NaNoWriMo and Batty Malgoony

So I’ve finally worked up the nerve? insanity? to try NaNoWriMo this year. I’m all signed up, and I even have a buddy. The ordeal requires producing a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days. I only have to average 1,667 words per day. I spend a lot of hours during the week waiting to pick up kids from school/gymnastics/music, so hopefully I can convert at least some of that time into words. Still, it may end up being one long bout of coffee-fuelled sleep deprivation psychosis. I will apologize in advance for anything I might say or do in November. I opted to go with the drowned girl story, and I’ve been doing some research for it. I found a great article – lots of information – BUT it was written in 1894. It is very long-winded and pedantic, but I’ve gotten almost all the way through it. I’m working on my outline this week, so hopefully I won’t just sit and stare at the screen like an owl in the daylight come Sunday.
And now, for something completely different:
What could be more fun than a crazy circus tour where you have to draw in some of the characters? My six-year old daughter thinks Batty Malgoony’s Mystic Carnivale is a lot of fun (her favorite thing at school is art). My four year old son finds it a little creepy. While I generally encourage my kids NOT to write in books, I really liked the interactive “use your imagination” factor of this one. The illustrations were very appropriate for a mystic carnivale that only runs at night. I found the cow tied to the train disturbing and I wasn’t crazy about the road-kill cafe, but I know a lot of kids go through a Gross is Great! phase. This is the sort of book that I would think has a lot of both boy and reluctant reader appeal. One thing I thought was really good was that some draw-in areas were completely blank and some that needed perspective (for example, a chair and a tricycle) had very faint lines to help young artists understand how to draw those objects. I would recommend giving a sketch pad or packet of typing paper along with this book; that way children will have some artwork to hang on the fridge and can go back to their favorite scenes again and again.