Thursday, November 01, 2012

NaNoWriMo

The past few months have been difficult in terms of writing. I still write quite a bit, but I just don't find as much time as usual. I am currently the program coordinator for the Chamorro Studies program at UOG and in addition to this I have two kids and teach five classes and so down time where I can type or scratch out my thoughts feels about as rare as seeing a sihek in my backyard.

But since November is National Novel Writing Month, I've decided to set aside time each day to work on a novel. Gof magof yu' put este, ya gof excited yu' para i mamaila na mes.

My idea is one I've been thinking about for years and I've written about a few times on this blog. I call it "The Legend of the Chamurai." It is a story about how prior to the Spanish colonization of Guam in 1668, an event took place that has almost been completely lost in Guam History. This is the period where the Spanish interacted with Chamorros and visited Guam, but did not settle there. Guam had no value to the Spanish, since there were no precious materials, such as gold or spices there. In this legend the Spanish attacked Guam with the intent of wiping out the Chamorro people. Chamorros are helped in their defense by Japanese samurai warriors and are able to defeat the Spanish assault.

These are the skeletal details, there is far more to this idea. My brother and I worked on a project also titled "Legend of the Chamurai" where he illustrated some of the scenes that I wanted to write for this novel. If you want, they are currently on display at the MARC Library at UOG. They are pen and ink style drawings that show different aspects of the violence and the drama of the story. One scene depicts the village of Sinajana making a treaty with the Spanish to fight for them. Another portrays a chief who stood up to the Spanish being hung before his family. Another is an image of a Chamorro male warrior and a Samurai woman holding each other on a moonlit beach.

The main reason I'm eager to do this is because I recently went through some of my old drawings and paintings and I found the first sketches that I did for this project from 10 years ago. They were character designs, costume and symbol designs. It was very rudimentary and I've seen gone far beyond in terms of conceiving this project. But it was still inspirational to see those old paintings and drawings.

Today NaNoWriMo starts and I'm really excited about it! Puede ha' bai hu ikak este na birak!


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