faery-lights - 2004-03-12
curiosekwe - 2004-02-10
splash-girl - 2004-01-09
shaynasanerd - 2003-12-24
poetgrl224 - 2003-11-30
2003-07-21 :: joleen

It's Only A Diary

Lovely Gorey illustrations are scattered about this journal. The layout is simple, emphasizing the writing, rather than some flashy design. Nothing is missing: navigation along the bottom points to a profile, a guestbook, notes, random entries, and favorite entries. I enjoy it when diarists link to their favorite buddy entries. It gives me an opportunity to read something of a "best-of" page, which I enjoy--particularly when I like the diary of the favorer.

Y'know what? Good writing is about presence; it's about voice. Develop a voice--one that a reader can get his or her fingers around, one that is almost tangibly tasty, like a soft peach, and the rest will come. Joleen is poignantly honest, never glib, and is able to convert the 9 to 5 world into something entertaining, and worth reading. This diary is established (almost a thousand entries!), and I can click random over and over and over again, reading the various stories, and never get bored. Frequent topics include "life in the cube," the evil Bush administration, television, cat antics, music, and delectably tantalizing food descriptions. I wish I could cook. In any case, kids, if you want to know how to write about your day without alienating and boring the reader, take lessons from Joleen's entries like this one or this. I also like her political agility: Joleen is on top of the game, and she not only joins schleps like me in outwardly criticizing our miscreant government: she also goes to rallies and protests. And she's well beyond being overly affected, and writing with pretense. This isn't someone who will ignore all television, proclaiming it is "evil, evil, evil." Rather, she's likely to watch even the most potentially ridiculous and innane programs (like the new surfer show) and find something beautiful in them--the waves, the hair of one of the surfers, the way the people float on the water. I appreciate a good TV critic and, beyond that, I am almost envious of the way this diarist is able to pay such close attention to the world without taking herself too seriously. Circumspect. Joleen is circumspect. Check an entry like this, or this one,and you'll see what I mean.

I honestly don't have much to suggest. The only thing I might do is add some sort of semi-coherent "about me" page, because there are so many entries that a reader may not know where to start. Or you could start a "best entries" list with your own diary, and link to the entries that reveal fundamental Joleenisms.

Grade: A
This is a fantastic journal. Really.