Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bleeding purple ink

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived an enchanted girl who liked to talk to herself on paper.  She spent hours, days, months, and years chronicling the angst-filled dramas of her adolescence.  

With a candy cane shaped pen that wrote in red, peppermint-scented ink, she filled page after page of a pink, hard bound journal.  She most certainly wrote about crushes and divulged her innermost secrets on those pages, but the distance in space and time between then and now has made her memory of what secrets those pages wore... fuzzy.

Of course, the peppermint-scented red ink ran out, and the pages of the pink journal soon filled up.  So, on she went to another journal, this one bound in blue floral fabric.  

She was no longer discerning as to the color of ink that she wrote in as she continued to puzzle out the questions of her existence within the journal's blank lined pages.  She continued to chronicle her awkward adolescence as if her words would someday matter to her --

And then, one day, for reasons that I no longer remember, I stopped.  I took every journal that I'd painstakingly kept for all of those awkward adolescent days, and I got rid of them.  I can't even remember exactly what I did with them.  I might have put them out with the trash, my imaginative young mind romanticizing the idea of those writings being buried in the local landfill for centuries, only to be uncovered by some future archaeologist and studied.

In truth, I probably burned them in sheer embarrassment at my naivety, both in life and in writing skills.

After I gave up my teenaged journals to the fire gods and/or the local landfill, I gave up on keeping a journal for a long time.  I pseudo-journaled, keeping random notebooks full of thoughts, poetry, and lists.  And then, one day, towards the end of my failing pseudo-marriage, I turned to keeping a journal again.  It was a little spiral bound thing with blank unlined pages that fit neatly into my purse, and I carried it with me everywhere.

I wrote in my new journal with every color of ink I could find -- my favorite being the sparkly purple inked pen that someone had given me -- and I chronicled the death of my marriage.  There are pages and pages of painful things in that pretty little book.  Pages of pain bled out in cheerful colored ink staining the page.

When the marriage ended, I set that journal aside, and I picked up a new one.  It was a gift from a friend, a hard bound, cutesy thing, colored bright yellow, with pictures of kittens on the front.  That same friend gave me a pink gel ink pen to write in the journal with.  And so, I bled out still more pain in pink gel ink all over its blank lined pages as I rediscovered who I was and where I was going next in life.

These days, my ink color of choice is purple.  Yes, in a pinch I will write with another color, but only if I don't have a purple pen within reach.  I even went so far as to hunt down refill cartridges online and shamelessly buy them in bulk so that I won't ever have to go without purple ink again.

These days, I bleed purple ink onto pages filled with things besides pain and angst.  I have a new journal, where I still divulge my innermost secrets and school girl crushes (no, I'm not sharing those).  But, I also have notebooks full of shiny new ideas for stories that I haven't told yet.  I have notes for characters, plots, and worlds that I haven't visited.

In truth, it wouldn't really matter what color ink I'm bleeding out onto the page, as long as I am still writing.

Writers bleed ink, and my blood is purple.

What color is yours?


  1. My first thought and this is from the gut is that my colour is the deepest of blue, like the largest oceans that dapple my unexplored imaginings.... at the beginning of my writing resurgence, I would write in this colour (wow that was a very creative thought from the gut ;) ).

  2. Very poetic, too! Thanks for reading. :)

  3. Haha I was just contemplating yesterday whether I should burn all of my previous angst/drama filled journals! Journals are like very raw rough drafts. Not sure I want that to be Post-Death reading material for anyone!

    My color is any color that is available. It used to matter to me which pen and which color to use, but now I bleed multicolors. I enjoyed reading. :)

  4. That last sentence was supposed to be "I enjoyed reading your post." (Not enough coffee yet)

  5. I'm with you on the Post-Death reading material -- although I really do wish I had kept those journals because of the gold mine of story ideas they probably contain. Thanks for reading!

  6. I used to journal too; when I was in my twenties as a defiant act, because my mom wouldn't allow me to keep a diary when I was a teen. I burned/tossed my journals after my divorce. I would start one up only to stop over and over and now I blog - not really about me, but about what I do (photography / blogging / dog owner). I love it.

    My ink choice is blue.

  7. I still have the newer journals. I wish I could trade them and have the ones from my younger days back. It would be so interesting to revisit those days.

  8. Purple is also my color of choice. I love seeing a page covered in purple. Visually it seems to have more impact than any other color.
    I spread the love, too. My promo pens are purple, as well as my website.
    Great post!

  9. I don't always journal anymore, but will use any pen I can grab when the urge strikes. I keep an idea journal, and each of my major projects gets a journal or two. I do love them.

  10. I completely agree, JM. There's nothing like seeing a page covered in purple ink. I think it trips the creative switch in my brain to the "on" setting.

    I have my personal journal, and I have an idea journal. Once it goes beyond a basic idea, it gets a Microsoft OneNote file. (In a purple font.) :D