Friday, June 12, 2009

Wreck This Journal - Week 2

It has been SOOOOOO much FUN browsing the links of others participating in this Next Chapter on Keri Smith's WRECK THIS JOURNAL! As usual, Jamie Ridler's band of followers have ideas I could never have thought of in a million years and they make me stretch because should I come across an idea I'd had or considered I then have to come up with something else cuz it's already been done.

A confession: as I've already stated, my copy of the book was gifted to me last year by my dramatic, creative daughter - a devotee of all things SARK. I think she found it in her college town bookstore and since she holds me personally responsible for her own procrastination and perfectionist tendancies (as if they're genetic) I think the acknowledgements page where Keri says 'Dedicated to perfectionists all over the world.' hooked her and convinced her that Mom NEEDED it. When I'd received it I had NO idea this opportunity to 'do' the book with others would arise and I'd made some conservative stabs at some of its contents - cracked the book's spine, poked pencil holes in a page, drew varying weight/width pencil lines and burned a couple corners of a page. No big deal. And then I sat the book aside and began to think of it as I might the occassional quick scan of a chunky little Doonesbury or Dilbert to illicit a grin or even a chuckle. In other words - a waste of book shelf space or at best a 'basket by the toilet' book. I WAS NOT thrilled when Jamie announced it would be the next Next Chapter book after 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. In fact, I was pretty dang disappointed as it meant not only could I personally not see its worth as a catalyst for group enthusiasm but I already had the book and would not even get to shop and add to my 'collection'.


It has given me genuine belly laughs to see some of the aggressively destructive acts some have taken to wreck their journals! Okay, so the book still therefor continues to qualify for my comedy category of my book collection. But it also crosses over into art inspiration and spiritual inspiration by virtue of the fact that I never could have imagined coffee rings/stains/spills as a thing of beauty and now I do or that 'crazy wisdom' exists in anarchy and rebellious defiance of respectful gratitude displayed in good caretaking of one's gifts.

My Dearest Darlin' replaced my computer last month and I have yet to master getting pics downloaded to it so until I do, I just have to tell you what I've begun in my 'wrecking'. Since yesterday when I edged into Week 1 by the skin of my teeth, I've mostly been catching up with everyone else's wreckage not leaving much time for my own but I was driven to take another, more action oriented look at my copy of this book. I'd done the 'taking possession' part when it was given to me and like someone else admitted I'd already gotten off to a disorderly start by dropping each writing of my name to the line below where it ought to be. AAACK! Oh, well. Seeing some of the technicolored title pages of others, I examined following suit but flipped past my own title page feeling no spark for such embellishment. The next page between the title page and 'this book belongs to' however contains a WARNING and that is where I chose to begin. And so, I began by addressing the warning to myself by name in heavy black marker and colored the entire background yellow, more in keeping with a road sign of caution. I filled in the open lettering of the word 'warning' to give it more emphasis and then I proceeded to de-emphasize some of the words of warning by blacking them out entirely based in part on some of what I've seen displayed by the actions of others in this collective venture thus far and in part on the idea that if successful at it, this book is likely to change an awful lot about ME.
Mine now reads: "Sheila - WARNING: During this process you get dirty. You find yourself covered in paint & any other number of foreign substances. You get wet. You do things you question. You may grieve for the perfect state that you found this book in. You begin to see creative destruction everywhere. You begin to live recklessly."
I then dated and tore that half of the page out and moved it to the blank space beneath the big black 'Instructions' arrow on a following page and secured it with tape. And then still considering emphasis, I re-numbered the instructions themselves and highlighted my new #1 and #2 with color. Old #1 became #5, #2 became #4, #3 became #1, #4 - #3 and #5 became #2 with EXPERIMENT triple exclamation marked and the words 'against better judgement' underlined in red and question marks surrounding 'better'.
LOL - I think a career counselor would suggest I go into editting. Anyone know someone in HR in publishing?


  1. Totally awesome!!! I loved how you turned the warning into personal instructions - that rocks! And yay to being wrong and ending up on a wild adventure. Thanks for diving in, even if you had your doubts!

  2. I loved this post. I'm sure more than you were wondering about this choice in books. I had seen Wreck in more than one bookstore/store and picked it up and chuckled with some of the instructions never thinking I'd actually buy one and Wreck it. It is fun visiting with everyone again. I do know someone in HR! ;D

  3. A lovely way of starting - I am glad the book group has made you relook at this book - it is going to be such fun!

  4. How ingenious and fun! I can practically hear you giggling! :)

  5. This is great. You know, when I first read about Keri Smith's books, I thought, that's great, that is just what many people need... but it's not for me.

    The only thing that enticed me to buy it, is the book club, because I knew it would get people to be creative and it would enable a fantastic discussion.

    Truth is, I am more creative and experimental with my book because I can watch other people explore. I've done stuff like this before, but that doesn't mean I can't use some more boundary testing.

    And I am confronting my own perfectionism. And my own conflict between creating "pretty" art and creating meaningful art.

    This stuff is never as simple as it appears at first.

  6. Sometimes the things that we put off are the things we need to do most -- How fortunate that you already had the book, just waiting for you :) :)

    I can't wait to see what your wreck looks like when you figure out how to load pictures!

  7. Great start Sheila.
    Let's get wrecking in earnest!

  8. Wrecking the journal as part of a group is definitely a big part of the fun. I'm not sure I would be as daring without the moral support. In fact, I'm still working on the daring. It will come. You are off to a great start!