Wednesday, October 31, 2012

National Novel Writing Month, November.I'm doing it my way.

I did NANOWRIMO two years ago.
50,000 words of blood sweat and tears.
A novel called Skeletons in my cupboard.
1666 words per day, it was a special type of torture.
GOOGLE IT NOW IF YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
It's not too late to sign up.

                           Human Skull photograph by Janet Keen

What did I end up with after this month of frantic key tapping?
Pages full of typos and an autobiographical and an unpublishable splurge about my life from the age of five to thirty-five.

It was cathartic and probably good therapy but I wouldn't inflict the reading of it on my worst enemy. Another reason I didn't dish it out for public consumption is that I was concerned  about being disinherited.

I go into the file occasionally and read some of my ramblings and have the odd laugh.
It is black humour for sure.
My writing mentor Jenny Argante has read a lot of my work and she thinks it's really hilarious and she's always urging me to put a collection together and to illustrate it.

However I have found that not everybody appreciates this style especially if the subject matter is about them.

 Manipulated poster photograph by Janet Keen

It's ok to be self deprecating and sardonic about yourself  but when it involves others I feel that it's important to not use written words to intentionally or unintentionally hurt or expose others.
 The door on that cupboard is now firmly shut so that the skeletons for now are out of sight and silent.

I realise I probably would never make a very good tabloid journalist or lawyer.
In my heart of hearts I  really just want everything to be nice and peaceful and full of good will all the time and I know it's not realistic but living in that sort of bubble is my ultimate aim.


Bubble photograph by Janet Keen

  People may say this is boring, unrealistic and that an interesting life is full of drama and conflict but in my books it's something  I can well do without.

So it's a matter of deeply breathing in good vibes and breathing them out and trying to dodge anything or anyone who is duplicituous, bullying, controlling and negative. 

I am reading a fantastic book at the moment which I think that all budding and experienced writers should read and it's called Writing From the Heart, by Joy Cowley.
  I have a collection of around 10 books about creative prose and poetry.
 This is one of the best ones because it's  simple, to the point, concise and the proceeds from it go to Storylines which is a charity for organising authors talks in schools.
If you want to be a creative writer, read it today.


The title Skeletons in My Cupboard is still a good one  for a book I think.
It would be great to go around various famous or interetesting, creative people and interview them about their family skeletons.

I didn't do NANOWRIMO last year, I was too busy and disorganised, not to mention exhausted from the year before.
I also felt I didn't have another novel in me, having mined quite extensively many memories of my tumultuous life from five to thirty five.

I don't mind admitting that when I married my husband at the age of thirty six, everything clicked into a  place of relative peace and positivity, so I have a lot to be greatful to him for.

 Man silhouetted  at the beach photograph by Janet Keen

I've signed up to do it this year, but I'm cheating or should I say rebelling.

I'm going to commit to writing a blog post with no set amount of words every day for a month  with some photographs and perhaps a haiku and some  creativity quotes of the day.
 I'm also going to provide a brief synopsis of what I have achieved each day using the Q and A format.

Here goes for Wednesday 31st, which is a day before the official event start.

What significant things did you  achieve today Janet?
I went for an hour long walk with my artist friend April in the morning and I did some work on my angel and deer acrylic paintings.
These paintings are going towards an exhibition I am having at Essence Cafe in Ngongotaha with my advanced pupils on Friday for three weeks.

I tidied up the main table in my studio and sorted through some of my books in preparation for the art lesson I am giving my class of nine students on Friday.

I had two meditations, one morning, one evening  and cooked my husband pork chow mein for dinner, using some silverbeet out of my organic vegetable garden.


 Manipulated abstract photograph by Janet Keen


I watered my potager garden and had a cup of freshly brewed coffee in my Japanese garden.

I read a couple of chapters on Joy Cowley's excellent book "Writing From the Heart."
 I read a chapter on the amazing book April bought me from America called Creative Illustration Workshop by Katherine Dunn.

I  half watched and fell asleep part way through a bit of television programme that was so mindless and uneducational  I don't remember  it's name.
 Some crime ridden thing with women being butchered by a serial killer  gouging out their eyes and storing  them in jars of formeldahyde.
 I often wonder why they don't depict men being brutilised in this way by women.
 I often wonder why they bother to make these programmes at all.
 I  have my theories but this isn't the time or the place since im keeping it positive.


 I doodled a rabbit with buck teeth and a smiley face eating carrots in a vegetable patch full of silverbeet and sunflowers.

I had a long conversation with my cat Gary  about his latest adventure which comprised being dragged through the mud and water of my next door neighbours' spring by his deadly enemy,  a long furred, black tomcat with yellow eyes and orange teeth who I call Slinky.

I had to wash the mud and water out of his fur in a warm bath after the fricas.
We have had to do this a couple of times  in the past so he is used to it.
His ego was a bit bruised for a while, but he was fine after a few cuddles and a session of blow drying.
                    Pet cat Photograph by Janet Keen
 My husband, Graham said he shouldn't have been poking his nose in other people's territories but I never believe these skirmishes are ever his fault, no matter where he is.
That cat walks on water, pardon the pun.

My goldfish are all preparing themselves for breeding and they are very hungry.
I  started off  four years ago with  8 and now have 23.
 This could kind of qualify me for grandmother status.


 Green and gold bell frog by Janet Keen


My green and gold  Bell frog has returned  from his hibernation and keeps sitting on the edge of the pond in full view of my cat.
We have had a couple of instances in the beginning of the pond's life where Gary went fishing and which resulted in some premature orange fatalities and a screaming frog.
 But the frog was resucued the cat dunked head first  in the pond for a couple of seconds and harmony has returned.


 Black humour Creative Quotes for the day
 I fear the ignorance of others has stifled my genius.
 Chris Capozzi

 Diplomacy is telling someone to "Go to Hell" in such a way, they look forward to taking the trip.
Model UN Motto

Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake when you make it again.
F. P. Jones

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those I had to kill because they pissed me off. 
F. P. Jones

All photographs and  images on this blog are for sale.
Email me at jkeen@clear.net.nz with your enquiry. 
Phone 07 3463435 
All photographs are copyrighted by Janet Keen and may not be used  for any purpose without written permission 



1 comment:

Jennifer Carson said...

The last time I tried to publish something every day for a month, it didn't go well (which bodes not well for me for this year's NaNoWriMo).

I think simplicity may be key for me. I made my goal too hard. It was something like, a picture a day with a blog entry every single day and video that I'd shoot on the weekends. I found out that taking pictures was easy - uploading them from my camera or phone to Blogger, adding text, etc., was just asking too much.

I'm hoping that "just write" is a simple enough demand that I can achieve my goals this year. It's my first time. I'm a little nervous.

Good luck to you, and bravo for bucking the rules!