Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Burning of Badjuju

It's time again for the annual tradition here on Spacefreighters Lounge.  The Burning of Badjuju.  No worries.  This isn't an act of violence, it's an celebration of overcoming adversity.  But let me explain...

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?


  1. I'd have stuffed the bad critique I got from another aspiring writer and that nearly stopped me from submitting into Badjuju. The story got offered a contract in June.

  2. Ha, that's great, Laurie! I had totally forgotten about this.

    Worked so well last year, I'll toss on self-doubt and lack of tolerance for uncertainty!

  3. You're right, Laurie! It did work last year! This time I would throw in all maps to nowhere, obstacles on the road to success, and discouraging words. There have been way too many of those this year. Oh, and let me write this on a piece of paper for the fire: Lose the aliens! :-)

  4. Thanks for your contribution, Pippa, and welcome back to the Badjuju Burning, Sharon and Donna.

    I'm inspired to toss in one 'very close but no cigar' rejection and a couple of recent stalls. Burn, baby, burn!

    Here's to an even more productive year!

  5. I'll add not "quite" being counted as a pro and a few fireworks so the blaze is pretty!
    Thanks. Love this tradition.

  6. I'd like to stuff a less than wonderful review and so much opposition to my writing time! I feel like I've been swimming upstream all year!

  7. Oh, pretty colors, Frances. :)

    Pauline, hard to believe you got a less than stellar review, but I totally get your swimming upstream sentiments.

  8. I'm throwing away 'I can't' and 'no'. Well, except when someone asks me to bungee jump!

  9. I'm throwing away the negativity I've received over refusing to give up doing my own thing.

    Yes, my work is very different and extends beyond multiple genres. No, I do not think that will put me on any bestseller list. Yes, I've begun self-publishing my more obscure, less "marketable" works--for art's sake. No, I do not think this will bring me fame and fortune. Yes, I am still one hell of a writer!!!

  10. Oh, Barbara, those make great fodder for Badjuju. I could stand to shake off a few "I can'ts" too.

    Lisa, I totally know what you mean about the "M" word. As writers, we need to tell the stories in and from our hearts. Who knows what the next bestseller will be, but if we write what we love--not someone else's idea of what will sell--chance are we're going to appeal to a lot of readers who will love them, too.

    Let's collectively toss the M-word into the inferno and keep writing the stories we were meant to tell.

  11. Kinda late but I'm shoving in a load of procrastination!

  12. Oh, procrastination! That's a good one, Sarah. I need to torch a whole pile of that myself.

  13. Oops, I missed it. Maybe next year someone can toss in a "things for those who are late" issue. LOL.

  14. Mine would be: freezing up due to lack of confidence, why bother since everything I write sucks, fear of success because it means talking to people during which time I sound like an idiot, and subconsciously blocking out the sound of my muse's one-time loud voice.

    Maybe we can have a little after-party bonfire?

  15. Hi Anna. We definitely got your offerings tossed into the bonfire.
    Glad you joined us!

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to our Badjuju stuffing this year. :)

    Badjuju will be back next year to perform his unique Downer Disposal Duty once again.


Comments set on moderation - all spammers will be exterminated!

About Spacefreighters Lounge

Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.