VIDEO: The Journal Keeper

January 15, 2010

In the good old, hands off days of publishing, the writer was responsible for turning in his or her book, after which it was the responsibility of the hundreds of staff members at the publishing house to take it from there. Now, of course, those hundreds of staff members have been laid off, and writers get to do a lot of new things, like writing flap copy, planning book events, and – this is relatively new – creating material that can “go viral” on the Internet.

With very few newspapers, and even fewer book review sections in those newspapers, the new way to get the word out about a new book is to upload a short, eye-catching video on You Tube. What you are about to look at was written by me, produced by Kathy Abbott of Abbott Productions, and contributed to by numerous friends and family who were essentially dragooned into being part of the production. But the most important part of the production is you. Will you watch it? Or will you not? And if you do, will The Journal Keeper find another reader? This is beyond my control, but when you toss a note in a bottle onto the waves, you hope the person who retrieves it is friendly.


  1. Joabnn Bodurtha, she who should be working

    Nice video, wish you had gotten some spiritual music in the background but there is some integration. Will share with friends. I am guessing you have read/seen Cakewreckers? Happy Valentine’s Day to you both.

    Comment for website – Can’t believe Phyllis bares all in new book! A must read!

  2. Phyllis:

    Oh, what a wonderful valentine gift it was to have you, a woman with incredible heart and talent, a woman I came to love, enjoy and admire pop up in my mailbox on Valentine’s Day.

    It was like we were chatting. Your wonderful gift of writing is shown through your speaking – they are one in the same. There was only one other writer who gave me that gift – Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I own first editions of all of her books. She could say more in a few words than anyone before. You also have that gift of words.

    Hence, dear friend,and I consider you one of my dear friends although we never see each other, I am anxious to read your book, hear you speaking through the writing and descriptives such as: “a hand over my hand,” and “portrait of my mother in the margins.”

    BUT OH DEAR, OH DEAR! I want an autographed copy. So, do I have to buy one, send it to you or can we meet the next time you are in the bay area?

    Being visual, I loved taking a tour of your calming-like community. How I wish I were one of those ladies having coffee or lunch on the porch, chatting away with you. Lucky are they.

    Much love and thanks.

    Much love, congratulations and can’t wait to read.

  3. unfortunately i am not getting any audio or video…. The time is running, but only black and silence. I was looking forward to seeing your pre-publication video. I have a Mac. Perhaps that is the problem. If no one else has reported any problems it is most likely me or my computer.
    I will be there at HAAC for your improper tea!

  4. Nevermind on my previous comment. I WAS able to view and hear your video after all and it is great. Now I am interested in seeing what is behind the video. See you on the 28th.

  5. Love the website and the two videos….
    It’s in bookstores NOW! I just saw it at B&N last night!

  6. What a pleasant surprise! Your new book sounds wonderful, and I can’t wait to purchase a copy. Having lost my parents, my in-laws, and Mr. Olsson, I am anxious to read how you handled the changes in your mother’s life and her passing. The aging process is a fact of life, but not a particularly pleasant or comfortable time. Also congratulations on your marriage. I certainly hope this new chapter in your life has been even more wonderful than expected.

  7. This is a beautiful video, nice to see some familiar faces, and of course our beloved Ashland. Very nice story as well.

  8. Hi Phyllis,

    Great job. Congrats on the launch. Do we need an invitation for the 2 Mar event at the Library of VA? I’d love to come. Hope to see you soon at the gym, we’ve been babysitting so I haven’t been in a bit.

    Take care. Nan

    P.S. Caught Justin on Parks & Recreation. Very cute.


  10. I loved the video, very well done. I’m enjoying the book also. See you Sunday, March 2nd.

  11. I can’t wait to find this book! I have kept a journal off and on but I tend to say I’m too busy to do it on a daily basis – what a shame! But I feel inspired and I look forward to sipping my coffee tomorrow morning and writing a few words! Thank you for the inspiration!

    Shannon Henry
    Colville, WA

  12. Phyllis,

    Your book is inspiring, uplifting, and just plain fabulous! I enjoyed it more than words can say.

    I chair writer events at the historic home of Pearl S. Buck, and last April we had our first writers conference. Three more are planned, along with author receptions, and one day workshops.

    If you are ever going to be in the Perkasie, PA area, please let me know. We would love to have you come and do a signing.


  13. I am finding comfort in your book, just seeing feelings and comforts and questioning that I and others must have racing through our minds at their own whim. At 57, I thought I would have been where I wanted and needed to be, but due to various choices in my life, am not at all where I want to be, and this is at times very unsettling. One big factor, a flaw in my make-up, is that I am still very self conscious and looking too hard wondering where my self esteem went.
    In a world of all about me people, the battle to find the comfort zone in society as we age, has become difficult for me. I have yet to feel like “me” even in my own environment.
    Thank you for the thoughts across the pages helping me to feel a bit more a part of it all and for the wonderful chance to know your Mother, who was so very wise and a shining example of one who “just is”, her own person complete.

  14. Delighted to find you here! Just finished the memoir and bragged about (with link to Amazon) on facebook and to several of my closest writing friends. I’m an author as well, married for just 6 years (at midlife) to the love of my life, a literary agent. Because of all the “glamour” of marketing books these days,in the last few years I’ve preferred collaborations or ghostwriting that keep my life simpler and a few bills paid. However, reading your book prompted me to dust off a desire, put high on the mental shelf, to put thoughts of my own to paper again. Even if it is just for my eyes only this time.

    Beautiful book…. two of my friends have already ordered it today as a result of my fb post. May it sell like Carolina hotcakes, and may your days be blessed with all the love and good writing your heart can hold.

  15. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. They mean more to me than you can imagine or perhaps, being a writer, you can. The Journal Keeper is doing well, thanks to readers like you, who pass your enthusiasm on. Warmly, Phyllis

  16. As I got toward the end I didn’t want it to end. What a nice surprise a Journaling Seminar at Politics and Prose, just where I purchased your lovely Journal!

    Phyllis,thanks so much it’s meant to be. I will be there.

  17. Just loved the Journal Keeper..I also felt like each time I picked it up I was resuming a conversation with an old friend…was sad to come to the end. Will try to get video to work –

    Thank you Phyllis for your wonderful writing and generous open heart

    Penny Clark
    Houston TX

  18. I am on my second reading of the Journal Keeper. Every read has a nugget of truth. I oven begin and end my day with it.

    Thank you.

  19. Thank you for your wonderful book. I’m only halfway through and I feel like I’ve found a soul-friend. Reading your thoughts at 61 are like reading what I’m thinking and wondering at 65. You’ve reminded me of the gentle hand that on occasion guides mine and you’ve called me back to my journal writing. I’m about to make a big change in my life, to a quieter, more introspective space and I will carry my journal and you with me. Again, thank you.

  20. Karen from Oregon

    Wonderful book – gave a little sigh as I finished it, for I didn’t want it to end (just like life~)! When I read a book (partial to non-fiction), I generally use post-it notes on the pages that resonate so I can go back and read them again and again. Every other page of The Journal Keeper has a post-it note! Thank you for allowing us into your world, Phyllis. And may I say, your husband is cuuuute!

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