I searched for the book Making a Literary Life (here) and was happy to find a used hardcover copy at Powell's online bookstore. As I had to pay a flat shipping charge anyway, I threw caution to the wind and ordered a book on art journal techniques as well.
They both arrived within the week. I was afraid there might be underlining or highlighting or marginalia that would distract me (plus mar the book). That is one disadvantage of ordering used books online - I can't hold them and determine their condition for myself.
Anyway, I needn't have worried as both previously-owned books arrived in good condition.
I am happy to note that Carolyn See's book on a making a literary life is just as entertaining as it was when I read it years ago. I like a book on writing that includes the highways and byways of the author's experiences. Ms. See's book is full of these as well as humor and sound advice.
She writes in the introduction that her intention is to help a new writer - or someone even thinking about becoming a writer - through the maze of finding her or his voice, writing, getting published, and what to do afterward. Even though I have been living a writer's life for decades, it is still helpful to read her thoughts on starting out and to recall my own first days of putting pen to paper.
This is not a book about grammar and spelling and punctuation, but a book about creating a life of writing. I love it.
Her idea is to use a desk calendar/planner as an art journal and a way "to capture the moments in your days." There are ideas on ways to spice up your journal. She shows how to add envelopes and sheets of watercolor papers to enhance the pages and offers monthly prompts and inspiration.
On a daily basis she suggests picking a color and a word of the day along with drawing a pattern or design of some sort and the weather. Simple ways to keep your journal going.
Ms. Armfield's book also features twelve guest artists and has photographs of their take on her ideas. It is great resource. And very colorful.
I am off this weekend to a one-day workshop called 'Creating a WaterCOLOR Journal' in which I hope to learn something about color theory and color mixing. And who knows what else. Then I plan on pulling out my art journal and playing. No excuses.