An Anniversary and a Little Quiz (There’s Always a Quiz)

October 9, 2012

Above: Self-portrait as a dog. Pentel Pocket Brush Pen in a 9 x 12 inch Fabriano Venezia Journal.

Today is the fourth anniversary of Roz Wound Up. In typical "I don't celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc." mode I almost forgot to post. But It was important for me to post today because change is in the air. And because I wanted to have a quiz. I'd been planning the quiz for quite some time!

This is my 1405th post. Readers know I like to keep track of "production" and use it as an assessment for how things are going—to plan, to set goals, to improve.

Starting the blog four years ago I had a couple goals. I wanted to post daily for at least a year. Posting daily became so habitual that I actually had to "actively not post" in order to break the cycle

(I was going to have that be the quiz question, but I used it in a quiz before so no, that's not the quiz question.)

I had intended to blog less the second year, but I enjoyed it so much that I pretty much blogged daily that year too. According to my post total of 1405 posts I've blogged most of the 1460 days (or is that 1461 days because of a leap year in there) that followed.

Since I'm a fan of the long post Dick has pointed out that I've written over a million words. (That actually makes me a little dizzy.)

Sometime in the middle of the summer I passed a million hits. I had wanted to do a quiz then because while reaching a million hits wasn't a goal of mine it was a nice round number. I checked the totals one day and saw I was close, and started planning a post about it and then a family illness intervened. My attention shifted and I missed the day. One day I looked up and I was over a million hits at a non-"round" number. 

It was still fun to cross the million hit mark because after Roz Wound Up had been going along for a couple months and was getting lots of hits Dick admitted that he'd thought I'd probably get "maybe 20 readers" and that would be great for a blog about visual journaling, Minnesota State Fair mania, art materials, art paper reviews, movies, TV, general weirdness, and of course my love of ([cough] er—addiction to) bicycling—to name just a few things.

I always knew there would be more than 20 readers because I had hundreds of past students. One part of the blog's original purpose was to replace an email list I once sent to students. The blog was a way for me to keep in touch with them without managing a list. I could let them know what I was up to and with what materials and papers I was experimenting.

I think it has served all those purposes well. The blog has also brought new students from across the country to my classes at MCBA and I'm really excited about that because I love to teach people how to make and use journals.

The blog has also introduced me to people who may not travel for classes, but love journaling. I enjoy hearing from readers both on the blog in the comments section and through email. 

Throughout the four years of this blog while it may seem that I've been giving you instructions on visual journaling it has been my cunning plan to also comment on my life's philosophy. I've written over a million words about this in some shape or form or angle so one might think I have trouble being succinct about my philosophy. Actually it's just that I'm excited (or wound up). It's pretty simple. I think we all benefit from looking around and observing and asking questions (hard questions about everything), and keeping track (in a journal or by some method of unique organization) of what we discover. I think such an endeavor keeps us present, keeps us productive, keeps us realistic, and keeps us grateful. It makes us more likely to cherish others around us, and appreciate their unique gifts. We create a space for wonder in our lives. Wonder opens our hearts and minds to "what if" in the most positive of ways.

OK, the real purpose of the blog was to provide an outlet for my bossy-pants nature. Happily you've enjoyed that.

Which brings me to the quiz. If you're a regular reader of the blog this will be a piece of cake. (Sadly there is no actual cake involved in today's quiz.) There's just one question. 

What is Dick's nickname for Roz?

Hint: It is NOT "Rozzie," or "Cutie-Pie," or "Cute Person," or a dozen things he may call me throughout the day (though he does call me those things). 

There is another name ONLY Dick calls me by. (Yes I have adult friends who call me Rozzie, it's a long story.)

Contest rules:

1. DO NOT REPLY IN COMMENTS, that will ruin it for other people. You will immediately be disqualified.

2. Send an email to ROZJOURNALRAT@GMAIL.COM 

3. The email SUBJECT should be NICKNAME

4. The body of your email should include your quiz answer.

5. You need to send in your answer by NOON (CST) on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.  

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED, since the deadline has passed.

6. Choose your answer carefully—you may only enter once. In the event of multiple entries the first entry will be the only one that counts, so don't burden me with multiple answers OK?

I'll draw a winner from the correct entries tomorrow night and announce it on Thursday (if I remember—sheesh I almost forgot the quiz), or as soon as I do remember.

What are we playing for?

A set of the limited edition Schmincke Gouache I selected for Schmincke earlier this year.

Why? Do you need to ask? Because this blog, though it wasn't intended to be that way, is also about gouache, my love of gouache, my hope that everyone would try gouache, use gouache. I thought gouache would be a nice way to wrap up year four.

Now As To the Change in the Air 

I know I've said it before but this time I mean it—I will be posting less in the upcoming year. I'm also teaching less. This is all because I am focusing on some personal projects that require extended time for focus. The free time I have in the past spent on blogging will be used for those projects. I don't know exactly how the change will manifest itself other than I will be posting less. If you subscribe to the blog you won't miss any posts and you'll discover the change along with me. 

I'll still be posting my series "Journaling Superstitions," "Project Friday," "Scavenging for Graphics," among others. I'll even make new series (I can't help myself). I'll work on some more videos. I'll keep you informed on what's going on with the MCBA Visual Journal Collective (because I hope our adventures here serve as a model for you to start your own such group where you are). I'll still post what I'm working on in my journal though I imagine many such posts may simply be an image and not much text (yeah you'll believe that when you see it). There will also be book, product, and paper reviews—because when I like something I just can't contain myself, and when something doesn't work I like to get the word out so that people can save their money (or go into a purchase with more information).

That doesn't seem like much of a change at all, looking at the list. But I feel the change in me. Blogging is still very important to me, and still a ton of fun, but life has changed here (and it all happened before Carl came in and disrupted the household).

I want to thank all of you, whether you are new readers or veteran readers, for spending a little bit of your day with me. Through your comments I've been able to see that my original goals have been met. I've also learned from your kindness and generosity. I hope you'll continue to read along in this next year.

Now go enter the contest—you don't have much time. If you wait until later you'll forget (just like I almost did).

But remember DO NOT PUT AN ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS SECTION or you'll be disqualified.

Go observe something today, see something. Sketch your pet, or your child or parent while he sleeps. Watch him breathe. Make a special meal for someone. Sit and listen to the world around you. Sit and listen to someone without a thought for what you might say next—but just to hear what he or she says. Get up and move around. Remember to breathe. And keep filling those pages.

To switch up my International Fake Journal Month slogan—"Life's short, so get busy now."

Thanks for reading. Thanks for helping me meet some of my goals. It means a lot to me.

p.s. And yes I will post my 2012 Minnesota State Fair Journal soon.

NOTE: THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED as of Wednesday, October 10, 2012, noon (CST) The winner will be announced on Thursday.

  1. Reply

    I know it!!! The answer is… is….

  2. Reply

    Is it open to people outside the US?

    • Cate in Dundee
    • October 9, 2012

    I read this post heart in mouth, terrified that you were announcing an end to Roz Wound Up, but thank goodness, no way! You’re staying right here, and what’s even better, you’re inviting us to accompany you as you blaze some new trails. I’m so thankful for this, and I know that wherever your journey takes you, you’re going to keep showing us in your own inimitable way how to make a space for wonder in our lives—and how to make time to draw!

    Bless you, Roz.

  3. Reply

    Mercy, I didn’t think about that until I already posted so I’ll say yes, though I think if someone does win the mailing/customs might cost more than I paid for the paints!

  4. Reply

    Thanks Cate, for your vote of confidence, I hope I live up to that. I had something less grand in mind. I know that it’s actually more difficult for people to keep up with a blog that publishes only intermittently so I’ve already weaned myself away from looking at “stats.” I’m going to enjoy the change in focus, though I had to postpone a dog sketching today because of rain and so I’m thinking, well, I have that time block set aside—I could write posts. It’s a slippery slope with habits. I’ll go get my allergy shot instead. Sigh. Thanks for reading! Remember there’s always time to draw.

    • jacki long
    • October 9, 2012

    Congratulations Roz!
    You are a daily inspiration and I will look forward to whenever you post. You have inspired me to start a blog @ 70! I am on day 78 today and have 5 followers, 241 comments … so I don’t think I will ever reach the large numbers, but it does help me take notice of my days. Thank you again for YOU!
    jacki long/

  5. Reply

    Roz, It’s hard to believe it’s been four years already. I remember being delighted when you first started blogging, having found your wonderful website.

    I want to thank you so much for your incredible generosity in sharing so much valuable information, as well as your delightful personality. I remember once asking you a question about paper and then receiving a packet in the mail, from you, containing samples, as well as an in depth answer on the blog. I’ll continue to be excited everytime I see a new post here, no matter how frequently.

    • Miss T
    • October 9, 2012

    Lovely sketch, Roz.

  6. Reply

    Congratulations Roz, and as one of your newer readers: MANY THANKS! Now….when are you going to that book that encapsulates some portion of this great blog? Just the tips for getting going /pushing past superstitions/ different drawing tactics could be a great one! As a drawing instructor it is what I need for my students!

  7. Reply

    Thank you Jacki, you’re kind to say I’m an inspiration to you. I’m thrilled that you are blogging at 70! Keep at it. Keep noticing things. We never know what we’ll reach. Or who. The internet is interesting that way.

  8. Reply

    Bill, it’s hard for me to think it has been four years too. Habits just become part of my day! But I’m glad you found the site and I’m glad we’ve been able to correspond.

    I don’t always have samples lying around, so your question came at the same time I was sorting things here! But I’m glad they helped provide some sort of answer. It’s what I like to do. Share the things I find out.

    Thank you for continuing to read and for your kind words.

  9. Reply

    Thank you Miss T.

  10. Reply

    Ellen, thanks for your kind words on the anniversary. There are lots of things I want to do with the time I once spent blogging. It will be an adventure to me to see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Leslie Schramm
    • October 10, 2012

    Don;t worry about customs, the winner gets that bill, and if sent marked as a gift, there shouldn’t be any customs charge, though there can be duty charges, so no slipping in a gallon of whisky.

  11. Reply

    Leslie, I’m sorry that you’ll get a customs bill. I did mark it as a gift so I hope that doesn’t happen. Paint isn’t a liquid, since it’s in tubes and it isn’t hazardous, unless someone eats the whole package—oh mail is fraught with so may ifs ands, and questions. The package went by some sort of regular mail (not international express which costs almost as much as the paints cost). Hope you get them soon. Thanks for joining in the quiz, and for reading along.

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