Tools for the Template of Journaling

I have filled 26 journals over 24 years.  I tell you this by way of saying, your journaling tools will pick you.  You may think you pick them, but when you look back, you will be surprised that the psyche was active all along.  But to delight in this surprise means you have to journal everyday for 24 years.  (I lie.  There were long stretches of journal silence, but when I did write, I tended to be prolific.)

If you’re new to journaling, go ahead, for inspiration, and buy a leather journal, a pretty journal, a journal with a lock on it.  But be aware, these ornamental diaries are not a standard size, so when you try to organize them with the heap of ruled composition notebooks, they are unruly.


I do find the pen to be important.

WARNING:  DO NOT USE PENCIL.  I cry everytime I tell this story.  Georgia Tuxbury who leads the Alamo Country Club’s “Telling Your Life Story” writing group, kept diaries as a teenager during WW II.  Priceless, yes?  I urged her to transcribe them.  She said, “I would love to transcribe them, but I wrote them all in pencil, they faded, and no one can read them anymore.”

I like medium point pens the best.  Fine point feels ‘scratchy.’  I’ve tried expensive pens, thinking my words would come out more flowery, but often the body of the pen is too fat for comfortable writing.  So I became habituated to cheap medium point Bic in packs of 12.  But the color is a thing to play with.  When I was writing papers in anthropology classes, we had to use black only!!!  I don’t know why the professors made such a big deal out of black only!!! , but it’s the reason my journals are written in blue ink during that time.  However, when I want to pull off serious adult journaling, I use black.

You will also need a bed tray of some sort.  You’ll find out why in another post.  I tried a) the actual breakfast trays with the folding legs, b) the bean bag with flat top, c) cutting board.  I like cutting board.


Handwriting:  3 main points.

  1.  Everybody brave enough tells me my handwriting is not as pretty as it should be for a girl. (See picture above.)  I say, so?  I’ve got 26 journals.
  2. This is a real conundrum and it bothers me every time I sit down to write now.  For the only journaling I’m doing these days is to make indelible my grandchildren’s childhood.  Can you guess what the problem is?  They don’t teach cursive in school anymore.  My grandkids can’t read their journal.  But if I try printing, it takes so long, the thoughts dissolve into a pool of blank.  Really.  I’m confused about what to do.
  3. And don’t say “electronic journal.”  My final precaution is:  save electronic journaling for travelogues.  Something about fingers to pen to paper is how the psyche, or soul, likes to communicate.
  4. The soul is the earthly up-welling of The Source.
The soul is the earthly up-welling of The Source.  ~me & Hrodpreht, 
although up-welling is Hrodpreht's word.




I have forged three arrows in my wake: my commitment to smoking, my vow to not write a book, and my vow of solitude. These three arrows are my gift in flight to my family, my signature upon the air, each arrow tipped in the reflexive, not vengeful, strike of a scorpion tail. –The Magician

Dear Magician,   

Have you departed through your mists back to your Island?  I didn’t ask you if the Princesses lived there with you, but I get a feeling you’re all alone.  I know I should ask permission to use your Internet words (do they at least have Internet on your island?), but I have attributed them to you, see?  And I don’t know if I’ll ever hear your writing again.   You left me with the vision of  “grains of golden sand sifting through your fingers to the deep.  While you weep. (Poe)

Your self-image of tragic despair and your defensive archaic manipulations must crack up and flake off like your proverbial eggshell.  I know you are pure light inside.

You are a tricky magician. (Aren’t all magicians?)  I love to be magically manipulated (doesn’t everyone?)  But it’s your turn.  You should enjoy the delight, also.  But I think maybe you are too attached to your tragic image.  Not once did your words sound like laughter.

You will not escape the literary world if I can help it.  I’m going to talk to you here–I’m sure you’ll hear it there for water carries sound–and at the same time take care of my blog that nobody reads hahaha.  I think this will be a reverse transcendence, for you need to come back to earth and find a different launching pad.

It’s okay, your feelings are safe with me.   I tend to trudge the straight and narrow.  (There are those who would laugh I said that.)   Maybe I’ll gather a few obscure stories from you for my grandchildren?  They should be so lucky.

You have lived as a leather eggshell for so long, it won’t take much for you to find your solutio.  Life may be your solutio!

I need to tell you, I changed my mind about my wish.  I desire to integrate compassion, not power.  God knows I need to.  I leave the power in your hands, individuated power of integrity, wielded with wise authority.  Albedo?  You’re incubating.  Oh! and it’s your novel that will hatch!

And!  Since you’re The Magician, you can call upon the powers-that-be to influence the literary agents to actually open, and even read, your query letter.  I’m so delighted!  Can you tell?

From one who has been magically manipulated,


P.S.  Here’s one for the grandkids.  This is how you opened our conversation.  But I have to cite Fowles.

It’s all about the story.  We both know that.


You might enjoy this:

The Prince and the Magician ~Reprinted from The Magus, by John Fowles

Once upon a time there was a young prince, who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, and he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father’s domains, and no sign of God, the young man believed his father.

But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace. He came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.

“Are those real islands?” asked the young prince.

“Of course they are real islands,” said the man in evening dress.

“And those strange and troubling creatures?”

“They are all genuine and authentic princesses.”

“Then God also must exist!” cried the prince.

“I am God,” replied the man in full evening dress, with a bow.

The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.

“So you are back,” said his father, the king.

“I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,” said the prince reproachfully.

The king was unmoved.

“Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God, exist.”

“I saw them!”

“Tell me how God was dressed.”

“God was in full evening dress.”

“Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?”

The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.

“That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.”

At this, the prince returned to the next land, and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.

“My father the king has told me who you are,” said the young prince indignantly.

“You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.”

The man on the shore smiled.

“It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father’s kingdom there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father’s spell, so you cannot see them.”

The prince returned pensively home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eyes.

“Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?”

The king smiled, and rolled back his sleeves.

“Yes, my son, I am only a magician.”

“Then the man on the shore was God.”

“The man on the shore was another magician.”

“I must know the real truth, the truth beyond magic.”

“There is no truth beyond magic,” said the king.

The prince was full of sadness.

He said, “I will kill myself.”

The king by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.

“Very well,” he said. “I can bear it.”

“You see, my son,” said the king, “you too now begin to be a magician.”

Edit: Readability

Romancing the Numinosum

Don’t let the Latin name frighten you, though it is, happily, a little mysterious. Journaling is a template that can bring up buried, or forgotten thoughts, thus lightening the load for transcendence above the rim.

By putting fingers to pen to paper, you prepare the conditions for coaxing consciousness out of the numinous.  Numinous what, you ask?  I’m not sure, but it’s like fishing in the dark–something mysterious is taking the bait.

250x word edit fisshing at night journaling page

But you can’t think about it or you’ll scare it away with the brightness of your mind.