If you are a regular journal writer, you will find that some topics or themes recur consistently for you. Our mind snags on certain things and we have to keep teasing them apart till we are satisfied with how we have understood or resolved them. Books have always been the dominant topic in my journals. That said, whenever some other major obsession or worry (work, relationships, etc.) crops up, book-related thoughts are the first to get pushed aside. This year, though I have been writing a lot of book reviews, I have been far too occupied to write as deeply about books in my journals as I would like. So, for April, let's focus our journal prompts around books, shall we?
If you have been following along with this monthly series, you may have journaled to the lists of prompts in January and February. If not, no worries. Each month is a discrete list so you can join in at any time. Here is a list of prompts for March: all related to the place of technology in our lives. Also, a couple of lovely essays from Barbara Ehrenreich (on journaling) and Zadie Smith (on technology — specifically, social media.) If you would like to discuss any of these technology-related questions, feel free to share in the comments below or use the Contact link to send a private message.
For those who may not know, Dame Edna O'Brien is an Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet, and short story writer. This past week, she was given the PEN/Nabokov Lifetime Achievement Award "for breaking down social and sexual barriers for women in Ireland and beyond." I have always loved her short stories the most and have featured them in this series in the past. This month, let's celebrate and honor her with a roundup of some of these short stories (free to read online.) The themes she often returned to in these stories were of the challenges faced by Irish rural communities, mother-daughter conflicts, girls coming of age (with their "conscious innocence,” as John Mullan calls it), the other woman, and so on.