Reflection on Weekend’s Book Bash

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This past weekend was spent in scavenger hunting fun! Since the pandemic, they’ve (GISH) been doing more and more mini-hunts to give people on lockdown something to do and raise money for charity. This most recent hunt was called a Book Bash and most of the items centered around reading and writing. My go-to’s if you will. With my writing retreat cancelled I found myself with nothing* to do so I signed up at the last minute.

[*Nothing to do means: cleaning house, taking a shower, going to mass, planning and cooking dinner, writing, preparing and filing my taxes, typing up interfaith meeting notes, writing and sending Cursillo reports, and half a dozen other things that are still on my to-do list, but hey who doens’t have 48 hours to spend aimlessly. I also signed up for a free vision journal workshop at a food co-op.]

Aimlessly doesn’t accurately describe the weekend, but I think you get the drift of the lack of impulse control I sometimes have.

Before I share the few items I did, I want to share the link to the charity that we supported with our registration fees: World Central Kitchen for their current humanitarian work in Ukraine. Their leader is Chef Jose Andres who leads with his heart and encourages giving especially where getting hungry people their necessary nourishment. If you have the mean, please give generously. They are on the ground in the world’s poorest and dangerous places, bringing hope with their meals.

World Central Kitchen

My Items:

1. Worth 52 points.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou. We don’t want you to suffer in agony, so we’re launching the first annual GISHGOWRIMO! Write the first page of what will no doubt one day become your international best seller. It can be a poetry book, a memoir, fiction, non-fiction, a children’s book… It’s up to you. You have an entire year to get it done, and we will be checking in on you. As many team members as you want can participate — submit one page, or all pages as a collage. Remember, it’s a first draft so don’t get it right — just get it written. Go!

This is my first paragraph of what I submitted:

A long time ago, in what seems like another lifetime, I traveled to the United Kingdom. The details of how this came about are not important right now, but may fill a future chapter. I went with a friend, and they planned the entire itinerary. I had two requests which were fulfilled early on in the weeks long adventure. And adventure it was: planes, trains, automobiles, buses, hoofing it, exhausting and exhilarating. We traversed the island coast to coast, from London to Bangor, Wales.

2. Worth 24 points
Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill bans “classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for students K-3” or in a manner that is “not age-appropriate for students…” But coloring books are appropriate for everyone — just like inclusion should be. Create an “It’s OK To Say Gay!” LGBTQIA and gender-inclusive coloring book page. Post your images online for folks to download and color and tag it @GISH, #ItsOKToSayGay & @GovRonDeSantis and use #GISH & #BookBash. (Then, after the Hunt, send your page to Ron DeSantis with a pack of crayons, if you can.)

My coloring sheet!

Permission granted to download for personal use only. (c)2022

3. Worth 29 points
SIDE-BY-SIDE. Jim Beaver wrote a beautiful and poignant memoir, Life’s That Way, about love and loss. Write a note to someone you have lost and then fold it into an origami flower that, like their memory, will never fade. Submit images of your note and the flower, side by side, online and tag @jumblejim, #GISH and #BookBash, then submit your original images to us with a link in comments.

I wrote a letter to my dear priest and then folded it into this lovely origami lotus.

(c)2022

I also participated in two team items – one creating a book cover that expressed who I am along with my photo. I chose The Mindful Writer by Dinty W. Moore, and the second was a round robin tall tale on Twitter. I was really proud of my contribution as it somewhat changed the direction of the story. Glad I remembered that wolves are really just dogs. Bigger, scarier, not domesticated dogs, but still….

Spend your afternoon or next weekend doing something that you have been putting off for a bit. Enjoy it. Simply, enjoy it.

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