Hello, everyone! I've noticed a lot of my friends (both online and off) have been feeling less than inspired lately so today I thought I'd try to combat the winter blues by sharing this
But let me back up so you get the whole story. I have a pretty amazing friend group and we organized our huge second annual Secret Santa event in December. There must of been at least. . . 30 of us?! and I got to be Santa for my good friend, Neil. In order to describe Neil to you, I think I need to tell you about the first time we met.
In December of 2009, I went on a two-week winter tour with my friends' band, Blastoids. This was my second stint with them, (you can read about the first one— a 45 day long summer trip— here). That winter, still filled with wanderlust, they bought a school bus, gutted it, filled it with over a dozen friends, and drove it up the east coast on tour. We played a show in a different city every night and it was amazing.
During that journey, we met up with another band on a similar journey: Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. And that's how I met Neil (and a half dozen of my now best friends). Neil writes music about how amazing life and friends are and then travels the world with an array of people, costumes, lights, and instruments— spreading happiness everywhere he goes.
All 20+ of us spent our days on a bus playing games and getting to know each other and our nights singing songs and dancing together. By the end, it was clear that when we said goodbye it was just the beginning. Now, five years later, I still keep in touch with everyone and consider them my closest friends even though we are all across the country now.
Neil is a lot of things— funny, eccentric, encouraging, smart. He is an inextinguishable spark of positive energy and fun. Neil is also always, always, always, on tour—I can hardly keep up with where he is. Since he is always traveling, I wanted to give him something portable and practical, which is how the book you see here was born.
Neil's music equipment and gear is covered in neon duct tape, so I immediately knew his book would be, too. And there was no way that clean white pages would work (if you don't believe me, just look at his website) so I gave him a rainbow to choose from. I finished it up with purple stitching and even though I sometimes felt blinded by it's power, that's also how I knew it would be a great fit.
I didn't even know if he would use a journal when I made it, but the process of creating the perfect book for someone is where all the fun comes from. I thought maybe he could at least use it for lyrics, but he told me he plans on making it a gratitude book, which is an idea I love for a book so vibrant.
So that's the story of the brightest book I've ever made. When I sat down to write this I actually had no idea what I was going to say, but after talking about friendship and memories I'm all warm and fuzzy on this nasty winter day. I mean, it was a fun book to make, but I think I love the reason that I made it even more. I like making things for other people so much, and with each book I create I've realized that my greatest ambition is to do it for a living— and the thought of making that a reality is what I'm using to keep the winter blues away. Until next time, Jenna