After writing a lot in October about history related topics I'm changing things up this month. I love writing about history but I've also had an itch to spent more time on my fiction writing. Along with a few members of the local writers group I'm part of, I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November.
Joining the NaNoWriMo bandwagon has helped me dedicate time to a fiction story that has been permeating for awhile. The experience so far -- it's only day 12 of 30-- has reinforced the importance of consistency and building in time for writing. I struggled when participating in #AcWriMo last year, failing to make as much progress as I had hoped.
This year I made the decision to write every day and try to write the suggested 1,667 words a day. Some days I make that goal, other days I don't. But I've been trying, which is important. I like structure and the tangible goals and milestones of NaNoWriMo work for me. I also like the NaNoWriMo philosophy: words on a page, even if they end up being edited out later, are better than no words on a page.
The writing I've been doing as part of NaNoWriMo has also encouraged me to take a look at the writing I do every day. Exhibit text, website content, archival description, etc. all require attention to detail and use a specific styles of writing. A lot of the written content I produce is consumed by researchers and the general public. Clarity and simplicity is important.
Writing and editorial skills are transferable and useful in most public history jobs. Setting goals, meeting deadlines and time management are all part of NaNoWriMo and are all skills public historians use regularly. So, even though NaNoWriMo has resulted in me taking a break from writing about history the act of writing on a daily basis has reinforced a lot of things which I use regularly as a Researcher/Curator.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
This workshop was part of a collaborative research initiative between Minwaashin Lodge and Concordia University. The workshop was facilitated by art therapist Lucy Lu and Felice Yuen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences of Concordia University. The goal of the project was to gain an understanding of the conditions that contribute or challenge Aboriginal women in their process of healing from violence or the impacts of violence.
The exhibit is open from now until the end of November and additional details about the exhibit and related events can be seen here.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Open House Dublin is free and is sponsored by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF). The 2013 OHD event featured 100 buildings and many of the sites featured tours by an architect or someone very familiar with the building's architecture. The IAF is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting the value of architecture to the general public. Open House tours which explain the significance of local built heritage is a great way
to interest people in architecture and local heritage.
One of the sites I visited as part of OHD was the Tyrone House which is currently home to the
|In Tyrone House Courtyard|
The Tyrone House site also a number of interesting modern art features and additional buildings that were not included in the tour. The Department of Education and Skills built a replica of the Tyrone building on the site -- possibly to create a symmetrical appearance of the grounds -- this newer building was not included in the tour but the guide to speak to the aims of the Department to maintain the heritage of the site.
Overall my experience during the Open House Dublin event was a positive one. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable about their respective sites and it was an interesting opportunity to explore parts of Dublin that aren't tourist destinations and that aren't always open to the public.