Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Journal Writing’ Category

Night Life

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

For the first time in ten years, I am going to start keeping a dream journal. For the past few months, I’ve had dreams—both vivid in imagery and rich in strange story. I feel like my sub-conscious is working overtime, and I should record it to the best of my ability. What I’d really like to do is work with a therapist who specializes in dream interpretation. My fear is that such a specialist wouldn’t take health insurance.

I bought this dream journal over the weekend—it’s the only one the bookstore had.

I found it very cheesy when I bought it, but it’s growing on me. I’ve recorded the dreams of the past three nights already. What I do is wake up and write broad sketches of the dream. Later in the day, when I have more time, I fill in the details.

Here are the instructions the journal came with:
If any of the dreams are especially interesting, I’ll be glad to share them here.

My Food Diary

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

I’m looking to lose some weight. Not too much—twelve pounds or so. I’ve been fortunate in my life not to have had too much concern with weight. I’m tall with a quick metabolism, and that’s all I’ve needed thus far. But in the last few years I haven’t been able to work out as often as I’d like, and I weigh now more than I’ve ever weighed. Yikes!

I’ve read many times that if you want to lose weight, you should keep a food diary. It’s how you hold yourself accountable. It goes without saying that I love diaries, but writing down everything I eat doesn’t seem like something I’m going to keep up with. Or maybe I could handle the writing down part but not the adding up calories and figuring out what I can and can’t eat. That’s not my forte. Until – that is – I found An electronic diary is just what I need in this case because it does most of the work for me.

You (meaning me) tell the site your age, height, weight, gender, and how much you want to lose and it tells you how many calories a day you can consume. Even if you don’t want to lose weight but just maintain it—it’s great for that, too. You then plug in everything you eat. They have a mass database, so the chances of the nutritional information of your food being in there are good. If not, you can enter it manually. The system will remember it and you don’t have to enter it more than once. You tell the system what you eat, drink, and when you exercise. Naturally, you earn calories back when you exercise.

The program also keeps track of your sodium, sugar, cholesterol, iron, Vitamin A & C, and calcium intake—telling you when you’ve had too much or not enough.

I am loving it because you start fresh each day. If you have a day of dessert day (which we all need once in a while) then you forgive yourself and begin again tomorrow. It costs $9 per month and is well worth it. So far I’m having fun with it, but don’t know if I’m really losing weight. I’m on the lose 1 lb a week program, so I won’t weigh myself until April. I’ll let you know what happens then!

Doogie Howser, J.W. (Journal Writer)

Friday, January 28th, 2011


I caught the end of a Doogie Howser rerun a few nights back. I had forgotten that he was the orginal computer journaler. At the end of each episode he’d type a few words of wisdom onto his very blue computer screen.


He wasn’t blogging—just journaling for himself and the audience, of course. This was the early 90’s, a few years before e-mail became a must. I suppose one writer for the show had a vision that some of us would be journaling on our computers someday, and he was right. So hats off to that man and his vision. Hats off also to Neil Patrick Harris—the ultimate comeback kid. It’s been a hilarious pleasure watching his career the past few years.

For anyone interested in Doogie’s journal, I found this: The Personal Journal of Doogie Howser, M.D. I’m not certain they are all real. Some of them seem so, but others don’t. Ah well, it’s a quick mouse scroll down memory lane.

This is my fav:

Ray and I got caught up in comparing ourselves to others. It doesn’t matter weither* you think too much of yourself or too little, either way you lose.

*Whether is spelled incorrectly on The Personal Jouranl site.

Good Reads

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Over at Write Novel Buy Eggs, there’s a great story about losing one’s journal in the back of rental car. She writes, “Of all the people I feared might read my journal one day, my mechanic was never one of them.”

And my friend Patrick has posted his second blog for The Huffington Post travel section. It’s an amusing tale entitled An Open Letter to Algeria From the Guy Whose Visa Application You Denied.

Have a splendid weekend!

Writings Around Town

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

I’ve been up to some guest blogging. Over at Ramshackle Glam I wrote a tidbit on how to keep things steamy between the sheets. (Scroll down, I’m there. It’s called “The Couples Journal.”)

This week’s Keeping in Touch column for Tranquility du Jour focuses on writing letters to your emotions. Don’t knock it until you try it!

Finally, my friend Carla over at 365 Letters has started profiling her fellow letters writers, and I’m honored to be the first. I look forward to meeting some great letter-writing minds.

In the near future: I’ve written an article for the August/September issue of ReadyMade magazine. It’s an old-fashioned print piece. I’ll let you know when it’s out!

Chatting with Kimberly Wilson

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I had a lovely chat a few weeks back with the energetic and fabulous Kimberly Wilson. Listen to our talk in podcast form.

P.S. You don’t need an iPod to listen to the Podcast.

Tranquil Tuesdays

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Don’t forget to visit me at Tranquility Du Jour today. I hope everyone is staying warm!