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What's in my diary? — Claudia Dawson


What's in my NOW?

October 27 · Issue #126 · View online

One interesting person shares the tangible and invisible things that are influencing the NOW — 3 physical, 2 digital, and 1 invisible.

I am editor of this newsletter and co-writer of Recomendo. I am also the founder and poetry editor of Phantom Kangaroo — an eerie place for poems. I blog at and you can find me on Twitter @clauddaws. Off the web, I live in San Jose with my husband, dog, cat and turtle. — Claudia

My diaries are relics of my past. I return to them when I need a reminder of who I was and what I’ve overcome. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and my diaries maintain a continuity that my memory cannot. Over time I’ve perfected my diary set-up and feel like it’s worth sharing!
As far as what’s actually written in my diary is this: imagery from dreams, all of my worries, streams of consciousness, fragments of poetry, gratitude, and descriptions of moments I wish I could live in forever.
Over the years I’ve had all different kinds of diaries — Moleskine, handmade, Mead spiral notebooks, etc. — but I realized that my favorite diaries to write in were hardcover. It gives more weight to what I write — literally and figuratively — it just feels more important. Papier has hundreds of designs that you can customize. This link will give you $15 off your order and give me $10 off a future order — so thank you!
I will buy any pen that is recommended to me, but I keep going back to these Uni-ball Vision Elites. The ink glides on to the page — bold and smooth — and never interrupts. I feel like it’s exactly what a pen is supposed to be — an ally to the continuous flow of your thoughts and writing.
The one downside of writing in hardcover notebooks is holding the book open while you write. This Swedish bookmarks solve that problem and more, because I also use them as their intended purpose. I own three now. They are pricey, but in my opinion worth every penny.
Copper Page Nibs ($20, 50pk)
Another bookmark, but used differently this time. The Copper Page Nibs by Levenger hold my place in books I read, but I use them in my diaries to mark pages I want to return to — maybe a dream I want to revisit, or a to-do list I scribbled out. Like the Page Anchors, these Page Nibs are elegant and elevate my entire writing process.
These are self-adhesive pen holders that you can stick onto any notebook. I take my pen in and out of the loop dozens of times throughout the day and it never budges. I put them on all my notebooks, including my work and travel notebooks, so I never have the excuse of not having a pen on hand.
What's in your ...?
We want to hear about unusual and unusually useful items that you have in your desk, bag, closet, fridge or where ever you keep things. It can be anything really: work bag, pantry shelf, beauty drawer, toolbox, etc. Start by sending an email to with a photo of the things in your chosen space (you can use your phone). If you get a reply from us, fill out the form. We’ll pay you $50 if we run your submission in our What’s in my …? newsletter and blog.
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