A Peek Into Don Britt's Act of Insanity!!

Writer Don Britt is still busy over at 24novels.com.
I snagged him to answer a few questions for me. I'm so excited to have him here!!!!!

For those of you who don't know his story;
Don has committed to write 24 novels in one year.
Oh, it gets better... 
The 24 novels must be written live- ONLINE.
Crazy enough, right??? oh no, not for this Saskatchewan boy.
Each one must be written in 72 hours.
He calls it an act of insanity. As a writer, I agree with him. Yet, he knows I support him in his madness. Honestly, it's too blasted amazing not too. I get a rush just dreaming about courage like that. So far he's got twelve first drafts tucked away nicely on that website for all the world to read.

And read some, I did.
I've even sat in while he wrote one. Well, not the entire time-- I have my own worlds to create, after all. But, I caught chunks of it. 
Reading a first draft is always thrilling, and his are no exception. I love the raw truth that explodes from them. 
THE FALL MAN moved me to tears. (yeah real live tears)
 AN EXERCISE IN WISHFUL THINKING had me chuckling several times. I love that guy's voice.

I'm excited for Don-- he's made it halfway!! 
So without further ado, I welcome Don Britt... 

So Don, how does it feel to reach the midpoint of your journey?
I'm of two minds, I think. I'm glad to reach that point of no return, for sure. I've proved to myself that I can pound out 22,000 - 25,000 word novellas on a regular basis, and some of the sights along the way have been really exciting. But I'm also tired. The weight of this project has really been pressing down on me lately. A pneumonia diagnosis a few weeks ago didn't help. At 42, I guess I can't make any claims to being young and naive, but it's certainly true that I didn't appreciate the magnitude of the this thing I've taken on. I'm still standing though, and confident I'll see it through.

Do you find your writing is changing through this process? If so, how?
The most obvious difference is that I'm seeing results.  I'm producing tales with a beginning, middle and end.  Back in the day (six months ago!) my feelings about the project would get in the way.  I might get eight to ten thousand words into a thing and decide I didn't like it, and walk away.  Now I set my egg timer at three days and just go for it. 

Maybe the biggest surprise is that a lot of the stuff I write quickly is at least as good as the stuff I took ages to produce.  There are exceptions, for sure.  Sometimes, late at night with the clock ticking down, I just go into survival mode and pound out copy that might make me cringe in the light of day. But overall this experience has blown up the myth in my brain that good writing has to come slow, and I think I'm growing as a writer as a result.

Are there some stories that you're eager to return to polish? If so, which ones?
Two stories are set in my native Cape Breton Island, THE REDEMPTION OF WILBUR BLAKE and my latest, THE MAN IN THE TAR PAPER SHACK. These are historical fiction, set in the 1940s, a time that was very intense back home. Workers came back from the war and just weren't willing to accept the conditions they once faced. Things were very confrontational. Strikers would tie crowbars to their pickets and the joke was 'You might walk through a Cape Breton picket line once, but you'll never be able to a second time.'  I'm saturated with tales from that era.  I'd love to return to those stories later, and maybe flush things out into a full length novel. 

Tell us about an experience that's marked your journey and why.
A few months back I wrote my first 'live' entry, at Chapters in Regina. It was just loopy. I ended up being interviewed for radio and television, had articles in The National Post and The Western Producer, and also had my story covered by the national radio program 'As It Happens'.  When it was time to write my next entry I came down with a nasty flu.  I was sure that I was going to crash and burn. In fact, I decided to call it quits. 

Then my dear wife Georgia politely but firmly pointed out that failure was a luxury I couldn't afford.  In the wake of national press coverage, with people watching for the first time, I just had to reach down and get the job done. I did, but only thanks to her. When I didn't have the determination and resolve I needed, she gave me hers. 

Where and when will we find you doing the next live writing?
My next live gig is happening April 25 - 27 on the NewCap Radio Stage at West Edmonton Mall.  It's nothing less than the biggest event of my life as a writer, and I'm quite frankly terrified.  Should be fun! 

Thank you so much Don for taking the time out of your busy day to stop by.
Glad you're feeling better, and all the best.

For those who want to check it out, his work is posted at

Letting Go

I was about twelve when my uncle walked into the house with a shoe box nestled in his arms. “I found these in the field.”
He showed us the babies.
“Where’s the mother?” Mom asked.
“She... she ran in front of me. They’re on their own now. I wasn’t sure if they’d make it without her, and since you breed rabbits, well, I hoped you could save them.”
Three baby hares.

My mother was on the phone with the vet instantly, because we knew nothing about hares. I snuck the box outside, and my brother and sister followed me. Mom came out with instructions on how to keep them alive. We were fascinated by these wild animals. They were nothing like the white rabbits we bred. Baby rabbits were born blind and hairless. These were tiny, but ready to go. They had a natural instinct to them that made them cautious.  
We each named one. Naming them made it final. We were going to raise them. I was excited about the idea, until morning.
One was dead in the box.
Mom never let us make a big deal of a rabbit dying, since they were our business not our pets, but I think she could see this meant more, so we had a little service to help deal with the blow.
The second one died that night. We took turns staying with that last one. Even Mom and Dad helped. I would have brought that little guy to bed with me if they’d allowed, but they didn’t. So I even did my homework in the garage.
That last one grew quickly. I bet in a week we had it in a run.
Much to my dismay, one day, my brother let it go. I chased that hare all over town. Frantic. He was too young to be on his own.
I learnt something neat that day. Hares run in a zigzag pattern. If I zigged when he zagged, I caught him every time.  It became a game we both loved.
Time passed quickly, but that hare grew just fine. In fact, he was growing much too fast.
My dad announced that it was time to set him free. I had no idea why I couldn’t keep him, but there was no arguing with my dad. I’d helped raise him, but he didn’t belong to me. He was wild. “I found a field close to town, with others like him. He’ll be fine there, safe.”
Close to town? Would he come back? Sure he would. Wouldn’t he? If he came back, Dad would let him stay. I knew he would. So with this hope, I climbed in the car. It was just me and Dad. No one else had the heart to do this.
Dad stood behind me without a word. I talked to that hare, told him what I imagined his new life would be like. I explained how he had to watch for hawks and foxes. He listened to me patiently until I finally set him down. He took off instantly in his zigzag way. Then he stopped. My heart leapt. Would he come back? If he came back... he was mine.
He looked back. He looked right at me. To this day, I remember meeting his eyes and seeing the truth. Some might say hares don’t know such things, but dang it, that one did. He knew this was it. This time, I wasn’t going to run after him. I knew he wouldn’t come back either. My heart swelled with the pain of letting him go, but I stood my ground. It was up to him to come back.
Don’t ever tell me, animals don’t have emotions. They might not be like ours, but that look between a twelve-year-old and her hare spoke volumes. It seemed to last forever, yet it wasn’t long enough.
He would miss me too. But. He wasn’t coming back. no he wasn’t.
He ran. He ran. And ran. Never looked back again.
My dad never said a word. But sometimes, dads don’t have too.

One Lovely Blog Award

I was gone for a month and don't even have a funny story to share about it. So I thought I'd share an award instead.

Samantha from the Slight Detour presented me with this lovely blog award. Thank you so much Samantha, it's beautiful, is it not? Samantha has a fun fun fun blog. AND! Her book will be released by Crown/Random House on August 2! Now, it's worth checking out. I can't wait to get my hands on it. But! I won't ruin the discovery for you, pass by her place and go on an adventure with her yourself.

Now the fun thing about awards is passing them on. There are so many deserving sites, but here are six gals who I'd like to single out as having lovely blogs. Be sure to discover their loveliness for yourself.

Vicki Tremper (VB Tremper)
Margo (Writing at High Altitude)
Eileen Wiedbrauk (Speak Coffee to Me)
E.C. Smith (E.C.s Ramblings)
Autumn Shelley (Magick, Alchemy and Love)
Brooke Rousseau (Brooke Rousseau)

Thanks for the visit.