the 100 day project

100 day project finale 2017 by daintydora

This day has finally arrived - the 100th day of 2017's 100 day project. Wow! Looking back now it seems like such a long time ago that I posted about my intentions for #100daysofthepunctuationproject, and despite the milestone posts along the way, 100 days is definitely quite a long time (almost a quarter of a year!)

So today, the big reveal on my final day. Did you guess what it would be?

Of course it had to be...The Full Stop.

The Full Stop: Day 100 of The Punctuation Project

I knew from almost the very beginning that I had to 'save' the full stop for the 100th day, but I wasn't sure how I would represent it. A mere ink or watercolour dot just wouldn't do it justice. It had to be something...more. More detailed, more creative. More time-intensive to properly mark the culmination of 100 days.

The more I used tactile materials like buttons, thread, wool and fur, I hit on the idea of an embroidery.

Embroidery takes a bit of time.

It's a considered yet contemplative creative project in itself, and for me it underlines the very ethos of the 100 day project, namely, that no matter how busy your life or your day, a few minutes of creativity is a worthwhile and calming time-out from modern living. That, and the cumulative progress of just a few stitches builds quickly into a finished and tangible 'thing'.

Despite all my creative experimentations, embroidery has never been something I've done much of (if at all), but I dug out an old hoop I'd inherited and enjoyed the momentum of working the needle in and out in the first summer colours that took my fancy: grass green or 'greenery', turquoise and pink.

My husband thought it looked more like a bulls-eye than a full stop, or just a decorative circle, and perhaps it is, perhaps it is all of those things, and more. Something different to each person that sees it.

For me, it is an apt 100 day finale; a celebration of the daily, creative habit I've maintained and managed to keep myself accountable to since 4th April.

And next year? We'll see!

View the entire project on Instagram. Thanks for following along :)

The Punctuation Project: 10 days of 100 by daintydora

The Punctuation Project 2017, Day 5
The Punctuation Project 2017, Day 5

Since announcing my 100-day project last week I've designed and shared my interpretation of 10 punctuation marks in a graphic style via my Instagram account, and thought I'd share my progress here too.

I wasn't sure how I would represent each punctuation mark or even if I needed (or wanted) to have a cohesive 'look', but a certain bold minimalism seems to have emerged in a daring, limited palette of black, white and red.

I've used ink, pen, pencil, cut-out paper, card and letters, and computer-generated brush-strokes so far to depict:

Exclamation marks, the SarcMark, a 'cacophony of commas', the 'm' dash, a colon, square brackets, the Asterism (three asterisks in a pyramid formation), the apostrophe, double quotations and a question mark.

A dash of greenand yellowmight have crept in too. It's allowed.

The Punctuation Project 2017, Day 1
The Punctuation Project 2017, Day 1

There's still 90 days to go and I'm asking myself: what's next?

Follow the project and join in on Instagram.

The Punctuation Project: 100 days by daintydora

It's that time again. The start of April and of spring, when The 100-Day Project pops up to carry us through until summer. The 100-Day Project, 2017

I wasn't sure what to do this year, though I knew I wanted to do something.

2015 was my first year, and I chose Haiku poems. They were quite hard to complete at times.

2016 was words. Relatively easy, and the inspiration behind my newsletter THE WORD, continuing the theme of celebrating lexicology and language. (Read the latest mail-out and sign up.)

This year I thought I'd do something more arty, less wordy. Less writerly, but I just couldn't help myself...

I kept thinking about punctuation; the unsung hero of written text. I'm no Lynne Truss and I probably don't use punctuation correctly all the time, but I know how important it is. How it forms the skeleton of a story, along with paragraphs and sentences. And then we're back to words again.

"The Punctuation Project". It does have a nice ring to it doesn't it? The alliteration helps. I can never be accused of forsaking alliteration.

So my unique project is #100daysofthepunctuationproject which will also be how to follow along with my progress and find me on Instagram (the chosen medium of accountability).

We can't always see punctuation, but without it, we'd be shipwrecked in sentences and mired in unending narrative with no rhythm or sense. Punctuation is invisible in speech, but still essential. The pregnant pause. The stop for breath. The break after words in a list.

The Punctuation Project, #100daysofthepunctuationproject 2017

I'm going to start with the common punctuation marks classified in the English language and see what happens. In comparison to other years, I've simplified the work required each day. Perhaps some days it will just be a quick representation of the symbol, while other days will be more exciting:

Punctuation patterns, punctuation stories, or maybe even a punctuation library!

If I get stuck and need more symbols and punctuation marks to keep me going, I'll turn to the romance languages first, then travel on through the continents to see what inspiration I can find in other languages of the world.

The 100-Day Project, 2017

I'm going to use all creative media at my fingertips, both analogue and digital, and in doing so, see where punctuation can take me.

I'd love it if you'd join me with your own project or cheer me on from the sidelines. I'll post updates here of course. Have I just about used all punctuation marks in this post? Almost!

Punctuation has it's own philosophy, just as style does, although not as language does. Style is a good understanding of language, punctuation is a good understanding of style.

George Sand

100 days of my favourite words by daintydora

“Words, like glass, darken whatever they do not help us to see.”

– Joubert, Pensees

Thank you to Gretchen Rubin's daily happiness email for that thoughtful quote. But it's true isn't it?

When I decided to use words as the focus of my 100-day project for 2016, I understood the inherent power they yield.

Today is 100/100 and the word I've chosen to celebrate my achievement is 'Firework', because it connotes celebration, success, happiness - and on this occasion perhaps even a whiff of relief. This day has (finally) arrived.

It also conjures the joy of bright colour on a dark night, childish excitement, danger, power, spontaneity, laughter and that smell of sulphur in the air. I think words can do all those things too.

Some days I've been playful, optimistic and creative with my word choice; other days I've been a bit darker in tone, bringing the etymological force of the English language to bear. Hopefully in both cases I've inspired others with my 'daily habit' linked so intrinsically to my life as a writer. (Hello 'Alphabet' - I couldn't have done it without you.)

In some cases, perhaps I've even introduced a new word to someone, taking them on a brief journey of exploration or an unexpected linguistic tangent? I'd like to think so. (I'm looking at you, 'Petrichor'.)

And isn't it funny how when you focus on a word - perhaps a word that doesn't crop up in every-day language, like 'ekphrastic' or 'chiaroscuro' or even 'synchronicity' itself - it suddenly appears everywhere as if to say 'here I am, look at me' (use me! play with me!)?

I do have a predilection for personification. I try to resist, but find the new depth - often world - of meaning a personifying verb or adjective brings to the intangible 'inanimates' of life...irresistible:

Thoughts that leap. Memories that stir. Happiness that soars. The 'demonic' inner critic. Grrr.

So here we are. 100 days deep in words. See the rest of the pack via my Instagram profile, or search under #100daysofmyfavouritewords (there's definitely 100 - I checked!)

A big shout-out to Elle Luna who started the 100-day project, and all the creative friends who shared the journey with me.

Finally, check out last year's '100 days of Haiku'. What will next year bring?

100 days of words by daintydora

Words. Words. Words. Words. We use them everyday, all the time.

In speech, in private, in public, in text messages, emails, stories, poems, chats, transactions, when talking with strangers and with loved ones. Sometimes we write them in the air with sparklers, or arrange to have them written in the sky.

I write every day (one of my 'mantras' I set for myself at the beginning of 2015); words are my currency, my love, my passion, the essential hard-working tools of my chosen career as a writer.

Last year I took part in the 100 day project pioneered by Elle Luna and publicised by The Great DiscontentInstagram the mechanism for accountability.

I chose to write 100 Haiku poems (#100daysofhaiku), although it wasn't a unique project to me or a unique hashtag. I didn't mind sharing.

Some days it was hard, some days it was easy. Some days I left it far too late to get a proper shot that looked 'nice', but the point was the act of creating each day in a big, unbroken, chronological chain of accomplishment.

I spent time breaking my words down into syllables, the root of their sounds and meanings, moulding them into 3 lines about what I was feeling that day or what was happening in my life.

Then I promised to make an eBook out of them.

No-one asked me to, it was just my own idea to 'complete' the project, come away with a tangible body of work comprising 100 days of creative output and effort. But I haven't done it yet. The guilt ebbs and flows. It will get done (I know it will - it's on my to-do list. Right after 'complete my novel'.)

I'm single-focusing you see. I have to get my novel completed. I'm three-quarters through the first re-write.

So this year when the murmurings about the 100 day project popped up, I decided I wasn't going to play along. I would eschew the tyranny of daily creativity (oh the misery of it!), for slow, steady, regular progress on my book. Nearly there, nearly there, I whisper to myself at night. Just another week, fortnight, month. Maybe.

But then on 100day eve, I was sitting in bed and I had the urge to write down a list of my favourite words. It was an act inspired by an art journal prompt, part of the Get Messy Art Journal 'Season of Lists'.

"Write a list, you could make it a hundred items long."

So I got to about 25 and realised it was a quarter of 100 (yeah, I'm simple like that). I carried on writing, squeezing words all over an A5 page instead of taking a new sheet, until I got to 100 and beyond.

100 days of my favourite words, The 100 day project 2016

All those lovely words crammed between lines and over lines; diagonal, horizontal, bleeding into each other.

I put my list away. I wrote in my journal. I read my book. It was just a list. 

Then the next day I saw everyone posting on social media about their 100 day project, about all the cool things that people were going to document and achieve between 19th April and 27th July. I felt like I would be missing out (the worst kind of creative FOMO?) and then I remembered my list. 100 of my favourite words, in complement to this starter for 10. It was a creative 'do or die' moment.

As the night ticked on I wrote down my first word, dated it, and uploaded it to Instagram under #100daysofmyfavouritewords. It's a bit unwieldy but it's unique to me. My words. My favourite words.

I'm doing it. I'm in.

Some people might think it's cheating to already have my list, but I think the creative commitment is choosing and focusing on a specific word each day, and part of the challenge is being experimental with capture, presentation and display. I want my words to shine.

Day 1: Oxymoron. White on black.

And so it begins...! Day 1: 'Oxymoron' @elleluna #100days #the100dayproject #100daysofmyfavouritewords #words #oxymoron

A photo posted by Rebecca Johnstone (@daintydora) on

Day 2: Gypsy. A fragrant herb-word.

Day 3: Yoyo. Coloured pins on a corkboard.

Day 3: 'Yoyo' #100daysofmyfavouritewords #the100dayproject #100days #100 #words #pins #pinboard #corkboard #yoyo #yoyos

A photo posted by Rebecca Johnstone (@daintydora) on

I'm giving myself these 100 days to get my Haiku eBook completed too, because sometimes you need a new challenge, a different deadline, the creative pressure to just get shit done.

Words.

There's over 800 here already...