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.

2019 IFJM Celebration
IFJM has been suspended indefinitely. Please read the pinned post about this below.

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?"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wrap-up Notes from Some of the 2012 International Fake Journal Month Participants

Above: Some small Japanese double pamphlets I created for the participants who sent in wrap-up comments about their posts. I was making sample pamphlets for the May MCBA Visual Journal Collective meeting and realized that I had enough of my cover paper to make little booklets for these folks. I used Arches Text Wove for the paper to create these 6-3/4 x 5-3/8 inch books. ATW, now called Arches Velin (but I'll never get used to that name) is a great paper for visual journaling. It's light weight, but strong. It takes watercolor washes. It loves being bound into books! I write a lot about it over on RozWoundUp. The cover paper is a Fabriano paper I can't find locally any more and used it because it was such a wide sheet I could have fore edge flaps on these booklet covers. I decorated the black paper with metallic rubberstamp ink before cutting them down. I hope that these will be little tester journals, portable and compact, will be a way to experience a paper they might not have tried, or to revisit an old friend; maybe even a book for next year's IFJM?

I think a hugely important part of a project like IFJM is the wrap up. (Scroll down the posts in that link to find wrap ups written by a variety of people, not just me, as well as thoughts on wrap-ups.) 

The wrap-up is as important in my mind as the actual creation of the journal. I've written posts in the past detailing why I think it's so important, but briefly I just want to say that by looking back at a completed project and comparing it to the goals you set out to begin with is a great way to judge the successfulness and usefulness of the project. But most important it is the ONLY way to then set even more specific goals for your next project, to take you to the next creative place you hope to travel.

In this post I share comments from participants you sent me a final wrap up or a link to that wrap up on their blog. Check the participants list in the right-hand column for links to the various posted fake journals.

Dana Burrell wrote the following detailed write up about her process, goals, and progress. To me her experience shows the benefits we can derive from projects like this when we focus intensely for a month. Dana set goals, yet remained flexible when she ran into time and energy constraints. I also love that she overcame her fear of screwing up the "whole journal," as she started each new entry.

This emotion is one shared by many. A project such as this, more than regular daily journaling, forces you to overcome that fear and just keep going. 

I'm especially glad that Dana has found aspects of the IFJM process that she is going to take into her regular journaling. I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next year. 

Dana Burrell wrote:

My character was a 50-something gardener and designer.  She keeps a small journal with her and sketches people she sees during the day.  She was to journal minimally to document her gardening activities but she somewhere around day seven she developed a personality.  She’s torn between work and family and it’s reflected in her journaling.

My goals were to:
  1. Use a folded maze journal I made specifically for this project.  It’s made from one sheet of Fabriano Artistico HP.  Each page measured 5.5” x 7.5”… portrait orientation.
  2. Work daily, allowing approximately 30 minutes per session.
  3. Carry journal with me everywhere.
  4. Sketch people’s faces, capturing them fast, in less than 5 minutes.  Live.
  5. Sketch directly to pen with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen I’ve had for a while but hadn’t gotten used to.
  6. Add color with a set of ten Neocolor II watercolor crayons.
  7. Journal minimally.  People drawn can be people she’s working with or people she finds interesting.
The journal went with me everywhere which certainly helped me sketch my subjects. I had enough on my plate so when the crayons became more of a bother than I planned I changed to my small palette of twelve M. Graham paints.  I was able to work daily although a few days were so busy all I wanted to do was to go to bed.  Even the short 30-minute allotment seemed too much then. On those days I forced myself to quickly sketch someone from TV and finish the page.  No DVR at my house so the sketches were done quickly out of necessity.  I scanned and uploaded to Flickr everyday… not one of my initial goals but one that helped me stay on track… I felt accountable.

My main goal was to sketch faces working directly with the PPBP.  I’ve always admired gesture drawings and wanted to try my hand at capturing personality with a minimum of detail.  Since I’m relatively new to watercolor journaling I’ve been doing more detailed drawings of small objects… drawing people was a huge stretch for me.  I thought it would help me to loosen up and learn to edit the details. The journal size was perfect.  It easily fit in my purse along with a small pen case and my mini watercolor kit.  I found the PPBP easily bled if I hit it with watercolor too soon so I often would sketch at lunch and add watercolor later. I found working directly to pen was freeing.  Every day, just as I went to draw my first line, I felt the fear I would screw up the page and therefore the whole journal.  Once I committed to that first line the sketch was easier to complete.

I had a minimal plan when I started.  I was amazed my character developed her own story.  I’ve often heard authors interviewed say this happens but I’ve never believed them.  About a week into the project my character surprised me!  Suddenly she was getting wordy and developing a family I hadn’t planned.  I plan on doing IFJM again next year but don’t expect a return of this character… she’s moved on in more ways than one.  I will keep my goals of sketching direct to pen… from life… and I’ll keep my time limitation to 30 minutes.  I don’t want to put so much pressure that I stop working on the project.

After I take a short break I’m going to be continuing my exploration of faces and the PPBP… maybe even all bodies.  I’ve wanted to attend life-drawing sessions but have been afraid of baring myself (my art… not me) in front of “real” artists.  I know this is my internal critic talking… this year’s IFJM has helped me muffle his argument.  IFJM has been a great start for a daily journal practice and to help solidify it I’m going to sketch along with the Every Day in May project.  EDiM has great daily drawing prompts that I can weave in with my journaling.  It fits in with my 2012 new year’s resolution… If not now, when?  Or in other terms… Carpe Diem.

Other participating artists wrote wrap ups on their sites.

Chris Wise has posted her wrap up on her Flickr page. She also set out her goals for the project. She used the project for experimentation and revisiting an actual trip she'd taken before! The one negative she related was that she only had time during April for her fake journal.

Every April, each of us who participates in IFJM faces the same issue of time constraints. I know personally it's very difficult for me to give up my regular journaling so I make a plan for my fake journal that will take as little time as possible and fit in my day. Last year I allowed my journal to expand into all my available time. It told me a lot about myself, my daily structure, how I use journaling in my life, and also about how many layers of fake I can juggle! I love to see people pushing their own boundaries by allowing the fake journal time to expand!

An equally valid and valuable approach is to journal as much as you can during the month, in your fake journal, allowing in advance for the reality that you won't journal every day, but will complete the entire month. (That's kind of a metaphor for life.) Dianne Carey found that is what happened to her. You can read Dianne Carey's wrap up here.

As Dianne focused on Japanese philosophy of art and sought to simplify her approach she also approached the idea of abstraction. She followed these inclinations in her fake journal, and unintentionally created a story progression. (I love when that happens.) She commented that she did "fall back on" her normal pen and watercolor technique, but I see that as the creative ebb and flow of the process. She pushed using a brush, and then switched, so she got to do both. I think it is important to listen as we work through the month, listen to what our mind says we need to work with.

As to working on flat pages to make scanning easier, and binding after the fact, Dianne seems a little apologetic—I'd just like to say, if it makes life easier during April it's fair, and I'm often making "journal card" journals myself throughout the year.

Iona shares her wrap up experiences on her blog. Her fake journal is filled with sketches of buildings and building details—a wonderful focus for the month. I hope one day to focus on buildings but I know I'll need a lot of time each day!

Her main goal was to journal every day and despite the roller coaster month of April she only skipped 3 days. I hope she'll join in again next year!

You can find Liz Nowell's full wrap up on her blog. She used this time to do a creative project and focus on moderation! She wanted to avoid the "fanatical" approach that often accompanies her creative projects.You'll learn in her write up how she moderated herself and her character, and worked out a flexible way to keep going with her project even though her initial plans for drawing when socializing with friends didn't occur.

Liz Nowell's tactic of giving her character a "vacation" from scanner access was a great way to keep on track with the project and not worry about blogging.  For some artists the choice might be to suspend posting at all until the completion date of the project.

I know for me since I spend most of my day at the computer, having more stuff to scan is a bother. I let my pages build up and scan them in a clump. The scanning process also becomes a reminder of what went on the week before. Whatever you decide works best for you may be different. The goal is to keep journaling for the entire month.

Liz Nowell also found things in the experience that she'll be taking along into her regular journal—and she's already looking at aspects of the process she had resistance to. I hope she joins in again next year.

Michelle Himes found that she loves the idea of journaling but realizes she don't "have the discipline to be a daily journaler." She writes about her alter ego Flat Mickey and her efforts this year at this link. It's all good information gained when we can rethink our projects to better fit our creative needs.

Mary Harper wrote to tell me that her job is to provide creative work for clients all day, and this project allowed her to take hold of her own creative desires again. She wrote the following:

My world--accessed by creating someone else's!  I majored in drama back in the ancient history of my college days, so I was familiar with submerging my personality and letting another created one come to the fore.  But I hadn't done it in, well, forever.  I picked someone completely different from me (an 11-12 year-old boy), and a medium that is very far from what I normally use (colored pencil with ink on ledger paper).  I know I wanted to start with the drawing of the treehouse, but not much beyond that.  I found your entry on handwriting interesting--I picked all caps for my journaler partly because I never write that way, and partly because my beloved dad always did. 
I really had to push for a while after that first day, to make myself sit down and think like Sam, my journaler.  I decided to make many of the drawings of objects related to his late father (a number of these objects actually belonged to MY father), but this choice became somewhat problematic with the story that began emerging, so I just kept that idea as a major, but not absolute, component.  I think next year I will try to come up with a character AND a drawing subject together, somewhat like what you did this year.  I just spent too much time figuring out what to draw.  I included objects drawn from life, from memory, and from imagination, so the quality varied quite a bit.  I also got pressed for time on several occasions, making the drawings quite hasty. 
I really came to feel I knew Sam (both of them!) after a while, and that was a treat.  By the end of the month, I also found that I could wrestle my mind into a creative, dreamy mode once a day without so much angst.  That's the biggest plus here.  I am planning to do more challenges for a month now, to keep this going.  

What a great gift to discover—to turn on that creative dreamy mode! 

Denise Clardy wrote to tell me that she "had a blast." 
The author of my journal, Ursula, shares my fear of journaling:  never write anything down someone will read it and will know of your failures and vulnerabilities and will be able to take advantage of that information.

The Fake Journal format allowed me to set aside those fears.  After all it would be Ursula's mistakes and shortcomings not my own.  When she discovered that it was easy for her to write about her observations and about other people but did not write of her own thoughts and feelings - that was my light-bulb moment.  The realization just kind of snuck up and hit me between the eyes.  Unexpected insight but valuable.

Did you guess that Ursula IS the  'You Are Here'  sign?  Ursula Rae Here (U. R. Here).  She isn't in the weekend pictures because she isn't working.  I have no idea where she went when she left the 30th Street Station!  

That unusual approach allowed her to have a valuable insight into her own journaling process. I hope that she will take advantage of that insight to dive into her regular journaling with renewed passion and attention.

I heard from some other participants who elected not to write wrap ups. Their goal was to keep the conceit going. I wish them good fun with that and continued insights and creative adventures. I know from their emails to me that they have created mental write ups of what worked and what didn't work in the process for them.

From the wrap ups shared here I think you can clearly see that how a given artist approaches a fake journal is going to vary significantly based on the artist's goals for the project and their circumstances and interests. 

What seems never to vary is that everyone walks away with at least a little bit of insight into their creative process and what is or isn't working for them. Sometimes the insight is as simple as "fake journaling doesn't work for me." Other times the insight comes as a series of questions, "What if next year I did this, and then tried that, and only worked with this media, and had that for a subject…Or what if tomorrow…"

Again, I'd like to thank everyone for participating, for pushing their own boundaries and limits, and sharing the results with others. Your generosity encourages others to push their own boundaries and "just see" what might happen if they do the same, maybe not for a month, but maybe just a day, or an hour, or a few minutes of creative endeavor.

(I'll have a brief wrap up of my own 2012 journal in a couple days. I've been stuck in meetings.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Prize Drawing Winner Announced

Sunday all the participants' names went into a big bowl. I ran upstairs to Dick's study where he churned the slips around and pulled out the winning slip: Congratulations to Miss T. The journal prize will be coming your way.

I hope to post the wrap up comments and links later today or tomorrow, so please check back in a couple days to catch up—there's another small end of project surprise coming at that time.

Thank you all again for participating.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Before We Wrap Up International Fake Journal Month 2012

First thanks again to everyone who participated. And thank you for your patience while I got my internet connection worked out and started posting pages again.

Before I move onto the final wrap up I've been trying to sort through my emails for the wrap up notes and links people have sent to posts they wrote wrapping up on their own blogs.

I hate to ask this, but everything is in such disarray because of the internet failure, and there is so much missed mail (based on what friends are telling me), if you were a participant and you sent me an email with wrap up notes or an email with a link to a blog post of yours with wrap up notes would you please RESEND that email to me?      rozjournalrat@gmail.com

I wanted to post a wrap up post with your thoughts and experiences. I had asked for that info (or link) to be sent before May 12. I remember getting several but because of the internet problems I can only seem to find two (from LizzieBo and Dana). I couldn't go and look at any of the "links" because I didn't have internet so I can't draw out from memory, "Oh, yeah that was the person doing such and such in her journal." No detective work possible.

So if you sent wrap up notes or a link to your blog where there is a wrap up post please resend, and I'll really get this thing wrapped up: thoughts, contest drawing, and the whole deal.


NOTE: Update May 14, 2012—I got the resent posts and am putting the wrap up post together. Thanks for being so prompt!

April 30 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal—the Final Entry

Above: April 30 in the 2012 fake Journal. This entry extends onto the endsheet of the inside back cover. I've cropped the image so that the boards of the cover can be viewed around the edges of the open book. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

April 30, 2012 6 a.
Samantha, I pondered this morning the idea of mug shots. None of us looks good in them. Not me, not Ronnie Biggs—I leave this sketch as a memento for you. I hope that they let you have it out of evidence.

Since we both know that you knew that I knew that you would have access to everything I wrote here are a couple parting points:

1. Police response time is easy to test with an ankle monitor—but yes I really was sketching clouds—I haven't burnt a pot of rice since I was seven, however.

2. Martha Stewart was right: ankle monitor removal is easy—especially if you have a "refrigerator repairer" friend who brings in tools. (You were busy searching so I didn't introduce you.)

3. Karl's note wasn't in code. The only really useful code with which to send notes is to have no code—to be the code. His message was to leave.

4. You were never going to find Jimmy Ping's list, no matter how many times you tossed my house. I'm the list. Hidden in plain sight. I keep the catalog of every fake Jimmy signed. I've been his memory since I joined the firm in 1984. He's dead now—if you'd been less rigid I might have shared…

5. Keep looking for the real "Boy in the red vest," because the recently recovered one is a fake…the worst I've ever done. Jimmy and Karl have never let me live down that awkward arm.

6. Tampax tubes make a great hiding place for rolls of cash. No one ever searches them—it's easy to make the wrappers look untouched.

One more thing. The truth about mugshots—we change. I don't look like mine at all any longer…

In some ways it's easier today to disappear than it was in Bigg's day (Especially if you're non-violent). And I have more internal resources than he did—since I don't crave what he craves.

Thanks to all those miles on the trainer I'm fit. I have a destination. (Help yourself to the resistence [sic] trainer wheel upstairs. It's top of the line. The Robbie Ventura "Race Day" video is great.)

Don't expect to see me again…but I expect you'll look.

Please turn out the lights when you leave. Thanks. SNT

[Note at base of back cover where bookbinder's signature is located: RMS 07.04.09
4.12.12 I really like this book and would get more but someone said you can't have hard covered books in prison because you can make skivs out of the boards. It will be a learning experience.

The journal is a 7 x 10 inch handmade journal containing Nideggen paper. The pen used is a Preppy fountain pen. The sketch was made with a 2B mechanical pencil on T.H.Saunders Waterford 90 lb. hot press watercolor paper.

Friday, May 11, 2012

April 29 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 29 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

April 29, 2012 8:50 p.
Marta stopped by with a bag of books and magazines for me to read—including two issues of "Lucky Peach." It's a rather addictive foodie magazine. I guess that's the best way to categorize it. You have to love a magazine which includes stickers!

I started baking bread again today in honor of Marta's visit. Best do it while I have a kitchen. I'm trying not to think of all the things I'll miss in prison.

[Image caption] April 29, 2012 4:30 p.  window #12 looking southeast.
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, May 10, 2012

April 28 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 28 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

April 28, 2012 10 p.
Unhappy with yesterday's efforts at disruption Samantha returned today with a crew to thoroughly toss the house. People swarmed everywhere; pictures were pulled from the wall and removed from their frames. I haven't even attempted to reorganize. At least I didn't have to watch. The refrigerator installer returned during the commotion. He adjusted the new unit's temperature controls. Frozen celery is not edible. My handyman Joe also arrived. Helped by his son Tom he installed all the window a.c. units—in time to beat the inevitable warmer temperatures. Now I have a temperature controlled environment for my celery and for me.

[Image caption] April 28, 2012 12:22 p.  window #2 looking up and northeast.
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.

My internet connection seems to be working again—fingers crossed as I rush to get the final 3 days of this up so we can go on to other things—like the contest drawing winner!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sorry, No New Images Today…

I have been having on-going intermittent service problems with Comcast. I'm unable to upload images and often lose my connection. Please check back in a couple days when posts will resume. Thanks.

April 27 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 27 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

April 27, 2012 11 p.
A completely insane day. How can being under house arrest be so hectic? Samantha came early to poke around for infractions. I walked away and sat at my drawing board while she destroyed the feng shui. She was still at it when Kelsey arrived for her tutorial. The whole world knows about my indiscretions but it seems that Kelsey's parents, slower or more self-absorbed than most only know now; they want their 21-yr-old to have no more contact—against which of course Kelsey is rebelling. She insisted on spending our session, which if her parents have their way, is our last discussing the merits of art forgery as a career choice. I know she just wants to understand me finally and to line up what she believes she knows with what she can't understand. It's not even tempting to justify. I feel even more protective towards her. I simply explained the world has changed, the business has changed. Her skills are useful elsewhere. Why go into matters of temperament? In any discussion as to motives you can't get away from the word "fraud." Somewhere in all her questions is that little girl's voice, trembling and hurt that I didn't see the potential in her. In time this will be a funny after dinner anecdote for her. "It turns out the art teacher I had in my teens was a master forger…" She helped me tidy up. I gave her a small self-portrait she's always admired…in case her parents have their way and there is no "next Friday."

[Image caption] April 27, 2012 5 p.  window #12 looking southeast and way up…and using the last of that crap cobalt…

[Side note, left side of painting] tore the paper!
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, May 6, 2012

April 26 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 26 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.


[Inserted note on light blue Magnai Pescia.] Sweet thing, you are my best girl, a treasure. Karl

April 26, 2012 10 p.
It's odd not to hear from Karl in months and then this note. He's more lawyered up and locked down than I am. Tuesday Pauly said that things were not going well for Kar's case, so I guess I'm not surprised to receive such a cryptic and slightly maudlin note—"Best girl," I never was. Nor sweet—unless acid is sweet. As a mentor Karl always needed translating into the vernacular. But how like him to scrawl his note on a bit of pescia. So casual with resources as he gets ready for jail.

[Image caption] April 26, 2012 1:35 p.  looking northeast.

[Note: "window 2" omitted]
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, May 5, 2012

April 25 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 25 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

April 25, 2012 10 p.
Pauly solved the refrigerator crisis in zero time. He daily earns his retainer. But no sooner did the appliance guy leave with the old refrigerator than the construction noise started up. Pauly can't do anything about that. All day it has been the whine and thump of machinery as old road is sawed up, busted out, and removed. Sometimes for fun some metallic banging was thrown in. Now that their long work day is finished, and at least for now no night crew has shown up I've finally realized there is no noise to hear. The new Whirlpool hums along so whisper quiet that I stood in the kitchen several minutes staring into space, wondering what I'd "forgotten." And then I had to open and close the door several times to convince myself it was really on! 
[Image caption] April 25, 2012 10:06 a.  window #1 There is a promise of a lovely day in these fast-moving, dramatically changing clouds. I can sit on the floor and look up and out the window for hours—but time would be better spent on the trainer.

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, May 4, 2012

April 24 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 24 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

April 24, 2012 9:50 p.
I couldn't stand it any more—no matter where I went in the house or how many doors I closed I couldn't escape the loud, insistent burbling and whirring of the refridgerator [sic]—like a giant's stomach in need of pepto bismal. I've even been wearing ear plugs at night!

Pauly took all my wish list highlights down at the end of our meeting—admitting that even he couldn't stand the noise for a brief time. He promised to send an intern to arrange purchase and delivery. For this at least I don't mind being housebound. But it is very hard to think, and plan, and work with this noise. Another lengthy bicycling session is my only recourse…wheel noise drowning out the other.

[Image caption] April 24, 2012 11:50 p.  window #1 high up, only a smidge of cloud. Overcoming my objections to F.U.B. 

Note: F.U.B. refers to the pigment name 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 sky is rendered with gouache.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

April 23 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 23 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

April 23, 2012 11:10 p.
Embarrassment again—but I couldn't think of anything else to do but set off the alarm. I'd come outside to do my painting and the old door knob lock—which has no key—decided to shift into place. I must have twisted the knob when I opened it to exit. Without a cell phone on me how was I to reach anyone—if not by setting off my alarm?

I think all the anger directed towards me by the police was displaced disappointment over a poor response time of 14 minutes. I know they will bill me for this, but I'm just glad it happened on a clear day and I didn't have to wait in the rain.
A 24-hour locksmith approved by the police has just left…taking the offending door knob with him, so this can't happen again. I've even stashed a new key outside in case I'm less than vigilant with the workings of the new lock. 
[Image caption] April 23, 2012 6:35 p.  window #12 looking southeast from outside the door.

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, May 2, 2012

April 22 in Roz's 2012 Fake Journal

Above: April 22 in the 2012 fake Journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for details.

April 22, 2012 10:15 p.
The paper carried a small self congratulatory piece on the death of Jimmy Ping today. The report was curt and moralistic. It lacked any insight or background—nothing on his survival through WWII and his later escape from Communist China. Nothing on his abilities to support, protect, and save an ever growing extended family with nothing more than wit and bravery. OK, also cunning. No one was more honest and true—or more cunning.
The reporters attributed his suicide to remorse and a desire to avoid prison time. Ping lived without remorse—only great joy: an inner joy even prison cannot deprive you of. People will never know nor care. This last decision was based like all others on the realities of present life—stage 5 cancer.
It is not difficult to accept his choice. It is distressing to imagine officials swarming through his lovely, simple home; ransacking it in a futile attempt to find his records and get some grasp of his oeuvre—a list perhaps of all those forgeries he signed so expertly. I will miss his joy.
[Image caption] April 22, 2012 1:05 p.  window #1 The beginning of a brief break in the clouds. Then a brilliant blue and white sky and then as quickly an all grey sky.

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, May 1, 2012

Congratulations on Completing IFJM 2012!

It's over. You're through (unless you've decided for reasons of your own to keep going with your fake journal). You can step back, away from your character, and take a look at what you created.

I suggest that you do that in the next week or so. Give yourself some time off not looking at your fake journal. (I know it's so wonderful to have completed it it's a bit difficult to put it down, but "walk away" as they say in the cooking competition shows.)

When you do come back to your fake journal, spend a few minutes just flipping through the pages and getting an impression of the whole. Then allow yourself to think about what efforts you made to create it. How did you arrange for time in your day? How were you able to keep on track? If you went off track and had a couple days off why? And if you had a couple days off how did you get back to it? (It's perfectly fine not to journal every day of IFJM—some past participants have only journaled once a week!)

Look at your results based on your original goals. Did you make a list of those goals when you started? If so, get that list out now and compare what you accomplished with that list of goals.

Did your goals change during IFJM? Perhaps you had life coming at you from all directions and the time you set aside for IFJM evaporated down to 12 minutes or less a day??? How did you cope with that reality?

Part of IFJM is finding out your own real patterns and responses to journaling in your life. If you can keep up a healthy practice while being someone else what can you bring from that experience into your actual life to improve your daily journaling practice?

At its best IFJM gets the participant to look at part of his or her life he or she might not look at closely enough during the rest of the year. We are forced to look at time constraints we self-impose, or take for granted and let others impose on our lives. We allow ourselves to look at wishes, dreams, mindsets, attitudes, characteristics, and reality from a different perspective.

It's time to look at what you want for your creative life, all year round. This weekend or on an evening later this week, I suggest you take time with your fake journal and look into this question of what you want for your creative life.

Today, enjoy the completion of your project. You did it. Don't beat yourself up if it wasn't exactly what you had hoped. If we had unlimited time and resources of course things would be different. But accomplishing what you can in the time available is just one way to keep your creative engine running smoothly. It's a tune up.

It's also about living in the present moment—which is what journaling is about and why fake journaling is done in the present moment and not in one great gulp like a work of fiction.

I've been on a scanning delay, so over the next several days you'll continue to see the final 9 pages of my journal posted here. I'll post about the contest drawing after that.

Also, if you would like to do a write up about your experience participating in IFJM (sharing answers to some of the questions posed earlier in this post) and discuss how fake journaling might impact your future journaling, please let me know. If you write your assessment before May 12 and post it on your blog and send me a link I'll include a link to your write up in a wrap up post here. If you aren't going to post it on your blog but still want to share it you can send it to me and I'll post it here (pieces may be edited for length). If you have only one or two thoughts you'd like to share you can of course just add them in a comment to this post. Whatever works for you.

Thank you to everyone who participated in IFJM 2012.

To those who shared their entries publicly (on the participants link list in the right-hand column of this blog), thank you for taking up the challenge and pushing yourselves.

To those who have participated privately, but have written to provide me with updates and share your thoughts, thank you also for taking a step outside your comfort zone all to discover more about yourself.

Life's so short, why live only one!