Thursday, September 8, 2011
The Burning of Badjuju
In Santa Fe, New Mexico, there's an annual tradition of burning Zozobra. This ritual flaming of the "Old Man Gloom" effigy represents letting go of all the cares, disappointments and griefs that have accumulated in the past year. For weeks prior to the event, residents converge on the offices of the Santa Fe Reporter to leave artifacts of their troubles. The monstrous puppet is then stuffed with these notes, documents, photos, legal papers, and other representations of aggravation and set ablaze before a crowd of thousands.
Last year, we created our own version of Zozobra for writers coming up with the name "Badjuju" for our version.
Today, we're building our Badjuju to torch this weekend. Help us stuff our "Writer's Old Man Trouble" with your rejection slips, deep-sixed manuscripts, misguided reviews, low contest scores, delusional judge's comments, and other worries and woes so you can watch them go up in a blaze of glory.
For the sake of nostalgia, let's see what some of last years' Badjuju participants tossed into the heap.
From Sharon Lynn Fisher: "That feeling of being left behind when it seems like everyone around you is selling!" Hmm, Sharon has since sold to Tor in a two book deal. Torching Badjuju sure worked for her.
Donna Frelick also had some items to add, among them "Somewhere around 3000 extraneous words from both of my current manuscripts--if I could only figure out which ones!" If I'm right, Donna has more than succeeded in her goal and garnered a few contest finals and wins along the way. Maybe there's something to this Badjuju thing?
We had other items thrown into the pyre by Pauline Baird Jones, Lisa Paitz Spindler, Lisa Lane, Jaleta Clegg, Frances Pauli, and Sandra Stixrude. Read what they had to contribute in last year's event. Then join in the fun.
What would you stuff into Badjuju?