Many of you have signed up for the first time. Many of you have signed up for the second time. Many of you might be sitting on the fence and thinking, "Why would I make an album all about me?"
Why not make an album all about you?
I'm presently working on my third volume of this album. This year, I'm doing it all digitally and I'm going to have it bound into a book at blurb.com. (In this year's workshop, in addition to the 8.5 x 11 fully layered digital templates, I'm also offering and 8 x 10 digital set so people can also make their final albums into bound books at Blurb.com.)
It's amazing to me how much changes, and how much stays the same. The things I'm writing about that have changed? fitness, health, weight, etc. The things that have stayed the same? My love of vampires, Crowded House and a generalized tendency to be a bit OCD about things.
And the thing with this project is this: it's not like you're just writing about yourself, but rather, you're writing about things and places and people who reflect back at you many different parts of your life. I write about my kids, my husband, my favorite things and places. In other words, not every entry in my album begins with, "I."
I thought I'd share one sample page from my album. As I mentioned, I'm doing a fully digital version of the project, but the base project of this class is to make a hybrid project, with real cardstock, patterned paper and so forth. I'll teach you how to use layered digital templates to write your journaling entries and to make custom letter blocks for each page of your album. You still get to cut and paste and glue to your heart's content!
This is a sample from the letter "G": (click on the layout to see if larger in a new window.)
I am using the Haley paper pack by Katie Pertiet for all of my digital patterned paper!
This isn't deep writing people, but what it is, is a simple reflection of part of my life today. Here and now. Every page of the album looks similar. Just the stories I'm sharing and the photos are changing.
You realize pretty quickly in this class that it's actually not about the photos at all. And for me, good story telling doesn't rely solely on photos anyway. It's the context—the words you attach that bring them truly to life.
I will provide the inspiration through a narrated slide show/video presentation in the first week, along with 2 weeks of email prompts to get you writing. You'll be surprised how much you have to say about even the smallest and most random things in your life.
Another key piece of inspiration is the book that inspired the class, "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life."
I'm no Amy Krouse Rosenthal, but her approach and her random entries inspire me to try to tell better stories.
I've been re-reading the book to get in the spirit of the class and wanted to share one of Amy's entries, under the letter "B," just to show you how beautifully random an entry can be, and how it reflects so much more about who we are in this day and age.
How you been?
How was your week?
You name the question, "Busy" is the answer. Yes, yes. I know we are all terribly busy doing terribly important things. But I think more often than not, "Busy" is simply the most acceptable knee-jerk response.
Certainly there are more interesting, more original, and more accurate ways to answer the question how are you? How about: I'm hungry for a waffle; I'm envious of my best friend; I'm annoyed by everything that's broken in my house; I'm itchy.
Yet busy stands as the easiest way of summarizing all that you do and all that you are. I am busy is the short way of saying—suggesting—my time is filled, my phone does not stop ringing, and you (therefore) should think well of me.
Have people always been this busy? Did cavemen think they were busy, too? This week is crazy—I've got about ten caves to draw on. Can I meet you by the fire next week? I have a hunch that there is a direct correlation between the advent of coffee chains and the increase in busy-ness. Look at us. We're all pros now at hailing a cab/pushing a grocery cart/operating a fork lift with a to-go cup in hand. We're skittering around like hyperactive gerbils, high not just on caffeine but on caffeine's luscious by-product, productivity. Ah, the joy of doing, accomplishing, crossing off.
As kids, our stock answer to most every question was nothing. What did you do at school today? Nothing. What's new? Nothing. Then, somewhere on the way to adulthood, we each took a 180-degree turns. We cashed in our nothing for busy.
I'm starting to think like that, like youth, the word nothing is wasted on the young. Maybe we should try reintroducing it into our grown-up vernacular. Nothing. I say it a few times and I can feel myself becoming more quiet, decaffeinated. Nothing. Now I'm picturing emptiness, a white blanket, a couple ducks gliding on a still pond. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. How did we get so far from it?
See also: Coffee, Stopping for; Crossing Guard; Nothing
(posted with permission from Miss Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Thanks Amy, you rockin' wordsmith, you.)
I just think she's a genius.
Just wanted to share a bit of inspiration. Are any of my album entries that good or that thought provoking? Hard to objectively say. Are the stories and things I'm writing about meaningful to me? Absolutely.
Class starts on September 16th. If you have any questions about it, please leave me a comment today and I'll be sure to answer. To learn more about the workshop, click here.
Here's to telling your own random stories.