How It All Started

by Torry Martin

Dear Kevin the Computer,

Thanks for letting me write to you. I used to write to Diana the Diary, but I kept getting funny looks from people who saw Diana's pink fur cover. Then I switched to a plain journal that didn't get the unwanted attention. I named it Jurgen because writing in a book that doesn't have a name seems impersonal somehow.

But Jurgen had lines on every page, which meant I couldn't draw without having lines through my faces or belt buckles or webbed feet. So I set Jurgen aside with Diana and hope they're very happy together.

(Thinking.) I always type "thinking" when I'm thinking so I know what I'm doing when I'm doing it.

(Done thinking.) I usually don't type "done thinking" 'cause I know when I'm done. I just typed it so you'd know I was done, too.

I was just thinking (see above) that since you don't have pink fur, Kevin, you can't be a diary. Which is OK, I guess, since diaries usually tell what happened in the day . . . like where I went after work, who I saw at Whit's End, or what led up to the broken soda spout where Connie got drenched. (Hockey pucks are dangerous!)

But a journal? Well, a journal is a completely different thing. A journal is more like a collection of thoughts that might or might not have anything to do with what happened that day, which works well with me. And typing a journal on a computer is the same as handwriting one, except I won't get hand cramps.

Whit says, "Journals are good for keeping track of your thoughts and feelings, in good times and bad, so you get to discover who you are and who you are becoming." Whit talks like that sometimes. I don't, which is why I quoted him.

So I'm encouraging everyone I know to keep a journal because if all my friends did, they wouldn't give me funny looks because I do. And if enough of us do it, maybe we can share what we write. It can be our New Year's Goal. (I was going to call it a New Year's Resolution, but those usually fizzle out before February. If I call it a goal, I might actually achieve it.)

This journal is where I hope to learn more about myself, God and my mysterious neighbor, Miss Ulily Mae Willow, who rides a motorcycle and must be a secret agent or a spy because she always wears sunglasses. She moved to Odyssey last week, and you're not going to believe what I've learned about her! But . . . just a sec . . . Eugene is talking to me. . . .

Eugene just said this isn't a journal since it's on a computer. He said it's a blog. So now I'm going to have to call you B. Log. Next time, I'll fill you in on the mysterious doings at Willow Manor.

OK, B., we have to get the word out to those who want to write their own journal, diary, blog or whatever-they-wanna-call-it. And they could even start by asking questions to get started, like:

The one thing I wish I could have changed about today is . . .

By the end of the next year, I want to achieve the goal of . . .

To make someone else smile today, I . . .

This article first appeared in the January 2010 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.