideggen paper. The ink I used is just the normal Preppy Pen cartridge. The drawing is made with Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watersoluble Colored Pencil and gouache. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I can truthfully say that the two weeks before the start of IFJM 2012 were two of the busiest of my life: classes to teach, a talk to prep, classes to attend (in which I was a student), work to complete. I'm happy to report, that despite all that I started my IFJM journal as planned on April 1 and have been able to work in it each day since. 

However, the journal is not at all what I had planned earlier in the year. I am going to write about how all the changes from my original intention came about so that people who are interested in the decision making process can see how I go about it. 

But first here is the text you'll see on the page spread above:

no anger. just numb. no regret. They want you to feel regret and shame. There's none of that. Just silence, an empty silence, as if I'm waiting for what's next—but it doesn't matter if I wait because everyone else is planning, fighting, jostling over what is next for me.
And I am waiting, in this silence—listening to the purr of the fridge from the pantry and the soft chucking whir of the cable box…no television to drown it out, to mask it. I thought I was a bit addicted but I don't miss the TV at all, which is just as well. I may be giving in prematurely but if I lose it will be just as well to be accustomed to the silence. That type of silence. What I feel isn't defeat. It's just calm. A muffler in the distance. A large truck…so long to approach. A train reverberating on the tracks. There's a great deal to hear.
[Image Caption] April 1, 2012 6:48 p. window #4

So Where's the Stonehenge Paper and How Did I Arrive At This?



By the end of that post I knew I was going to be working with Stonehenge paper and it was going to be in a long, landscape format. But then life happened.

I want to write about it today to demonstrate that change doesn't have to mean you give up a project or goal. You can adapt your projects in ways that will retain their meaning and usefulness.

Briefly (because the details would be overwhelming and I want to get on and post my other pages), I started thinking in February that I would work on architecture this month. To accomplish that I started thinking what type of character would look at and draw architecture on a daily basis? How could I accomplish this task in a very limited amount of time. (At that time I thought I had about an hour to spare each day for this project.)

I began to feel a character speaking to me. She went to the same spot every day and drew. It was a corner near me. I sat for a bit wondering why she did that. (I was also considering if I could sketch on that corner all month long.)

Then my thoughts shifted. Because of the nice weather and the desire to have a bit of a walk each day as part of the process, I found myself thinking about drawing a particular bridge within a short walking distance.

There was at first one reason for why this person would return to that spot each day. She was waiting for someone. Or, immediately another reason popped into my head—she was missing someone. My mind has rather a dark turn to it (I did after all kill off my author last year). This idea quickly spun into simply missing someone. I knew I couldn't go a month with a sad topic like that. I've done sad topics before, but this one would be very dark. It was getting darker by the minute. (I decided to save this idea for a time when I was under less personal stress, and also not making my IFJM journal public. I do believe there is value in the resultant idea that needs to be explored.)

On March 1 I met Frank. He's a lovely little plastic toy chipmunk—actually he's about life-size. You'll see him in my regular journal at some point. On that evening, while out with friends, I decided that it would be hilarious to have the author of my fake journal sketch Frank wherever she went. I could still sketch architecture, but I would be moving around more, I wouldn't be focusing on something sad, and Frank would be interesting.

My goal of working on architecture could continued as you can see, but the topic and focus was shifting to Frank. And to fun. 

On March 2, however, I looked at the reality of sketching Frank and architecture every day for a month and realized that what I envisioned was a 90-minute-a-day project at minimum (without counting walk time). I knew I could not squeeze that time commitment into my days in April.

Frank was scrubbed and the long landscape journal was scrubbed.

At least I knew I wanted a somewhat upbeat topic and a very minimal amount of drawing time.

I began to get a bit nervous—what type of journal and paper would I be using; what topic; what medium? I put the whole project to the back of my mind and focused on pressing tasks at hand.

Then, frustrated one night I started to scribble with a pencil and drew the first of many fantasy people in pencil and light washes of gouache

The playful approach freed up my mind and my ideas.  I didn't want to work with fantasy people all month, but I knew I wanted to work with watercolor or gouache. I also thought I would work with toned paper and gouache. So I got out a pieces of Nideggen, Designo, and Kraft Stonehenge.

I tested all those papers for various painting techniques with which I might want to play over the next month. One by one the papers "fell" to the wayside. Nideggen was left standing. 

Nideggen doesn't come in commercially made journals. Each year I use a commercially made journal for my fake journal because it helps me distance myself from my character (and gives me a chance to try an new sketchbook). But I loved the way my experiments were working on Nideggen. Nideggen was what I'd use, I'd work some reason out for how my character had that book.

One evening a couple days before the end of March I looked out the window and saw the early spring sky, the bright clouds…I've always been interested in clouds. There is always a bit of sky around isn't there? "I think I could draw clouds for a month," I joked to Dick the next morning. He laughed and agreed.

By that evening I knew who my character was, why she had one of my journals, and why she was drawing clouds.

I'll not give the "mystery" of what's going to happen away. I only have a sense of what is going to happen because I let things evolve. But I'll have more to say about "evolving" in my next post.

In the meantime, if you choose to read along you'll find out about my character in the next several weeks. Now you know, that once again, what was thought of as a straight path to a straightforward project actually contained many twists that both my conscious and unconscious mind worked out because I gave it some breathing room.

Oh, and my daily time expenditure is under 30 minutes—perfect for right now. (Though that doesn't include scanning time—hence the back up.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No Event Promotion Contest in 2012

Left: Blog margin notice button. See below for details.

In past public celebrations for International Fake Journal Month everyone promoting the blog by posting the image at the left in his or her own blog's margin column would be entered into a prize drawing.

This year, in an effort to cut back on administration duties (keeping track of the promoters and visiting their sites to check) I have phased this portion of the celebrations out.

Support of non-participants has been a huge part of helping the public form of IFJM grow.  I may bring this portion of the contests back next year, depending on my own schedule at the time.

In the meantime I want to thank past promoters again for helping get the word out. 

If you are a blogger who likes to include links to the various projects you are involved in as standing notices in the margin column of your blog, I still invite you to use the above margin image to promote the event and your participation on your blog.

If you would like to promote International Fake Journal Month on your blog you can follow this link to instructions on how to use this margin image. The only change to the instructions is that you don't have to go to Roz Wound Up to retrieve the image as I have positioned it here for you. Steps 5 through 7 are no longer active, since there is no contest for promotion this year. You do however have my gratitude for supporting this event and helping to get the word out.

Monday, April 2, 2012

How To Get a 2012 IFJM Button



"Details Matter."—That's this year's button. You can see it at the top of this post and at the top of the right hand column of this blog. A one-eyed chihuahua. It is a 2.25 inch round button.

In past years buttons have not been available until the end of IFJM when they were sent to participants.

This year I've had to make changes. I can't afford the growing mailing costs (over $200 for postage and packaging last year).

Buttons are still free, but they are available now to anyone who wants to pay postage and packaging. You can send me a check (Roz Stendahl) for $3 along with your address. Every Friday I'll go to the post office and mail out buttons. Send your request to Roz Stendahl, P.O. Box 141434, Minneapolis, MN 55414

If you and a nearby friend are interested in a button ask for two buttons. I can mail two buttons for the same cost in the same padded envelope, according to the Postal Clerk who weighed them. You can then just hand your friend the button.

If you are a Twin Cities Resident you can skip the postage and packaging cost and pick up your button at one of these two events I'll be attending: the April 5 Sketch Night at the Bell, or the April 16 MCBA Visual Journal Collective meeting. I will bring buttons for people who remind me by emailing me (rozjournalrat@gmail.com) that they will be there. Please email one day in advance—I don't always get to my computer on meeting days and I don't bring extra stuff to carry when going to these meetings.

I'm working on a way to set up purchasing the buttons using Pay-Pal, but it looks like I'll have to do something on eBay. If that works out the cost will be about $3.25 (to cover the administrative charges of eBay and Pay-Pal). I wasn't able to set something up before IFJM started, so if that's an option you want, please stand by as I work that out.

I can absorb the cost of having the buttons made, but I can no longer absorb the postage and packaging costs for this event.

Can you order a button even if you aren't participating? In past years only participants could get buttons. This year, because of the new system there isn't any quick way for me to police whether or not someone ordering a button is also participating. (Remember the changes are also to bring down my administration time.) So the answer is yes, you can. We'll assume you'll wear the button proudly and support the event, even though you aren't participating.

While Supplies Last—You're familiar with that concept—I'll keep sending buttons until I run out. I ordered more buttons than participants and blog supporters last year (all of whom, received a button). I realize some people won't want to write in for a button and pay postage and packaging, so I'm comfortable that I'll have enough buttons for anyone who wants one, BUT in the event I run out of buttons, I run out. You'll be notified and your check destroyed (or if we get the Pay-Pal thing going, your order will be canceled that way). I'll also post when I run out of buttons on this blog to prevent future orders.

Two more ways to get a button—
1. I've put a medium resolution file of the button at the top of this post. You have my permission to make one button for your personal use from that file. Simply drag that image of the "Details Matters" button to your desktop and print it out on your own color printer. You should be able to reduce it to the 2.5 inch size and have good resolution. Glue the image to mat board, cut it out, stick a pin back on it and bingo bango, you have a free button. (Get really creative and cut it out and put it in a bottle cap and fill it with resin and make a pendant or pin out of it for that matter.) (Permission is given for personal use only, you may not make copies in any way and offer them for sale—I'm not even making buttons for sale. You may make just one printed copy for yourself, that's the deal.)

2. If you go to the information page on IFJM on Roz Wound Up you will find, in that post, a file for a text only, rectangular button which you can also print and make into a button, for your personal use (again, not for resale). The text only button is towards the end of the post, after the explanation of the event. Instructions are right next to it. (The dachshund button at the top of the post is NOT what I'm talking about.)

I'm grateful that IFJM has grown to such proportions that I have to worry about escalating postage costs. However, I am sorry that I can't simply send buttons out as before. The buttons are so cheap to have printed it's an easy cost to absorb (and I love buttons), but the other costs are beyond my control. Thank you for understanding the change.

Now go have some fun working in your fake journal!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

International Fake Journal Month 2012 Starts Today: Details Matter

By the time you read this post many of you may have already completed the first entry in your 2012 fake journal. Congratulations! Keep going.

For those of you who haven't started yet, jump in. You don't have to journal every day (though it is most helpful to the process of discovery if you do), so sitting on the fence has not kept you out of the running yet.

If you would like to go public with your fake journal please read the 2012 Contest Rules here. You'll also see a photo of the prize in that post.

Every year I make buttons for this event. The 2012 button is now here and you can see it at the top of the right-hand column of this blog. It's a little one-eyed chihuahua with the slogan "Details Matter."

If you are participating this year I'd like to you take a moment to think about that slogan. The best fake anything is convincing because of the details it contains. But a pile of details is also the easiest way to spot a fake.

Details need to be artfully integrated into the whole. They need to arise naturally in the course of events.

In your fake journal you are working in the first person—you are the writer. To suddenly interject details that your writer would take for granted and not need to note in the normal course of his or her life will bring an air of falseness to your fake journal. (Of course if your journal's author has a brain disfunction then your approach is going to be different, perhaps.)

In 2009 my character was going to be dealing with a lot of new people and they were arranged in groups so she took a moment to write down their names and relationships on an early page of that journal. (It was really helpful to me and I wanted that in the journal so that 10 years from now I'd understand what was going on.) But if she had not just arrived in this place it would not have been normal for her to have done that. I would have had to discover a more natural way to include that information.

In other posts containing tips on how to create your fake journal I recommend beginning in medias res—just jumping in. Today when I work in my real journal I'm not going to spend 30 minutes writing a backstory of my life and habits. I'm going to jump right in and start journaling my life as it is this minute. Your character needs to do the same thing. If there is backstory that needs to be explored I have to find a way to insert that into the pages in a natural way, so that it gradually unfolds.

This is true even if your character is just starting a trip for instance. He isn't going to spew out backstory bits of information, he's just going to sit in the airport lounge and sketch and comment on the people around him. He may, if he's so inclined and it's within his character, start writing notes about things he forgot, or bemoan the fact that he already misses his dog Tiny and doesn't know how he'll cope with being away for 4 weeks. But he won't just come out and say those things—there's a difference. Part of the fact that details matter is that how they are released also matters.


This is a crucial part of doing a fake journal—and it is also one of the aspects that is the most fun.

If working with details like this is new to you I recommend that you take a moment to write out a backstory page or two about your character OUTSIDE of your fake journal. Put in the names of the people he or she normally deals with and what relationship they have to the character—for instance "Bill: the spouse." You don't want her to suddenly be sleeping with Jim on page 6 of your journal, unless of course that's what her character is doing.

All of these notes on backstory and character need to be outside of your fake journal because they are not really part of that journal. You can keep them in a little notebook or on loose slips of paper that you tuck into the back pocket of your fake journal so that you have it all together. But notes like that would not be anything the author of your fake journal would ever make in the journal. The journal is also an "artifact"—keep that in mind.

It is also completely fine to just jump in without any backstory and let the page entries over the month explain the character to you.

But again, there won't be a spewing of unnatural notes on the pages.

You might even find out that at the end of the process you learn a lot about what your character thinks of one or two people and not much about the character. (Actually you've just learned a lot about the character because of how he views others, but, well you get the idea.)

If you really want some concrete fact about your character to appear in your journal you're going to have to come up with a way to get it there. Perhaps the easiest way is to have him either take offense at or be pleased with something someone did or said to him. For instance he might write, "I was totally unprepared for Mary's screaming fit when I explained my reasons for firing her. Given the circumstances I think my comment on her review that she was unstable was justified." Or "I was touched by Mary's gift of a pie. Her note telling me that my kindness to her family at this time was deeply appreciated meant a lot." Or you can top that by including Mary's note as ephemera—and have fun writing in a different hand!

That's all pretty rudimentary but I think you can see what I'm getting at.

Embrace the details of your fake journal author's life. What he sees and how he sees it will be important, not just in creating a successful fake, but in helping you stretch your own observational powers.

Have a great 2012 IFJM. I look forward to hearing from you.