Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NaNoNeNow . . . Na Nu Na Nu??

November is apparently the month in which to write a novel. I know, I know, you’re thinking but people write all the time. But it’s like OFFICIALLY the month. Somebody somewhere a billion years ago declared November the national month to write a book. It even has a spiffy sounding title, though for the life of me I can never remember what it is. The whole point of this is to write 50,000 words in a month. I’ve thought about doing it in the past, but never really got on the bandwagon. My reasons are endless, but the main one was I was a classroom teacher and didn’t have the time or energy to put into anything other than teaching. Now, though, I am a museum educator. I’m still a teacher, but don’t have all those pesky teacher things to deal with . . . say for instance, kids. So this year I could do this. I could, but wasn’t planning on it until the phone call.

Last night, my bestie Jessica Jarman called me and told me she was doing this novel in a month deal. The reason? A challenge . . . she was challenged by her daughters! Her thirteen year old tossed it out first and then the eleven year old joined the fray. Hello? Who wants to be whooped up on by two kids? The oldest asked if I was doing it and Jess asked me to join them. To sweeten the pot we decided to throw a reward out for the one who writes the most words. Each week we are donating money toward a Starbucks gift card to the person who writes the most. Oh, baby, I am there!!! I love Starbucks. I live for Starbucks. So who’s going to be writing a novel in a month? This girl is! Hell, I might even write 2, you never can tell with Starbucks as a motivator. So I will say may the best person win, but I already know it’s me. So I guess the
best person will win. Heh!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Inside Looking Out Part 4

Okay, so I was going to whine . . . I mean write all about how hard writing is. But I got sidetracked and decided to share with you that I lead a double life, a secret life. Mild mannered writer by day and by . . . ummm, other day I'm a spy. Yep, that's right I am a spy. I know it's unbelievable and pretty cool, but there you have it. And who you ask am I a spy for? Or should that be whom? Whatever, I am a spy for the Union and the Confederacy. I'm sure you're wondering how the heck I ended up being a spy for two groups that haven't really existed for 150 years. It's all about the history museum. So we're opening our new exhibit entitled Civil War: My Brother, My Enemy and I happened to be riding the elevator with one of our curators. She and I were talking and I told her if she needed help to let me know. That's when she gave me my assignment: Be A Spy. I shrugged and said, "Sure." Heh. We spies are cool like that.

She brought me two replica cypher wheels, one from the Confederacy and the other Union. My task was to create three messages for each one and then put them into code. I didn't want them to be incredibly long since I knew visitors were going to try and break the code, but I didn't want them to be super easy either. It took a good hour or so to come up with them and put them into code. I had one of the people I work with check them all to make sure they were right and whammo I had created 6 secret messages.

So, if you happen to come by the museum and run into those cypher wheels you can see what a writer/spy does during the day. You can also try your hand at decyphering them, but just know I'm watching you. You may not see me, but I can always see you. We spies are tricky like that.