HOW TO KEEP A DIARY
Step 1: Selecting a Diary
Obviously the most complex and important process in the voyage of chronicling one's daily events, the diary must accurately represent the writer. For example, you would note that nobody ever spotted Edgar Allen Poe with a pink journal covered in satin. After deciding which diaries fit the writer's emotional needs, the diarist must select a diary that is more practical for him or her. Obviously you would not spot Al Capone with a journal of silk because, as one of the leading mobsters of his time, silk was not a very practical material for his diary. It needs to be able to stand the wear and tear of the life of a gangster.
There are many kinds of covers (leather? cardboard? wood? plastic?), some of which are stiff, some of which are flexible, and quite a few that are in between. What is your preference, you see? This can be interchanged with size on the list, as size is also a chief character in a diary. There are many truly enormous diaries that one might require a horse-drawn cart to transport, and many that could not comfortably be home to a postage stamp. If one were to desire a diary to travel with him, he might choose a stiff, leather-bound medium-sized one. The lack of flexibility makes it easier subject to wear and tear, both of which it will experience during any voyages, both long and short. The leather comes in neutral colors, such as black and tan and red, and therefore it is posh and can be pulled out in public. If he worries about it still, he might go so far to make sure the diary is unmarked and inconspicious and can be passed off as an agenda, planner, address book, or other such device. The leather is also handy as it is harder to spoil by dripping a bit of chocolate sauce on it. The size allows it to accomodate for writing in, yet can still nicely fit into a purse, backpack, or suitcase. But, on the contrary, a young girl looking for her first diary may want one of those tiny postage-stamp ones, because she doesn't write much of any great intellectual depth, anyway. It may have a nonfunctioning lock on it so that she may feel secure in sharing her deepest, darkest thoughts with the knowledge that no one can penetrate such a strong lock. Perhaps it has a large, endearing picture, such as a smiley face or a cartoon charater on it.
After one has evaluated and considered all of the above, it comes to: price. $10 is rather inexpensive for a place to hold one's thoughts, and perhaps he or she is beeing, or even being, too cheap. Any diaries $10 or under should immediately be returned to the shelves from which they came. Anything below $15 is too close to $10 and should do the same. $30, however, is astoundingly unreasonable for just some fancy notebook. A blatant thievery of money. Under no circumstances should one forfeit $30 to the companies, probably originated by terrorists in great needs of weapons of mass destruction, that would dare price a diary that high. Since anything $25 and up automatically rounds to $30, it is also quite clearly unacceptable to purchase a diary priced so as well.
After representing personality, fulfilling diarist's needs physically--size, cover style, etc.--cover design, and price, normally there are less than three diaries in the running. Then it becomes a matter of the inside paper.
Some diaries have this very scratchy stuff that hurts to look at. Of course there's that stuff that's very similar to that paper they (used to) make in Egypt--papyrus paper, I do believe, which includes...papaya?...and dryer lint. That should be avoided at all costs. It is unnatural when four pages are an inch thick. Also there is this "cream paper," which is unbelievably amazing. It's like silken paper. Strong, yet oh-so-soft. Unfortunately, it is costly and only comes in very small diaries. A lot of paper has really small lines that are impossible to write full letters in between, and some have lines so enormous I could fit one of my thights in it, and some have no lines at all.
If all that fails, just close your eyes and pick one.
Step 2: Starting the Diary
The first entry must be fairly lengthy, but not too long ere it will be spoiled by tediousness. It cannot contain any uninteresting introductions and must instead begin in an original, but relevant, manner. The diarist must remain objective in regards to the diary: the idea may be neither good nor bad. He or she cannot state any precognitive ideas on the outcome--success or failure--of diary. There must be no modern references including names dating less than 50 years past. It must be written neatly, completely, and without neglect, preferrably in black pen. Spelling or penmanship-related mistakes must not be blatantly crossed out with pen, but wittily passed off. Repetition, unless it is circumstantial and witty, may not, preferrably, occur within those first pages.
Step 3: Successfully Pushing Off
Diarist must write at a constant rate, generally talking of universal subjects, such as life, the Universe and everything. At least one substantial entry per first three days must occur, to point out that the writer is in it for the long haul. Also writing every day for those first trying few days determines whether the diary will be successful and follow through to the end like so, much like how the first exam of the semester determines the outcome of one's final grade. It is a scientific fact that once one's diary collects dust, its contents may no longer be tampered with (unless, of course, one has been marching through Sahara or similar desert). Writer must remember there is no such thing as "coming back," and instead a new one must be invested in.
Step 4: Incorporating Daily Details in Diary
While the first few entries must remain aloof and withdrawn, after a period of three days the diarist can and should begin incorporating details of one's everyday happenings into the diary. This is a toughie, and should not be taken lightly. Nobody, not even a diary, wants to hear of boring, tedious details of one's day, so the writer has three options:
1. Create an interesting even to write about. This is most effective, most outlandish, and assuredly most fun. Therefore, it is the rarest and most difficult of the three.
2. Make an otherwise uninteresting event captivating. When this is done in newspapers, etc. it is sometimes refferred to as "Yellow Journalism." The exaggeration of events. Added lines of dialogue, and few bangs and bruises, juicy thoughts or colorful, in-depth descriptions can achieve this.
3. Don't write about it at all. This, of course, is a stupid, cowardly idea, but if nothing happened, at ALL--i.e. if you've been sleeping since last written--don't talk about it. An ideal fix for this situation: see number 1.
Step 5: Introducing the cast.
The time is 1:15 p.m. I sit in biology class, loathing it with every dendrite of my nervous system (haha! ha!). Mr. F-word drones on and on as though he has discovered a cure for SARS (which, of course, would seem exciting, but not sound it).
Instead of attending to non-stimulating talk of biology which, ironically enough, promises to take me nowhere in life, I am thinking of the amazing--and fortunately, attractive--actor Adrien Brody, who has graced such films as The Pianist and Liberty Heights. God bless him.
Dylan is dead sexy. And a complete wanker.
No, not really, he is neither of the above but he was there at the time, so I thought I'd write it.
Step 6: Using the Diary as a Don't Panic device
Two days until my drama audition. Commence panic--considering until last night I didn't have a dramatic monologue.
Finally, after weeks of searching, I found the perfect monologue from Tom Stoppard's Hamlet-based play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (for future curiosity it can be found near the middle of Act II--Player's monologue, starting with, "You don't understand the humiliation of it," and ending with, "Well, I saw you do it!"). I was practicing last night, and I'd reached the word "vengeance" before gravity, working at a rate of 32 feet, or 9.8 meters, per second decided it hated me. I was standing up but evidently an odd tilting of the earth made my knee go all funny, pop out of place, and now I am virtually unable to walk. Not only does this get in the way of my, you know, walking, but also I will be unable to properly perform my monologues.
Ordinarily I would be running in circles, screaming, but as I can hardly walk I certainly can't run.
Also I am using this diary as a Don't Panic device and not panicking.
But what's a limping Roxie to you?!
Step 7: Using the Diary as a Panic Device.
Evidently, a limping Roxie is nothing to anybody, even with a warning.
Step 8: Making Up for Token Absent Period
Everybody disappears from their diary for an abnormally long streak now and then--a couple weeks here and there, you see.
Making up for the token absent period is important. You must either explain every single little thing that has occurred since you last wrote, or you must pretend it never happened and continue on in your normal style.
Step 9: Analyzing Cast's Character
Question: "Has boxing been good to YOU?"
Tea: "Not particularly."
Ange: "No. No, it has not."
Nisshi: [blink blink]
Nicole: "I'm sure it would be if I ever tried it, though pegging Matt with pine cones is good to me."
Sarah: "Uh. No?"