Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fifth Annual Burning of Badjuju!

Wait...what's Badjuju, you say?

We're so glad you asked.

The Burning of Badjuju has become a writer's tradition here on Spacefreighters Lounge!

Every year, we celebrate the Burning of Badjuju in conjunction with the Burning of Zozobra--also known as Old Man Gloom--in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The big day (which snuck up on us this year) is Friday, August 29th.

So what's this all about?

Well, it all started like this...

The Annual Fiestas de Santa Fe is a celebration with roots that go back to the year 1692 when the Spanish peacefully reclaimed the city from the Pueblos. Later, in 1924, the Zozobra tradition was started as a part of the Fiesta by artist William Howard Shuster, Jr. and it has been carried on in more recent times by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe.

For weeks leading up to the event, people can drop off slips of paper with details of personal gloom—or even certain legal papers—at the offices of the Santa Fe Reporter. These items are stuffed inside the giant effigy along with liberal amounts of shredded newspaper. They can then join the crowd of 40,000 to celebrate on the selected evening and enjoy the banishment of doom and gloom as the giant Zozobra effigy is set ablaze. It's quite a ritual.

In 2009, we decided writers might like to have their own version of the burning of Zozobra. Imagine collecting a stockpile of unsalvageable manuscripts, rejection letters, errant contest score sheets, misguided bad reviews, and other gloom-laced paperwork and having a virtual bonfire of epic proportions to banish our cares? So we created our own version of Zozobra for writers coming up with the name "Badjuju" for our version.

You can check out our archive of past Badjuju Burnings here:

So fire away! Toss all those woes, troubles, self doubts, bad vibes and disappointments into Badjuju so we can light him up on Friday. Then start afresh with a bright and shiny new year ahead of you.

What will you toss into Badjuju this year?


  1. Okay, I'l be glad to kick this off.

    This year, I think I can pretty much offer my month of August 2014 as kindling. So glad to light it up and put it behind me.

    I'll ask toss in the sudden cancelation of my RWA trip to San Antonio. Ouch. Time to burn that major disappointment.

    And just to make the Badjuju fire glow with lots of pretty colors, I'll add some self-doubt, a dollop of worry, a liberal helping of stress, and--of course!--those rejections that stated Science Fiction and Romance don't belong together.

    When life gives you lemons...roast marshmellows!

  2. I will start with the especially sucky end to 2013 and the start of 2014. The issues that prevented me from attending WorldCon the one year it was virtually on my doorstep in London, UK. Book pirates. The I Suck fairy, who has been a particular pest this month despite what might seem my many successes of late. And my eldest's new headmistress who thinks introducing hideous £30 skirts for girls was a great way to kick off her arrival at the school.

  3. I'm ready to burn August, too! Set it aflame and get it out the door!

    Let's see, a couple of reviews, lots of stress and some family health issues! Toss them on the fire, too!

    Love Badjuju time!

  4. I'm throwing in that I SUCK fairy, too. She brought deflating comments from my freelance editor that stalled my writing. Also throwing in health issues from earlier this year. That should make the fire burn higher.

  5. I'd like to dump my insecurity over my writing, my arthritis, my compulsion to read those bad reviews, all the promises made to me that came to nothing, the bad English weather this July, my need for peanut butter and a rather large dose of worry concerning one of my publishers. Sigh. That's better.

  6. I'm throwing in pretty much the entire last year. Too much stress, too many other obligations, all add up to not much writing of the fictional kind. I'm also throwing in all the graduate academic writing I've been doing. I hate it with a passion. And I'm evicting the ISuck fairy who has taken up permanent residence in my head. All of it can go away so I can tell the stories swimming in my head.

  7. I'd like to throw in that dizzying fear paralyzing me up here on the high dive of pre-publication. I need the guts to jump off with gleeful abandon! Oh, and I wouldn't mind burning the few truckloads of junk left to sort before I move, either! Stand back, that bonfire's gonna explode!

  8. Thanks to everyone who joined us for our annual Badjuju Burn. Ooooooh, look at all the pretty many-colored flames! Ooopa!

    So consider these gremlins banished forever...and Happy New Writing Year! We wish you many triumphs, successes and excitement in the months ahead! Ole!


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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.