Sunday, 3 March 2013

Songwriting in February and preparing for Camp... in April?!?

My apologies to my followers for my silence the past month. Ever since my novels have been "put on the editing back burner" for the next while, I haven't had anything to write about on here. However, that's not to say I haven't been writing entirely. On February 1st, I decided to take my first plunge into a different foray of creativity: songwriting.

For those who haven't heard about it before, every February there is a similar writing challenge to NaNoWriMo called February Album Writing Month, or FAWM for short. The object with FAWM is to write and compose 14 songs within the month's 28 days. Admittedly, I have no musical talent whatsoever; the last time I played an instrument was 28 years ago back in Grade 8 Music class... and even then, it was a violin. However, I figured I could attempt to compose some lyrics and hope someone would want to collaborate with me by "putting those tiny black dots" to my prose. Unfortunately, no one came around to help me out. What's more, I hit the creative wall with over a week to go, and only 10 of the 14 sets of lyrics completed. I'll admit I fell short in this ambition, but at least I was able to do something I hadn't done before, and it was an interesting adventure.

As the calendar has changed over to March, I look forward to my next writing adventure to commence in four weeks time. I, loyal reader, am heading off to Camp.

I know that sounds weird -- going camping in April -- but, allow me to explain. The past few years, I've always looked to April with such creative abandon, as it was the month to fire up my Celtx, and partake in some script writing as part of Script Frenzy. Unfortunately, due to budgetary issues, the organizers decided to scrap the script writing challenge for 2013 and beyond. Naturally, I was devastated as this was the challenge where in 2011 I pushed myself to the brink and created an entire 13-episode sitcom within 30 days. It was one of my proudest achievements, and one I regret not being able to do again. The organizers saw this gaping hole in their calendar, and wondered what they could do to fill the void. That was when the idea of Camp came in.

For the previous two years, the organizers had been running a summertime foray for novel writing; aptly entitled Camp NaNoWriMo. This allowed participants not one, but two additional opportunities to write a 50,000-word novel within a month. My first attempt in August 2011 didn't go as well as I hoped, as real life -- specifically, my 40th birthday celebration -- provided enough of a distraction for me to fall short of my goal. I would try again in June 2012, and was successful in my second attempt; creating Barbadian Backlash in the process. This year, the good people at The Office of Letters and Light have decided to switch the timing up for the two 2013 sessions. One session will take place during July, for that traditional "summertime feel". The other will replace the void left when Script Frenzy was folded in April. However, I have received word that those who want to continue their script writing exploits will be able to do so this year, as the organizers will allow people to utilize a flexible word goal, should they decide to return to their usual springtime writing patterns.

As for myself, I have a few writing ideas on tap over the next year. As I might have mentioned previously, my "ode to Ivor Wynne" -- tentatively entitled The Band on Balsam -- is fermenting in my brain, as is the fourth installment of Gary's chronicles where he'll reflect on the case where he first met Bennett. However, in recent weeks, a new novel project popped into my creative psyche. Tentatively entitled Roast Trip it is about two friends who embark on a cross-country road trip; hitting different locations of their favourite coffee shop chain along the way. It'll be about two friends bonding as they drive from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and perhaps a love interest might creep into the picture. It's still in its infancy, but we'll see how it unfolds onto the page starting April 1st.

If you'd like to tap into your creative juices this April, or July, and partake in Camp NaNoWriMo, you can do so by surfing on over to http://www.campnanowrimo.org The site is slated for relaunch this Tuesday, March 5th. You can register with your NaNoWriMo login information, and prepare to write away for those respective months. I hope you come along for the latest ride.