Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Book of Me – Prompt 6 – Journals and Diaries

The Book of Me, Written By You is a project by Julie Goucher at Anglers Rest. As Julie says, “It is about a personal journey; a journey of rediscovery of yourself and perhaps your loved ones through your eyes”. You can participate through her blog or through GeneaBloggers. For more information, see here.

Prompt 6: Journals and Diaries

• Do you keep a journal or diary?

Currently, I don’t keep a diary, but I did when I was a young teenager, being influenced to start one after reading a public library copy of Anne Frank’s diary. I wrote in my diary for a few years, but then gave it up. During high school, I bought pocket calendars to keep track of school events. After I married, I recorded my family's daily life on a kitchen wall calendar. Those pocket and wall calendars became a sort of substitute diary.

• How far back do they go? What do you record?

My teenage diaries are long gone, but I still have most of my pocket appointment calendars (the earliest one I have is from 1979) and my family calendars (those go back to 1991). I record the usual things (birthdays and anniversaries, appointments, meetings, outings and such), plus anything I want to remember that happened on a given day.

• Where do you keep them?

I don’t keep my past pocket or wall calendars in a special place; just wherever I can access them easily and quickly if I want to look up something. The information in them came in handy last year when I made personalized calendars as Christmas gifts for my brother and sister.

• Do you always buy the same one or vary them?

I used to buy the small, inexpensive ones with locks and keys. The pocket calendars were printed by Cardinal, a Canadian brand, or those Carlton Cards. The wall calendars were always those lovely ones by UNICEF that were illustrated with art work by children from around the world. When they stopped making them a couple years ago, I switched to themed calendars (like cityscapes) from Coles, the Canadian bookstore.

• Have you inherited any?

My brother gave me his travel diary from the time he went to England and France during high school and later his trip to Costa Rica. I also have one or two of my parents’ family calendars.

• Do you intend to pass along your journals or destroy them?

I destroyed my diaries years ago, but before I did, I extracted bits of interesting details onto 8 x 10 loose sheets of paper that I still have today. I’m glad I decided to save my calendars (both types), because I think they make a wonderful condensed record of my life and that of my family. I intend to pass them along and want to store them in some kind of archival quality box, but haven’t yet got around to buying one.

• Pictures - Do you have a favourite?

I remember putting a snapshot of myself in my very first diary, but generally I didn’t add much in the way of memorabilia or souvenirs.

• What do you use to write with – biro, pencil, ink or fountain pen?

I used a fountain pen a few times in the early years (I learned I to write with one in Grade 5 of elementary school), but most of the time I wrote with a ballpoint pen, like those fine point BIC pens with the blue caps and yellow barrels.

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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