Hello peeps - through my tears, my rage, my deep deep sorrow at what is going on in the world - I finished my NaNoWriMo challenge. I wrote thirty thousand words on last years ms - Crooked Knife - bringing that up to 83 thousand words - a manuscript I can edit - though - I have to admit - it is not finished. I'm still unsure how to do the ending so I can't say that I have a finished shitty first draft - but it is in there somewhere! I'll put it away for a bit and then start carving away some, adding some and making it so. I also wrote about twenty thousand on my new project - Caribou Dreaming - which I'm hoping to morph into a graphic novel.
I know these challenges aren't for everyone but they work for me, so I'll keep doing them. I was happy this year, as I figured out a way to use that word count button to my benefit - even though I didn't have a new piece that I was focusing on. Caribou Dreaming was a carrot to get me to finish Crooked Knife. Point is - it worked for me.
Because Crooked Knife is set on the reservation where I work - I could put all sorts of my feelings about Muskrat Falls and the terrible project that Newfoundland Hydro has going there - I could make it part of the mystery - and yep get out all my rage at what big industry is doing to our world. I could address indigenous issues and as my protagonist is a cop who is not indigenous but works on the reservation - I could feel fairly free to discuss her dilemma's and awakening to what is really going on. I could politicize myself without it being at all preachy - I hope - there is lots of humour and fun in the book and it is a mystery.
And that brings me to another point - I do want my writing to enlighten and inform people. That is why I write - it is why I live actually. I love reading and watching and enjoying art that is not political - but there has to be some human in there somewhere who wakes me up - or I'm not interested. I went to see The Once the other night. They are an amazing trio from Newfoundland and I can't describe their music but it is genuine - fun and full of love. The first song they did was one of Cohen's - Coming Back to You - and I was positively awash with tears and in the front row. They did it acapella - the words seemed to hang in space like jewels. The point is that their music helped heal my sore old heart and it amused me and inspired me and in one of their songs - The Nameless Murderess - I was positively elated at the innovative and wild sound they got.
What is art for? What is beauty and inspiration and innovation for? I really don't have an answer - I just know I need it. I hope with Crooked Knife that the readers will put it down and say something like 'Holy Hell - I had no idea that was going on in our world!'.
How about you all -what do you create for? And here is a digital finger painting of mine called 'Come Home'.