Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Third Annual Burning of Badjuju

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

Let me explain...

There's an annual event in Santa Fe, New Mexico each fall, called the burning Zozobra. This ritual flaming of "Old Man Gloom" represents letting go of all your cares, disappointments, worries 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.

On 2010, we created our own version of Zozobra for writers, dubbing it "Badjuju." The event was so popular that Badjuju made an encore appearance in 2011. And now? Hey, it's 2012! We definitely need a Badjuju Burning this year!

So once again we your need help stuffing our "Writer's Old Man Trouble" with whatever bad karma you can toss in--rejection slips, deep-sixed manuscripts, misguided reviews, low contest scores, delusional judge's comments, or any other woes and negativity you want to shed so you can watch them go up in a blaze of glory. Troubles, begone!

Let's see what a couple of last years' Badjuju participants tossed into the heap. 

From Donna S. Frelick: "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! :-)" Hmm, Donna was a DOUBLE Golden Heart Finalist this year. Torching Badjuju was one heck of a harbinger of good fortune for her!

From Pippa Jay: "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." If I'm right, that story is the now published KEIR, and Pippa has had more good things come down the pike of late, right Pippa? Yup, worked for her, too.

We had other items thrown into the pyre by Sharon Lynn Fisher, Pauline Baird Jones, Lisa Lane, Frances Pauli, Barbara Elsborg, Sarah Shade and Anna.

Click here to read what they tossed into the pyre at last year's event. Then join in the fun.

What would YOU like to stuff into Badjuju?


  1. Ha ha, well I'll be tossing on the same ones from last year:

    "self-doubt and lack of tolerance for uncertainty!"

    I think those are undead troubles - hard to kill, and when you do, they take some time to recharge and get back up again.

  2. I adore this event. :) This year I'm telling everyone to come play too.

    For the fire, I have:
    Obscurity, and my annual dose of self-doubt.

    Burn, baby, burn!

  3. Sharon, I hear you. Those same issues haunt me, too. Toss 'em on the fire!

    Yay, Frances, thanks for helping spread the word. The more the merrier!

  4. Yup, Laurie, that critique was on KEIR and look where it's got to now! :)
    This year I'd like to toss in what one of my author friends calls the 'I Suck' fairy - the horror that visits you in your down days, where the words won't come or they all seem like bad ones, and you want to throw all your work into the fire. On top of that, a two star review and not making the final of The Rebecca. That should get Badjuju flaming nicely. :D

  5. Oh, yes, I've had many visits from the I SUCK fairy. And mediocre reviews? Great kindling!

    *tosses a Doubt Gnome on the fire for good measure*

  6. Oh wow... I have a couple of rejections, realization that sometimes I write stuff that doesn't belong within the story, headaches and exhaustion that get in the way of my story telling. I'm sure I could think of more.

    Fear of failure and ah yes and the reviewer who said that my erotic scifi romance had a little too much... ahem... s*x. Yeah... I think that should do. :)

  7. Oh, those all make great Badjuju stuffing, Imogene. And colorful flames!

  8. I'm throwing in the incessant, malicious, future-ruining "ghosts" ('cuz the schoolkids make paper ones to put inside Zozobra) of uncertainty, procrastination and lack of focus.
    Burn 'em!

  9. Oh, me too on the I SUCK fairies, and those damn future-ruining ghosts!

  10. I'd like to toss in the only really, really bad one star review I got on Amazon, which I should really have ignored but which still hurts, despite the fact it's so vitriolic it's probably not even a 'proper' reader, and next would be procrastination and my tendency to do everything else first and leave my writing 'until later when I have more time'!

  11. Future draining ghosts! Good one, Sarah.

    And Hywela, there's no better place to get rid of those hurtful reviews, once and for all. Let Badjuju burn!

  12. I'd like to toss in the twin peaks of Mt. Laundry and Mt. Crapmore from the Clutter Mountain Range... they tend to grow, and paring them down eats into my writing time. Not paring them down creates bad juju in my house towards my writing time. They must be destroyed.

  13. Oh, let's see: rejections and more rejections; unending legal actions from my grandson's idiot father; a manuscript that is progressing with the approximate speed of a glacier and a persistent voice that keeps telling me it would just be easier to quit. Stand back--that's some explosive fuel!

  14. I have a ton of badjuju to burn - my I-suck fairy is a massively obese one at this point-she needs to BURN. I'll toss in a review I got recently that said I sucked because I wasn't Emily Brontë and my book wasn't Wuthering Heights, not in those exact terms, but still. I'll throw in a butt load of health problems and getting laid off from my job, too. And the usual family stress that comes from too many children with special needs and not nearly enough income to go around.

    Now I need a shrine for those two awesome comments I got recently about my writing and for a contract for nine more books...

  15. A bag full of my rejection letters, a falling Amazon rating, an anthology deadline or three pushed back, unresponsive editors, and everyone that ever made sad noises when I said I was writing.

    Burn the witches!

  16. JC, we must live in the same area. I can see that mountain range from my kitchen table! :D

  17. Doubt, worry, feeling overwhelmed and fear!

    burn, baby burn!

  18. Geez half way across the globe and I can see the leaping tongues of fire. Let it burn, baby! Let it burn!

  19. Oooh, more kindling for the fire. Mountains of laundry, idiotic in-laws, obese fairies of gloom, falling ratings and feelings of overwhelmedness. This is the best Badjuju Burning, yet!

  20. I'll add all those books I read that were complete crap and a waste of my time -ooh and I hate the idea of burning books but you know, they have to go!

  21. Barbara's going all Fahrenheit 451 on us. LOL Just kidding! I know exactly what you mean, Barbara. Spending money on a book that fails to live up to its hype is like wasting $20 to go see a "hit" movie that's mediocre or painfully boring.

    Fortunately, I think the majority of books have a lot more entertainment value than the majority of movies!

  22. Thanks to everyone who shared the Burning of Badjuju again with us this year. Here's to much success and good fortune in the coming year, now that you've cast off those bad vibes!

    We hope to be back next year with another annual event.


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