• maxinemccurdy

Camp NANO - a different kind of Art Project




So this is an aside while I (Maxine) edit my Assignment 5 and finish my last exam. NaNoWriMo is an event in November when writers (and non-writers) everywhere challenge each other to write a 50 000 word novel in a month. The idea is that many people will often have ideas that they "always wanted to make into a book" but they always intend to this this "when they have time" which turns out to be never... I can't even remember how I found it originally, the first year I attempted it was 2006 and again in 2007.

I thought about it again when I was living with a friend who entered a similar challenge to write a novel in 48 hours (or somthing like that... I am not sure now what she was participating in and we no longer talk so... well... ya) and then returned to NaNo in 2010 when I was working on the correspondence highschool work in the small town of Nanaimo BC. I won that year, I think it was a combination of already having built up the discipline I needed (since I was teaching myself highschool classes so I could go to University), having the time to do it, and being very active on the NaNoWriMo forums as well as trying to get as many people as I could together in the small little Vancouver Island town (which turned out to be about eight to start 3 to finish...)

Since that successful year I have started November somewhat hopeful (the most hopeful was in 2011 since then I start but know the way the month will end...) but get adsorbed by the last month of class by the end. Camp is the acknowledgment of the fact that for some people there really are forces out of their control in November and they might like to participate in a different month. It also is a place to write something different than a Novel, a play, a bunch of Poems whatever you want your word based project to be.

This is the third time I have done Camp... but its actually a repetition of the first story I started with it... I have actually been nursing this story to life for a while now, I worked on it last NaNo and into December. I like it, its not something that really makes any honest sense, but it feels a lot more like a real book and not like the random rambling set of thoughts I normally write. I think it has a real idea... if I could understand what the bad guy was doing...

Anyways all of that was to introduce what this entry is really about... how Camp NaNoWriMo relates to Art and the Art of Art Assignments...


Camp NaNo - In Maxine's Office



I had told Flow about NaNo some point near the beginning of the month, a few days after Camp had started and I was still writing strong... she joined in with her own project right away... My boy there often half wants to do NaNo but generally already has huge writing projects of his own that he is working on.

So with Flows exams done, and 2/4 of mine finished we took a day off to "Go to Camp". We each look at Camp differently, My main ideas of the theme came from overnight camps I stayed at over the summer. Flow's came from there too, where Stefan mostly referenced the normal Camping with friends in tents idea...

We started off by building a Fort in my office... so chairs and books and a broom Pole held up sheets that conveniently connected to the air conditioner and made the place nice and cool (which is not like camp at all... but they are wimps... :P)

My camp Inspiration came in the form of Tuck Shop Snacks...


I was extremely happy to find those strange little sherbet fruit things... they are CAMP to me... dinner was more of a Camping thing... with Packet food and at Stefan's suggestion Crappy Bear that we had convinced some adults to buy... :P (not really but in this we are camping story that was how we ended up with Canadian...)



There was a small emergency because I had forgotten marshmallows and it was Good Friday but the day was saved by a Pink Bunny... ( though I don't think he wore his bunny pajamas to 7-11) and we made smores in the oven using chocolate covered cookies.

The amount of actual writing that was done on our Camp Themed Write amounted to probably one 20 min word war... most of the time was spent talking and hanging out in our fort...

I feel this is Art because it is taking an idea from the past and trying to recreate the feelings and experiences that came with that moment. Its the reason candy that is not that great can be overpriced, you remember it from when you are little and when you eat it you are remembering that time. This feeling can be found in many ways... the most common I find is through music. I hear a song and i remember what I was doing when I used to hear it a lot (this is normally in relation to what job I had at the time...) I think this is why people listen to the music of their Youth, since it reminds them of that time. We used food, and candy, and a fort to feel like kids who were excited about summer vacation because Flow and I are very happy to be done another semester and are kids who are excited about summer vacation... even if our vacation involves jobs and studying for next year...

Besides sometimes you need to build a Fort...

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