Endings and Beginnings

Last winter, my love of fountain pens drove me to search for the perfect paper. Far too many papers succumb to bleed through or ghosting of fountain pen ink, especially the nefarious Baystate Blue (IYKYK, and for the record, I love it.). Finally, I gave into the siren call of a Hobonichi Techo. These planners are known for their Tomoe River paper and are beloved by many.

And let me say, mine lived up to the hype. Like so many writers, I love notebooks, planners, and journals, but where I diverge from the herd is that I refuse to collect journals, etc. and not use them. I already had a monthly and daily planner and a wall calendar, plus those online. The last thing I needed was another planner, albeit a really cool Japanese one.

So I swore I’d use the page each day to write down some idea for my writing–ads, story notes, blog ideas–something every day, and I did, but that rarely took up a full A6 page, so I noted events from my days…not that they’re very exciting days. Sometimes I mostly wrote about the weather.

The front has a section for habit tracking, where I kept track of the words I wrote. The back has space for my Top 100 that I used to list the books I read throughout the year (38, to be exact).

Every week of so, I used my Canon Selphy printer to make small prints of all the random pictures I took on my phone’s camera (and probably like you, I take a ton of pictures.) I glued these, plus other bits and bobs–like cards from the iFit challenges I finished, coasters from the winery we visited, the winning trivia paper–onto the relevant day or on the few blank pages in the back. By the end of the year, I had this:

Can you tell which is last year’s Hobo?

By January 1, 2022, I had a small, very full, scrapbook of my year. Would anyone else enjoy looking through it? Maybe, but it’s doubtful, although my kids might enjoy the daily life pictures I take, the ones that don’t make it into my big scrapbooks or onto the walls. They one day might be reminded of the impromptu trip to a nearby beach, where the dogs had such a great time that their joy was infectious.

Or maybe I’m the only one who would care, but it’s all good. You see, I love flipping back through the year and being reminded of the fact I needed new sneakers because I had worn out my old ones being on the treadmill or seeing the little sticky note my husband left on my desk telling me he loves me.

As you probably noted in the picture, there is a much flatter Techo next to the one from 2021, and it’s already begun to puff up from the few pictures I’ve put in there. The big fat one is tucked away on the shelf, marking an end to a full year spent under the shadow of COVID. The new one sits on my beside table waiting for my ideas and inspiration.

I already have some plot bunnies trapped in there that just might become stories for you to read.

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