Catastrophe Over an Open Fire

By Pacifika

Camp-fire-cooking-283x400I was a Girl Scout. I have badges and pins adorning my troop jacket to prove it. I even graduated a Girl Scout.

And we were a camping troop. We had it down. We awed other troops with our crazy camping skills. We ate chicken roasted in a solar oven, tacos cooked over the fire. When one troop camping nearby said they were having hot dogs – again, we all looked at each with bright eyes, Hot Dogs, we’d never had them as a troop. Silly right? The favorite food however, was Catastrophe cooked over the fire in the morning. Best meal ever.

Catastrophe was just bacon, hash browns and eggs all cooked together in one pot. It’s now a family favorite. But I baconremember one fateful morning when the designated cook forgot to pay attention and the bacon burned (gasp!). We were distraught. We gave it a proper burial and a last salute as we disposed of it. We were grief-stricken, worried. Can you have Catastrophe without bacon? How can it be done? We needed the bacon grease to cook the hash browns. What about flavor? But we continued on, improvised. And everything turned out. We had
Catastrophe and it was still delicious. Not as good but still…

(Cue Obligatory Writing Analogy)

Writing is like Catastrophe. We take our characters, plot, and story and throw them bit by bit into the pot and stir. Sometimes we overcook the characters and they become too chewy. Sometimes we over-salt the plot. Sometimes we don’t simmer the story enough and it lacks the intricate flavor we were hoping for. We look at it and sigh in grief as we give the salute. BUT WAIT!

stewpotCampNaNo is coming up. We can improvise. We can make a few tweaks and add some more seasoning to compensate. We can pull out the overcooked characters and maybe stew them in another pot…

Oh, Yuck. Well, you get the idea. We have a great opportunity to fix things.

I plan on making an outline of a previous NaNo novel that I love but it turns out has some over-cooked characters and needs a little more seasoning in other places. Depending on how things go I might just take that outline and rewrite the whole book. Yikes. That’s a stressful idea. Okay, best not to think about it.

Anyway, the point is with CampNaNo you can pick the activities that you want to do. Flexibility is the best part of Camp. You can write anything you want: poetry, non-fiction, fiction, articles, blog posts or you can revise. And you get to choose your target. You don’t have to go for 50k words. You can, but you don’t have to. You can go for 10k or if you are feeling adventurous, 100k! WOW.

So give it a go. Get in there, sign in to CampNaNoWriMo.org and get your Novel created, then give me (Pacifika) a nanomail letting me know you want in to the cabin (unless you are wanting the excitement of a cabin full of strangers – which is also good) and I’ll send you an invitation.

Looking forward to camping with you. 😀

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