Book Camp Quarantine writing

Acrid, Astringent, & Often Disagreeable–Book Camp 2020, Day 10

And this time it’s not interpersonal conflict!

Today we spent a fair bit of time brainstorming story titles. We came up with MANY. Narrowing to six, we sent to the parents and grandparents. They tied in their choices and greatly disliked the clearest (but not unanimous) favorite.

We brainstormed more. Tried one more with the ‘rents. It was not adored.

At some point we fell into “bitter” and searched definitions. That’s where the blog title today came from. I think it would make a terrific story title. Bonus: it accurately describes specific pieces of Book Camp this year. So many meanings!

Plus, it’s just fun to say.

Alas! I could get no takers. So we set aside the titling.

Two maps were drawn today with Inkarnate. A front cover was nearly nailed down. A press kit was two-thirds completed. And the story is just over 9,000 words. Our aim is 12,000.

It’s been a calm day. Mostly. Uproarious. But mellow. The kind of day that makes you think it could go on forever.

But it won’t. And we wouldn’t really want it to. It would dull the specialness of the time together if we were never apart.

The fort is trashed. The snack bar emptied. The work scattered throughout our encampment. Without our intern, Twiz, we’d be utterly lost.

But we’re happy. Our hearts are full. Our wills are unified, even if our titles aren’t. A good intern can make a world of difference!

Here, have a sweet puppy and A.D. photo from last night, after the not-so-littles went to beds.

Art Book Camp Uncategorized writing

Book Camp 2020, Day 9

We’ve had some conflict. I thought that taking the weekend off might help disrupt the conflict and give us a reprieve. Selfishly, I wanted to work on Book Camp all weekend, because I didn’t have a job to do.

We took the weekend. And Monday was disastrous. More proof that no good deed goes unpunished.

Book Camp was quite nearly canceled yesterday morning.

Not hyperbole.

After group and individual counseling, it became clear that each camper wanted Book Camp to continue. The question was, what were they willing to do to make it so.

Today has been calm. Some key changes have been made to the structure of Book Camp, the schedule, and the expectations. It has been a scramble. But I think there is value in making it to the end.

I think if Book Camp had ended yesterday, each of the campers would have made the end the biggest memory of camp. I think each camper would have taken home negative feelings, maybe about themselves.

Seeing it to the end, I think, enables other memories to take precedence. It allows them to feel good about making it through. It helps them see the value in the struggle.

This morning, the campers sat around the fort dreaming of the actors who might play the roles of the characters they’ve been writing all camp. They laughed and they argued without animosity and they debated. They munched on cheese balls (the food, not the people), and they drank the somewhat satisfying somewhat harsh Ginger Ale Bold. It was refreshing to see them loose and liking camp.

If not for pandemic, how much would look different? The kids would be draining the last drops of summer before the start of a normal, anticipated school year. They would be exhausted from time with friends and time at day camps and a week each with grandparents. They would be well vented. They would be well ready for a change of pace.

But we are in pandemic. And it has infected everything. Even Book Camp.

This is your reminder that however much stress you feel in this pandemic, the kids feel it too. They feel the worry, the financial stress, the stress of being in one spot with the same people too long, the stress of not going out with friends, the stress of the future being unexpected.

It’s Tuesday, and the week feels like camp is winding up. It’s easier on easy days when people get along and have recently aired their frustrations.

These last six days of Book Camp, we are doing a practicum of publishing. We have an editor, an art director, a marketer, a publicist, and an intern. The intern refills the snack bar and helps people with their task lists.

We made good headway on the group write, and we even took a little break to plan for next year. That was FUN!

The remainder of the day not devoted to “Cells at Work” on Netflix, was given to creating a map artifact for their story, developing a marketing plan, editing, and choosing font classes.

A solidly good day. After a string of less than great days. And I am thankful.

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