Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Time to Burn Badjuju

Last year, Spacefreighters Lounge reported on the annual tradition in Santa Fe, New Mexico 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 suggested that writers need their own version of Zozobra and many agreed, coming up with the name "Badjuju" for our version.

Today, we're building our Badjuju to torch along with Zozobra this evening. 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.

What would you stuff into Badjuju?

~~~ * ~~~


  1. Looks good, Laurie!! 'd have to toss the view out of my window in there - it's too distracting.

  2. LOL Barbara. One distraction added to the stuffing.

    I'm going to throw in the roller coaster I've been riding this last year, a couple of mystifying judges comments, and a mini-meltdown or two.

    Looking forward to seeing them go up in smoke. *wicked laugh*

  3. Great idea, Laurie! I have one...

    That feeling of being left behind when it seems like everyone around you is selling!


    And here's some Goodjuju I've learned to combat it...

    We're all getting there, at our own pace and by our own road. And published or "pre" published, we all still face the same challenges and need the same support.

  4. I see your "left behind feeling" and decide I need to add mine, too.

    You're absolutely right, though, Sharon. There are many paths to publishing and some roads take longer to travel than others. The trick is to find the route that's the best one for you. That makes reaching your destination all the more rewarding and the friends you make along the way an added bonus. :)

  5. I'm all for purging the Badjuju! For me, it's getting out of my own way and letting go of each day's minutiae so I can write.

    As far as being left behind, you're so right that all of our paths are different. I could never have foreseen my path. We are defined by the path and yet we set it without even knowing. It only makes sense in hindsight.

  6. Lisa said: "For me, it's getting out of my own way and letting go of each day's minutiae so I can write."

    Oh, yesyesyes! That's a major "demon" for me. Like Barbara's view, life is so full of distractions it's hard to tune out the static at times.

  7. Okay, along the lines of Lisa's "getting out of my own way," I'll gleefully light this one...

    Self Doubt. Staring at the blank page thinking I'll never write anything good again.

  8. *Tosses some of her own ominous blank pages into the stuffing*

  9. I have a few:
    1)The practice of rejecting queries enmasse by Twitter;

    2)The "need" for Twitter;

    3)The anxiety of "hurry up and wait" . . .and wait;

    4)Somewhere around 3000 extraneous words from both of my current manuscripts--if I could only figure out which ones!

    Burn, baby, burn!

  10. I'll add to the pyre my frustration of consistent, yet torturingly low-figure, sales. With even greater pleasure, I'll throw in all of the seemingly unfair twists that have wriggled into my life over the past several, well, years ... and I will happily chant "Be gone Badjuju!" as you do the honors with an oversized torch.

    Thanks for the early a.m. smile, Laurie.

  11. BadJuJu begone! I'm tired of working three jobs and then being too tired to write. I stare at the screen and bam! I'm sleeping! AND marketing sucks! It's so time consuming and are you really getting the bang for your bucks?

    Gail - yawn - zzzzzz

  12. Donna, ah yes, the infamous word hunt and extermination. Words will never be an endangered species! Here's a new way of looking at it. If you need to cut 3000 words from a 300 page manuscript, that's only 10 words per page. You can do it!

    Lisa, I will be honored to torch your badjujus. I'll even do a special fire dance with sparklers. There will be better times ahead for you, for sure, sistah.

  13. Oh, Gail, I hear you. I only work one job, but with a standard 9-hour day and lengthy commute--longgggg hours. My head often hits the keyboard before I'm done with that scene that I just hadda write...

    Burn, sleep deprivation, burn!

  14. I'll throw in all those dismissive comments that I could never write "real" SF. And I second "Marketing SUCKS." Wouldn't it be wonderful if our books just sold themselves and we could focus on writing new stuff?

  15. Oh, good point, Jaleta. Wonder if all the hours I've spent on Facebook and Twitter will make good kindling? :)

  16. Oh what a great idea! Let me see.....

    1) the 10,000 words that crept in the last revision of my current manuscript! Whhuttt??
    2) the pfft of depression I felt after reading Mockinjay (and re-reading Hunger Games and Catching Fire) and fear that I will never write with such spare and heartbreaking prose.
    3) Adverbs...ALL MUST DIE lol.
    4) Every eye roll that I get from my former business colleagues when I tell them that, yes, I write romance
    5) the odd aroma that my dog, now my office mate, has recently picked up...ewww.
    6) my obsession with over editing my Tweets

    thanks Laurie I needed this!

  17. As I dance madly around the fire, (no worries ladies, got me clothes on) I'll toss in a few reviews that managed to zero in on the one little thing I felt insecure about. While I'm at it, here goes the family's comments about my "hobby job" and a few eye rolls to boot.
    flame away.


  18. I'd like to throw in the feeling that THIS time I won't be able to finish the book!

    what a fun idea! I love it! off to think of more stuff for the pyre!

  19. Sparklers? Now you're talking!

    Pauline, I hate that feeling too. It usually comes at around the halfway point of any given manuscript--followed by that feeling that comes about three quarters of the way through when it feels like I still have waaaay too much to write about, but I'm getting dangerously close to my intended word count. It always ends up working out though. ;-)

  20. That's what I keep telling myself, Lisa! "You can do this. You've done it before." When the voice gets too loud, I pause and go kill some zombies. LOL!

  21. Argh, that's right, the dreaded halfway-point, "I'm a hack and I will never finish this manuscript" moment.

  22. ADVERBS!...oh yes! We need an adverb inferno! Good one, Leslie.

    Frances, throw those reviews on the juju bonfire. They burn with such purdy colors!

    "THIS time I won't be able to finish the book."

    "...when it still feels like I have waaaay too much to write about, but I'm dangerously close to my intended word count."

    "I'm a hack and I will never finish this manuscript."

    Ohhhhh, so it's NOT just ME?!?!?!

    Ta heck with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we have Pauline the Zombie killer!

  23. Well, here goes -

    * Here's the submission that sat with a publisher for 3.5 months and now they claim they can't locate

    * The no, sorry, there's no sex in these stories blues

    * The never enough time in a day, why the heck didn't I perfect that time machine wail of anguish

  24. LOL Sandra. Oh yes, I can relate. Those are all prime Badjuju fodder.

  25. LOL! more like the zombies are EATING MY BRAIN! Their fault I'm having middle of the book anxiety! (And if my editor knew what I was calling "middle of the book" she'd go zombie hunting!) LOL!

  26. OK, time to torch all our zombie dreams, stubborn manuscripts, writers angst and time management woes.


    Lites humongo torch...
    Dances around a bit...
    Sets Mr. Badjuju aflame...

    Ah yes, there go all our cares. Tomorrow we can start fresh with no worries, right?

    Thanks all, this was a lot of laughs. Come back same time next year for another Badjuju burning.

  27. Wow, that was a lot of fun! And so cathartic. Thanks, Laurie, for setting up Mr. Badjuju--and bringing the gasoline!

  28. It worked! no zombie dreams last night and I'm ready to take on the BAB this morning! thanks!

  29. Tossing in whatever it is that makes me doze off when I try to close my eyes and imagine my stories.

    And here's some blank-mind-itis too.

  30. Thanks Anna, for the final addition to our Badjuju!

    This was a lot of fun and we'll see you all next year to burn another Badjuju!

    Thanks Donna and Pauline. Glad Badjuju chased the zombies away!


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