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Posts tagged "diaries"

Nov 29, 2013
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Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien’s diary for the KID A sessions

“From July 1999 to June 2000, Radiohead’s guitarist, Ed O’Brien, kept an online diary in which he described and updated fans on the recording process for Kid A and Amnesiac.”

July 22, 1999 - thom arrives & plays a new song on the acoustic. sounds great but has no name, so now on referred to as the song with no name. we move on to “lost at sea/in limbo” after only nine months work its starting to sound like its getting somewhere. good in fact. The others sound ok too.( everything, everyone/the national anthem). highlight of the day is attempting 3 part harmonies on “neil young *9”- not the harmonies themselves, but phil cracking up because he feels a bit like that drummer from the eagles. a fucking brilliant rehearsal. its great to be in our band.

I read this as Ed was writing it (14 years ago! ack!) but it might be even more interesting in hindsight.

It is, of course, a fantastic example of Show Your Work!

Sep 03, 2013
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Letters of Note: The light has gone out of my life


  On Valentine’s Day of 1884, just 36 hours after the birth of their only daughter, Alice, 25-year-old future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt held his young wife in his arms as she passed away from undiagnosed Bright’s disease. Incredibly, just hours before, in the same house, he had already said a final goodbye to his mother, Martha. She had succumbed to Typhoid, aged just 48.
  
  Theodore’s diary for that day read as follows.


And yet, life goes on, as evidenced by the ghost text of the coming days underneath…

Letters of Note: The light has gone out of my life

On Valentine’s Day of 1884, just 36 hours after the birth of their only daughter, Alice, 25-year-old future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt held his young wife in his arms as she passed away from undiagnosed Bright’s disease. Incredibly, just hours before, in the same house, he had already said a final goodbye to his mother, Martha. She had succumbed to Typhoid, aged just 48.

Theodore’s diary for that day read as follows.

And yet, life goes on, as evidenced by the ghost text of the coming days underneath…

Sep 28, 2012
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Excerpts from John Steinbeck’s diary while writing The Grapes of Wrath

In 1938, John Steinbeck began writing what he hoped would be a great novel, and to keep track of his writing progress, he started a daily diary. “Here is the diary of a book…it will be interesting to see how it works out.” The diary is collected in Working Days: The Journal of The Grapes of Wrath, 1938-1941.

The Morgan Library has a podcast of an actor reading from the diary at different points — it’s wonderfully reassuring to hear a talent like Steinbeck worry and fret and struggle and doubt his way through writing what is now considered a masterpiece.

Here are a few excerpts:

May 31, 1938: I shall try simply to keep a record of working days and the amount done in each and the success (as far as I can know it) of the day. Just now the work goes well.

June 5: …My whole nervous system is battered…I hope I’m not headed for a nervous breakdown…

June 9: …This must be a good book. It simply must…

June 11: …My life isn’t very long and I must get one book written before it ends. The others have been make shifts, experiments, practices. For the first time I am working on a real book…

June 18: …I am assailed with my own ignorance and inability. Honesty. If I can keep an honesty to it… If I can do that it will be all my lack of genius can produce. For no one else knows my lack of ability the way I do. I am pushing against it all the time. Sometimes, I seem to do a good little piece of work, but when it is done it slides into mediocrity…

July 8: I wonder how this book will be. I wonder.

August 24: My nerves are going fast… I wish I could just disappear for a while.. I must get back into the stride and sweep. It isn’t just noise and bustle, it’s all the shots in my direction… Nowhere to turn. Nowhere. Can’t think of these things any more. Where has my discipline gone? Have I lost control?

September 7: So many things to drive me nuts… I’m afraid this book is going to pieces. If it does, I do too… If only I wouldn’t take this book so seriously. It is just a book after all, and a book is very dead in a very short time. And I’ll be dead in a very short time too. So the hell with it. Let’s slow down, not in pace or wordage but in nerves.

October 4: My laziness is overwhelming. I must knock it over… I’ve been looking back over this diary and by God the pressures were bad the whole damned time. There wasn’t a bit that wasn’t under pressure and now the pressure is removed and I’m still having trouble. It would be funny if my book was no good at all…

When it came time to write East of Eden, Steinbeck continued the diary tradition, but with letters to his editor instead:

Each working day from January 29 to November 1, 1951, John Steinbeck warmed up to the work of writing East of Eden with a letter to the late Pascal Covici, his friend and editor at The Viking Press. It was his way, he said, of “getting my mental arm in shape to pitch a good game.” Steinbeck’s letters were written on the left-hand pages of a notebook in which the facing pages would be filled with the test of East of Eden. They touched on many subjects—story arguments, trial flights of worknamship, concern for his sons.

You can read those letters in Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters and Steinbeck: A Life in Letters.

(Thanks to @jamesfflynn for this!)

Mar 15, 2012
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Keith Haring’s journals on Tumblr

anniewerner:

tumblropenarts:

The Brooklyn Museum’s Keith Haring exhibit has a home on Tumblr. The exhibition opens tomorrow, but you can get your preview on right in your dashboard. 

So. much. love. 

Gonna try really hard to see this when I’m in NYC. Filed under diaries.

Keith Haring’s journals on Tumblr

anniewerner:

tumblropenarts:

The Brooklyn Museum’s Keith Haring exhibit has a home on Tumblr. The exhibition opens tomorrow, but you can get your preview on right in your dashboard. 

So. much. love.

Gonna try really hard to see this when I’m in NYC. Filed under diaries.

Feb 08, 2012
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Lynda Barry’s 4-minute diary exercise

thenearsightedmonkey:

Why is it so hard to keep up a diary?

IT ISN’T! Not if you limit your diary writing to just four minutes. Spend two minutes writing a list of things you remember from the day before, and then another two minutes writing what you remember seeing the day before. For some reason, splitting the four minutes into remembered events and remembered scenes seems to bring images more easily to mind.

If you like, you can use this video as a timer for your daily diary entry.

As part of Lynda Barry’s spring semester Arts Institute Residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison she’s having her students keep a four minute daily diary in their composition notebooks along with their other assignments.

It’s so easy! Why not try it?

After about a week or so you’ll start to notice the things you notice as you move through your day.

Get your composition notebook and pen ready and then just click on the video.

It’s so rad that Lynda is sharing these exercises from her class. Also check out her 7-minute writing exercise.

Jan 04, 2012
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Alien Lanes

Guided By Voices, “My Son Cool,” off Alien Lanes (1995)

Decide now!
Decide now before you continue
The list is complete without your permission
I finally know how, I finally can’t quit
And ancient ideas are on fire, my love

Completely the rope has been severed
The night screams for contact and clue
I must keep a journal, I must boast a victory
The hellfire is dying around you, my love

Around you, my love

Live on the Jon Stewart Show in 1995:

(via thehalloffantasticallyfinething)

Jan 02, 2012
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Frank Chimero’s The Being There Diary

The Being There Diary asks a simple question: “What was the very best moment of your day?”

Nicholson Baker:

If you ask yourself, ‘What’s the best thing that happened today?’ it actually forces a certain kind of cheerful retrospection that pulls up from the recent past things to write about that you wouldn’t otherwise think about. If you ask yourself, ‘What happened today?’ it’s very likely that you’re going to remember the worst thing, because you’ve had to deal with it—you’ve had to rush somewhere or somebody said something mean to you—that’s what you’re going to remember. But if you ask what the best thing is, it’s going to be some particular slant of light, or some wonderful expression somebody had, or some particularly delicious salad. I mean, you never know…

See also: on keeping a logbook

Dec 18, 2011
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Lynda Barry, “A Way of Keeping A Diary”

That “obituary-like recounting of events” is what I go for in my logbook.

Filed under: diaries

Lynda Barry, “A Way of Keeping A Diary”

That “obituary-like recounting of events” is what I go for in my logbook.

Filed under: diaries

(Source: thenearsightedmonkey)

Dec 03, 2011
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Sketchbook pages from “What It Is” by Lynda Barry

thenearsightedmonkey:

When you’re drawing something or writing something there always comes a point when the image seems to stop and it makes you become unsure about what you’re doing and so you stop too.

When this happens it’s good to have a pad of paper right next to you so you can move your hand over to it and just make any kind of mark in order to keep your hand in motion.  Moving your hand can help the image start up again, even if all you are doing is slowly writing the alphabet or making is a spiral.

This can help you keep what you’ve done intact while you wait through the worry over image starting up again. Sometimes when the image stops, we go back over what we’ve done and we may try to start fixing something that isn’t broken. Keeping your hand in motion may help you stay put until the image begins to flicker back up again.

If you use this pad of paper to keep your hand moving whenever you don’t know what to do next, the marks that accumulate start to become an odd and kind of effortless diary.

Nov 28, 2011
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"American Elf: the Sketchbook Diaries of James Kochalka"

Reading BEK and Gary Larson on how they thought of their cartoons as diaries made me remember I hadn’t read American Elf in months! (I barely look at my RSS feeds anymore.)

"American Elf: the Sketchbook Diaries of James Kochalka"

Reading BEK and Gary Larson on how they thought of their cartoons as diaries made me remember I hadn’t read American Elf in months! (I barely look at my RSS feeds anymore.)

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