Finally came up with guidelines...
And I'm calling them guidelines because I figured we're all adults,w e don't really need rules (plus I don't want to be a nazi about all this because then it's no longer fun and I'll just give up when it's not fun)
So, on with the guidelines:
1. Buy a sketchbook (or if you insist, journal. I suggest a sketchbook, though, just in case whoever gets a hold of your journal is an artist then they can draw what they want without lines going through the art work. I also like to make collages from pictures and magazines and those lines annoy me, too, so just a thought... but there is some cool artwork that can be done with lines...) Also have fun with the sketchbook. Let it reflect your personality ;). Mine has pictures of Venice on it. I figured since it was traveling it should be a traveler's sketchbook, lol.
2. Let me know via e-mail when you are ready to mail your sketchbook. I will then e-mail you your first address of who to send your journal to.
3. Once you receive a journal, please e-mail the original owner and myself. This way the owner knows where it is and can get excited about how far their journal is traveling, and I can keep track of where the journal is. It sucks sending out a journal (or postcards, whatever) and not getting anything back. It would especially suck sending out your own personal journal and never seeing it again.
4. That being said, by sending me your address you are committing to paying shipping to get journals around the world if need be. If you've been in the circuit for awhile and something happens that you can't afford to send journals anymore and need a break, please let me know so I can take you out of the rotation. At that point, please have the courtesy to send the journal back to the original owner. Let me and the owner know an estimated date that you'll be able to afford to send the journal back. Again, this goes back to common courtesy. We are signing up for this club trusting that when we send our journals out we will eventually see them again, hopefully full of fun travel marks.
5. You have 2 weeks with the journal. The owner of the journal will list what they would like the topic to be (whether it's to describe your home town, draw your favorite animal, participate in a round robin story, etc.) Please try to follow the opic. If you can't draw then try to be creative- make a collage from a magazine, etc. If someone has n prefeence, hopefully they will say "Do what you want." When your entry is done, send the journal to the next address.
"How do I get my next address?"
Great question! When you receive a journal, again, e-mail the original owner and me. When I receive the note that you have a new journal in your possession, I will e-mail you back a new address.
"What happens when I get a journal that's full?"
To be kind, I'd put my entry on some lose paper, fold it up, put it in the journal, then send it ack to the owner. Also, send an e-mail to me to let me know who the original owner is and that it's full so I can e-mail them and see if they want to put another journal in the mix.
"How many journals can I have out at once?"
I ask that you only have one journal loating out there somewhere. So, if you want a journal to have a single topic and you have 5 topics you're curious about, then write them all down and save them for when this journal is full. Then you can send out a new one when you get this one back. I figure this makes it cheaper for everyone since we all ready have people signed up from all over the USA, Europe, and Asia.
"How will people know what I want my topic to be?"
I'm developing a bio for you to put in the inside cover of your journal. In it you can list what you want the topic to be, what languages you are fluent in, and a little about yourself.
"What if I can't afford to send internationally?"
Let me know so I can try to make your shipping a little cheaper. But I'd recommend saving up to be able to send internationally soon. The reason being it's not fair for one or two people to ONLY send within the USA. I understand when money gets tiht so I'll work with you if you can work with me. Worst comes to worse you can send the journal back to the owner and take a break from it for a bit.
"How much will I have to spend each month?"
I honestly can't tell you that, but I hope that you only have one journal to send each month. It would suck if you got 4 journals all at once and then had to send them across the seas on one paycheck. Let me know, though, if the mail system in your neighborhood is UBER-fast, in which case you can have some extra time with a journal.
"What happens if I've sent a journal off and I'm waiting for the next journal to come in?"
Then just be patient. Mail from the other side of the world can take awhile to get to you. I remember one time it took a post card 2 months to get to me from France.
"How can I know I'll get my journal back?"
I am developing my own tracking system for it. Plus, this is the honor system at its best...
I think that's all I could come up with... bio to come shortly!