Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

So, this month I've been pretty busy. There's a couple different reasons for this. The main reason is that I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo. I don't remember if I said anything last November about doing Nano, but the acronym is short for National Novel Writing Month. This event is for writers of all ages and skill levels, from anywhere you happen to call home. NaNoers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days, during the month of November. Camp Nano is basically the same, with 50,000 words in 30-31 days during June or August. I fell in love with NaNowrimo in November, and decided to try it again, but couldn't wait for this November came around.
See, last fall I created what I now consider my favorite character ever written. Her name is Mae Weatherby Pederson, and she is a holy terror of an old lady. The one all the neighborhood punks are afraid to mess with, and declares herself mother to any young person feeling lost in life. Who then proceeds to clean them up and chew them out when they do something cruel, or tells an amazing story to cheer them up. We didn't find out much about her past, only that she had a couple of biological children, and her husband had died many years before. No hint as to how she came to own a B&B in Grand Rapids, only hints about meeting Al Capone and being involved with speakeasies.
It turns out she used to own a speakeasy called Shenanigans, in 1920s Detroit. The bartender was one of her young proteges, a WWI veteran named Alex. When a Jewish flapper named Rivkah entered the scene, I knew I had to write their story. So it began, the novel titled Shenanigans, which is due to be finished this weekend, six days ahead of schedule. We'll see.
It's not just word vomit novels that have me feeling a little crazy. I'm also on the planning committee for my Quaker Meeting's 50th anniversary celebration in a couple weeks. September 8th and 9th are the days. On Saturday night we have a Michigan woman named Brenda Beadenkopf who will be speaking on the Underground Railroad in our watery state. I'm also supposed to do a small reading, perhaps 15 minutes long, which I'm thinking will be persona letters written in the civil war era. After that, we have Contra Dancing! Oh, lovely, wonderful dancing. I plan to have extremely sore feet the next morning.
Then, there's some family things going on, such as one of my cousins hoping for a baby next year, and three other cousins getting married. Lots and lots of first-cousins-once-removed in the future, I hope!
Sigh...Lots and lots of things going on. I'm also writing back and forth with my best friend (off to college this week), lots of Persona letters. Persona letters are delightful things. The first person chooses a time period and a character to live in it. Then, they write a letter to someone else as that character. The letter may be about daily life, or some new event that only looks ordinary at first glance. Or maybe they've just been kidnapped and sent to the moon. It doesn't matter, that's up to you. The second person chooses a character, and writes back to the first person.
There are no rules to Persona Letters (also called the Letter Game or Ghost Letters) except that your characters can never meet, and plot is not to be discussed in real life. Together, the two people end up weaving a story. One good example of Persona Letters is "Sorcery and Cecelia" by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. These two authors wrote as young ladies in the regency era, mixed up in magical politics that prove both worrying and amusing. It's a worthwhile read, for certain. I'd give it four to five stars, depending on my mood.
Something else I've been reading lately is the wonderful blog, Trauma Queen, by a man named Kal. He's a paramedic in Edinburgh, and tells amazing stories about his job. He recently took a trip to the Middle East to be medical personnel at the 'Desert Challenge', a large race through a lot of really dangerous scenery. Go read it if you want to know more. I very much doubt you'll regret it.
I should probably go now, since my wordcount is rising much slower than I'd like. Word vomit galore.
Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Since you mention Kal's blog as a favorite, shouldn't you have the link over there on the right side of your page so your followers can find it easier? Sheesh, making us work.