MadCa(m)p Part 2

The first night we also play GIANT BOX JENGA!

I liked GIANT BOX JENGA for a couple of reasons.

  1. It didn’t involve ME actually moving one of the boxes.
  2. We didn’t have to stack our removed piece back on top. I think it was Tessa that let Court know it would be a liability.

It was a really great way to give us a little team building while also allowing us to encourage others. I found myself easily slipping back into my “camp counselor” mode. Which was kind of nice. I love camp. I love writing. I just got to combine two of my favorite things!

Which is why I started calling it MadCamp but only in my head and to myself because I didn’t want anyone to think I was weird.

I also started referring to everyone by first name only, because you know, we were all close, intimate friends now.

And like everything we did, there was a message behind GIANT BOX JENGA. In your novel, it can all fall down. But you can rebuild it.

If I’d been less tired after GIANT BOX JENGA I would have realized that this was going to be a GIANT METAPHOR for the workshop. After the game we were asked to go get a box. To decorate it, paint it, or just write on it (which is what I did because I have very little artistic talent). And throughout the workshop we were asked to add things to our boxes.

We hauled these boxes around with us for the entire workshop. I could feel myself pouring more and more of myself into this box. Writing down my struggles, my fears, my creative ideas, things that inspired me. I took notes on the box, I wrote rough ideas of mood and snippets of dialogue. And we were reminded that our box was us, but we were not our box.

It was stressed that we were not just writers. We were storytellers. That we would always have ideas. To keep working, writing, telling stories. I listened. I was grateful for the reminder that I had countless stories in me, that it was up to me to finish.

And then the last night we were taken outside and given the challenge of burning our boxes down. I’d known it was coming. But still, I found myself wishing I’d taken more pictures. What if I forgot my ideas?

And those gracious, giving authors took me by the hand and reminded me that I was a storyteller. That I would have more ideas.

And I burned that box down.


PS- It’s taken me like three days to write this post. I’m missing my friends from MadCap and find it harder and harder to write down the tiniest bits about what I’ve learned.

Madca(m)p Part 1

I know this is going to end up being one of those things that I need to spend a lot of time talking about. And I’m sure it’s going to come in waves and spurts. That’s how my camp stories were when I was a kid (and an adult). I have to process it and think about it before I can write it all out or tell all of the stories.

In October I found out about the Madcap Aspiring Authors Workshop. I applied and then just sort of made myself forget about it. The faculty was TOO amazing. There were only 42 slots. It was going to fill up and there was just no way I was going to get in.

I knew that I was going to find out in January if I got in. The day came and went. Sometime in the middle of the day I got an Email that because there had been so many applicants that they were going to spend a few days letting everyone know if they were in or not. I remember when the email came through and I saw that I got in- I sort of freaked out.

I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready for whatever was going to happen.

On Monday night Court Stevens had us put our hands together. Just clasp them. We did it a couple of times. She asked us to take notice of which thumb was crossed on top. Lastly she had us put our hands back together, but the other thumb on top.

It was uncomfortable.

Court talked about how they hoped to stretch us. To push us to dig deeper.

And I realized in that very moment that I was going to be uncomfortable for the next few days.

But, it would be the kind of uncomfortable that made me grow.


It’s Okay

I have a great new work in progress. It’s something I’m really excited about and that I think will be the most fun to write.

Sadly, I really wish it would write itself. I mean, not really because I enjoy writing. I love all of it. It’s like reading except I invent it all. But, I’m struggling with just the opening. I know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. I know that it doesn’t have to be anywhere CLOSE to perfect. But, I need it to be right for now. And I’m having a hard time with that.

Writing is like that for me. It’s feast or famine. Like, there are times when I literally cannot do anything else. That I just have to write. That my constant companion is either a notebook or my computer is never far from my fingers, but then there are times when my brain can’t concentrate on anything than the 140 characters Twitter uses. And if you follow me on Twitter you know that it isn’t really all that exciting when I do tweet.

So, I want to write. I want to write this awesome story about a girl and fandom and comic books. I want to write about cosplay and overbearing parents and a sister that lies as easily as she breathes.

And sometimes the words come and sometimes they stay locked in my head. So, I try to write anyway. I take any amount of words that get down on paper on these days as good. All words are good words. Editing and revisions fixes so much.

So, it’s okay.