This weekend brings two things to my life. The first being the opening of Festa Italia, the Italian Community Festival for Madison, Wisconsin. That means a long weekend of serving beers, sausages, pasta dinners and driving Nonna from the fair grounds out to your parking space in the golf cart. If you’re local, come on out and see me there. Lots of great food and you can learn something about the history of downtown Madison.
The other is the start of the first of two NaNoWriMo summer camps. Specifically the one that I’m taking donations for in a pledge page to benefit the Young Writers Program. See the Camp NaNoWriMo tab up there? That’s the one. Remember that anyone who pledges at least $5 gets an electronic copy of the book after I publish it. Pledge more and I’ll name a character after you. Pledge even more and they may live to the end of the book.
As nobody has pledged to change the genre that I am writing I am leaning towards leaving it as an Urban Fantasy/Horror story. With two days left to prepare, I took my precious little writing time this morning and used it to start plotting. Additionally, with the rather steep amount of “maul a friend” requests and naming of characters, I am left with a large number of victims. That means I need to be ready for what is going to cause such a sharp amount of destruction in our fair city.
At WisCon this past weekend, I attended a panel on Addiction in Science Fiction. Mainly due to the fact that one of my favorite series of all time, The Downside Series by Stacia Kane, deals with that issue quite a bit. If you have not read them, you really need to. All of the books are incredible. Anyhow, in that panel the moderator (also a nurse at a burn unit in California) brought up the designer synthetic drugs called “bath salts.” Over the past weekend there have been a rash of violent episodes that are being related to the drug. The Miami story of the naked guy biting off the face of another naked guy. A New Jersey man that stabbed himself repeatedly and then threw intestines at the police. A California UFC fighter who cut the heart out of another man and throwing it in a fire. (Admittedly the last one was mushrooms and not bath salts, but still.)
This gave me the idea for a starting point for the mystery. A ground zero for the attacks that would bring all these characters together. So a blending of pledges (characters), monsters (genre) and current events into one fluid story. I even had thoughts to some “DVD Extras” sort of features to offer on the blog. I’m still working on the specifics, but there you have it.
A special thanks goes out to the people who have currently pledged for the charity.
- Kimberly Gonzalez – a local editor that was the first pledge for a character naming
- Michele Bardsley – a romance author who is excited to see her character die in a most honorable and gruesome way. (Check out her books if you like paranormal romance by the way.)
- Jean Staral – who pledged under “maul a friend” to have a local romance author mauled. (Still waiting for confirmation from her.)
- Linda Schmalz – another local member of the romance writers group who pledged to have a character named after her son.
- Jesi Lea Ryan – a local author (and member of my critique group) who pledged for 3 “maul a friends” including her husband, her boss and one person as yet to be named.
- R. Scott Steele – another member of my critique group as well as my gaming group who is pledging to have another of the people from our gaming group (Paul) mauled by a monster.
Character names and further plot points will be updated every night or two. Mornings are getting wholly dedicated to getting in the 2000+ words I need for the day. Keep checking back for all sorts of DVD Extras. Hell, there may even be a “Blooper Reel.”