Name: Linda Shackelford
Age: 31
City: Auckland
Country: New Zealand

Places: I’ve lived in the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia but spent most time in the beautiful surroundings of my homeland, New Zealand. I’ve travelled extensively around Europe, to countries including the Netherlands, France, Italy, Croatia, Portugal, Germany, the Greek Islands, Spain, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Malta. In the Pacific, I have holidayed on the beautiful islands of Rarotonga and Fiji. I’ve also been to the USA and Hong Kong. I have yet to conquer more of Asia – with Vietnam and Thailand top of my list.

Loves: Adventure and travel are, as you can probably tell, what puts me in my happy place! Also, my family and friends. Positive, supportive people. Inspirational go-getters.

Reading & Writing: My favourite books are travel guides and educational books such as biographies. I love reading useful guides that further my education on topics such as social media, marketing and scenic photography. I love photography, and wouldn’t travel anywhere without my SLR these days. I enjoy writing, although often get writer’s block which is why inside my Paperblanks journals you’ll find a web of thoughts in notes I write as ideas come to me. I later curate this into articles and the book I am working on.

Fun & Music: Events and being around uplifting positive people is my tonic and I am a creative soul at heart. Making something with my hands while listening to music by artists such as Ellie Goulding or NZ singers such as Lorde, Bic Runga and Naked and Famous soothes my soul. I also enjoy dancing so funky house mixes, rock n roll and salsa beats get me moving!

Education: I earned a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Auckland, New Zealand.

Occupation: I majored in journalism and since have worked for newspapers, magazines. I’ve also done some modelling and TV presenting roles and work in public relations.

Creative Works: My website and Twitter @linda_intrepid.

Quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — A popular one by Mark Twain, but it sums up how we can all strive to live.

What would one find in the pages of your Paperblanks journal?

It is usually a combination of things as I have loads of ideas and write them down as they come to mind, so essentially my journals are one big brainstorm:

  • Notes to self to join a new social media site, research book publishers, self-publishing options and find out more about creative funding initiatives.
  • A couple of ideas for content for chapters for the book I am working on.
  • Several descriptive paragraphs about a destination I’ve visited, with my personal twist
  • Diary entries about my experiences that I make note of as they unfold.
  • My thoughts, feelings and musings.

Do you have any personal philosophies you’ve come to develop about writing, art, creation or culture?

It’s important to write from the heart, tell the truth and speak from real-life experiences. Anything you can share to help others is positive so I like sharing inspiring images, sayings, beautiful natural aspects of the world and its culture in my everyday life and in my writing.

No matter what type of creative art you make, what or who first inspired you to make it an essential part of your life?

My grandparents. My grandmother Audrey Gordon, managed to find time (in between teaching and bringing up her 8 children) to write articles on everything from “how to be a suitable housewife,” to interviewing celebrities (this was back in the 1970s and 1980s), to travel stories about destinations she visited overseas. She won a Qantas Media Award – Journalist of the Year – and, in retirement, she and my late grandfather, Donald Gordon, travelled the world writing about their adventures. My Grandad was a talented travel photographer and his photos appeared alongside her travel articles in news publications (by lori). I grew up watching their slide-shows from their travel adventures and was very inspired to travel, write and take photographs, just as they did. However, it’s very different today with all technology so I have a real respect for how they operated with no internet or digital cameras!

How did you find Paperblanks?

My friend Laurie, who interestingly enough works for Hartley & Marks (the makers of Paperblanks) in Vancouver, introduced me to the stunning journals and address books back in 2009. She has gifted me a lovely collection of Paperblanks books since then as she knows I’m an avid writer and fell in love with the book designs. I have many of them with me in New Zealand – in fact, they are well-travelled Paperblanks books, having been transported from Canada to New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, the UK and Europe. I was given a French Ornate Violet Paperblanks journal at Christmas by a friend (Samantha Kelly) I was staying with in Ireland as she’s encouraging me to write a book. So that’s what I am using this new journal for and I love it.

What sets Paperblanks apart from other journals you’ve used?

They are works of art, treasures I proudly display in my home. I like the magnetic strip that holds them together and the ease of using them. They are coffee-table art and also look stunning in sets displayed on a bookshelf. At first I thought they were too pretty to use and I just kept them on show as their intricate, history-referencing designs and gorgeous colours brighten up any room.

Do you have a favourite Paperblanks design?

There are so many and what I love about Paperblanks is that they are constantly developing new designs. I really like floral, feminine designs so the Lyon Florals Filigree Floral Ivory (timeless elegance) is a top one. I gave the pocket-size address book to my mum in that design and she uses it daily.

Do you have any advice for other creative people?

Don’t hold back – live your dreams and don’t let others hold you back. Express yourself freely and don’t feel you have to justify what you do, just do it. As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Let the world know why you are here, and do it with passion.”


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