I have had the pleasure, nay, honor of being able to review the book Hunting Witches by our very own Jeffery X Martin. This “non-vel”, as he calls it, took many months of work, blood, sweat, and alcohol to construct, and it is more than worth the wait since the last installment of the happenings in Elders Keep. The Elders Keep anthology began as a series of short stories, released individually on Amazon, and can now be acquired in the form of Black Friday, which includes the stories that started it all: “Be Sweet,” “Mouth,” and “Candy.” “Mouth” personally had me cringing, which is not easily accomplished from words on a screen or paper. You can bet, I will be giving that book another read just to fit everything together again.
I do my best work when I have a sense of structure, when I’m allowed to bash something out on a quick turnaround time, and when I can work independently within a community. Thus, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo as it’s known to its fans and followers) seems like something so well suited to my sensibilities that it’s a wonder I haven’t done it before. November of 2012 will be my inaugural year working on NaNo.
For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is fairly straightforward. Aspiring novelists must write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Freelance writer Chris Baty founded NaNoWriMo in July of 1999, but later moved it forward to November “to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather” in his hometown of San Francisco. Throughout the years, NaNo has grown from a small event in which Baty participated with a small clutch of friends, to an event that spans the globe and has spawned a number of best-selling books. (If you read Water for Elephants or The Night Circus, congratulations: you have enjoyed the fruits of NaNoWriMo.) A lively community has sprung up among aspiring writers in Boston, replete with overnight write-ins and games of Word Wars on the regional board.