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Kritique Kritics: June 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Looking for Inspiration

Well here it is my long awaited vacation and am I finishing that story? Revising my 2nd Art-World novel? Story-boarding ideas? Nope. What I did after coming back from my weekend Mexican cruise with my Mom & daughter was start cleaning. I scrubbed the floors, wiped down the tables, waxed the furniture, hosed out the chicken water and bird bath as well as did yet another load of laundry.
What was holding me back?
This new story is giving me trouble. I started it 3 weeks ago with a germ of an idea but this ain't a disease that is spreading throughout my body. Oh no. Instead it's like I have disinfectant stopping every bacterial inspiration from spreading.
That disinfectant is called But what about. But what about her troublesome back story? I don't have it yet. But what about the artificial gravity? I don't have enough technological expertise to make it sound plausible. But what about her consequences for falling short of her training numbers? Where will it lead. What about? What about?
All these what abouts have me wrapped in a sterile bottle killing every idea.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And the stars look very different tonight

"The stars look very different today." went the words to David Bowie's song. And for my group of fifth graders it was true. Last night was the Second Annual Taylor Elementary Talent show and I choreographed a number to Space Oddity for them. The song tells the story of an astronaut who blasts off into space and finds himself lost among the stars.

The last two weeks of rehearsal have been wonderfully exhausting. Trying to herd 28 fifth graders into lines was hard enough but throwing a few hyper boys into the mix made it feel nearly impossible. At first. But we practiced. Again and again. And again.

At the performance in the high school auditorium they were as excited as crickets on a hot plate. Running to the restroom every five minutes, giggling, and needing be shushed about 47 times. But when that curtain went up and it was their turn, every single child was in line. Every single head was held high as they did pivot turns, chanays, and jazz arms.
Boy this year has been a glorious Apollo Mission. From that first day smiling at them in their shining suits as I invited them aboard. We went over emergency procedures before counting down to the rush of jet-fueled curriculum. Getting out of Earth's gravity was tough. Some of the kids' suits had holes and others needed more oxygen. We patched a few here or there and pumped them as full as we could.
But then eventually we send them off into space hoping they won't just drift from star to star. Hoping they can steer their rockets toward the brightest in the sky.
Last night every single one did.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I'm Moving In

Today marks the beginning of a challenge for me--the Southern Cross Novel Challenge. Described as the Southern Hemisphere's version of NaNoWriMo, SoCNoC's challenge is to write 50,000 words of fiction in the month of June.

I already have a novel on the board; I've been working on it for almost five years now. That seems like a long time (to me, at least), but a lot has been going on. I began the book shortly after suffering chronic carbon monoxide poisoning--and the writing process has been as much a journey of personal growth as it has been one of story. I'm rebuilding my life as I build my novel.

I envision my novel as a house. Each room is a chapter.

For five years, I've been visiting my house, taking items inside. Some rooms are filled with things, all piled together in disorderly fashion. Here and there is a neat corner, perfectly decorated. Other rooms, though, are still empty.

I haven't been staying in my house--just stopping by when I can, in between other obligations. A morning here, an evening there. A whole weekend, now and again. Weeks can pass with only a few visits, maybe to carry in a new piece when I come across something.

Not anymore.

As of June 1, 2008, I've made the decision to move into my house. It's a big move. Life changing. I still have struggles to deal with; I still have other work to do. But I will live in my house, and work on it each day. And with that dedicated effort, it will soon be finished.

It's time for me to go home.