Musings, Showcasing other Creatives

Cirqueophile Meets Circus

Did you know that “cirqueophile” isn’t a word? Weird, ’cause I’m pretty sure I am one.

Okay, so I’ve been to the circus before. But my inability to speak to strangers, especially super exciting amazing talented performers I envy a little a lot. Umm, I always find some reason to not actually interact with them.

Not this time though.

A serendipitous turn of events, involving coworkers that are not cirqueophiles, led me, my business manager Yasmeen, my research assistant Courtney, and my niece Emily to receive free tickets to the Shrine Circus. And my research assistant wasn’t going to let my excuse of helping Emily enjoy her first trip to the circus stop us from meeting the cirque folk.

Arriving, Yasmeen and I were naming off characters from my book – “Hey, that looks like Phoebe!” – and ideas for my book – “We need more fire acts….” Little did I know these people that were inspiring my story might actually speak with me, to me, tell me their story.

Photo Cred: Yasmeen Hudson
Photo Cred: Yasmeen Hudson

That’s right, I’m the aunt that lets the kiddoes stay up late after a circus show to meet the performers. If that’s not “the cool aunt” I don’t know what is. Courtney told Lola that I was writing a book set at the circus, and asked if we could have a brief interview after the show. She arranged for her sister Julie to meet with us. Julie’s story was amazing and had us remembering that the wonder of the circus extends past childhood.

Circus 3
PhotoCred: Yasmeen Hudson

Julie has grown up in the circus, training for all the acts she wants to perform. We got to watch her ride the elephants and perform aerial silks, but she does even more than that.

The dedication of performers is exceptional – it makes me think of adrenaline junkies, only more nitch to crazy dangerous beautiful acts of spectacle. Always a little stronger, a little faster, a little farther. And it’s all for the gasps and applause of a worldwide audience. Only circus performers aren’t like a celebrity, they don’t get the glory, their names aren’t known. If there is any glory, it is all passed on to the idea of circus.

PhotoCred: Yasmeen Hudson
PhotoCred: Yasmeen Hudson

A while ago, Julie was injured during an act. She wasn’t expected to recover, was in crutches for about 6 months. She couldn’t imagine what she would do without performing, without this life she’d been so dedicated to. She pushed and trained and here she was, performing, living her dream and awakening ours. I was so blessed that she opened up about that time of her life, which gave me an idea for my story, but more importantly gave me a glimpse of her and motivated me to move forward.

Consider me obsessed – I fully intend on going to the circus and meeting as many performers as possible. And uhh, maybe Courtney can tag along to arrange the meeting. And uhh, while we’re at it, maybe Yasmeen could tag along for photography. And uhh, while we’re at it, I might take my nieces too 🙂

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WIP Research: Circus Extravaganza!

  Okay, it’s not called “Circus Extravaganza.” But that is quite catchy, right? Here’s something equally alluring from my perspective though – The Worldwide Circus Summit. “Ooh” and “ahh” now, please.

Conferences can be tedious, monotonous, and a real snooze. Or they can be an exhilarating way to glean information in a condensed timeframe. And a circus conference? I would plan on the latter.

I need to understand the ins and outs of a circus show. And here’s my in. Basicly any research I need to do circus-wise can found in one place, right? Now I just need to get a ticket & roadtrip it next year. So if anyone’s wanting to come up with a creative birthday gift for me, you’re welcome. I promise to forget about this blogpost by then.

What Say You?

Know of any great circuses coming to town (near Peoria, IL), some local “extravaganza”? I need to know! I can get some research done, ya know, sooner than 2015. What about other great circus researching resources?

If you’re a writer, what setting are you researching now, or have you recently researched?
for the Bookworms, Musings

WIP: Unfixed Teaser

In the course of writing a novel you inevitably come across people asking, “What’s your book about?” In the course of submitting a work-in-progress (WIP) to an agent or publisher, there is a query to submit that states what the book is about – quite similar to the back of a book to pique the reader’s interest. Though I am still writing my WIP tentatively titled Unfixed, the number of people who ask “What’s your book about?” gave me reason to practice. Below you will find my working query, back of book, or teaser – whichever way you want to think of it. While the general wording or story may change, this is my current idea.

“Shall we put her together again?”
“Well?” Dr. Wise looked at the pale couple.
“What do you mean?” Mr. Trencher coughed, finding his throat very suddenly dry.
“Put her together. Fix her,” Dr. Wise replied.
“But she is dead,” Mr. Trencher hoarsely explained.
“She isn’t Humpty Dumpty, Mr. Trencher. She left death before. She is simply fascinating. She could live again.” Dr. Wise rubbed his hands together and leaned forward to touch the arm closest to him on the floor. Then he paused, as if realizing the inappropriateness of such behavior in front of two bewildered and grieving parents, and sat up in his seat, letting his hands clench the desk to ascertain that they would not move again.

Julia Trencher has died. Twice. Yet she is no zombie. Hiding behind her parents money had been enough for her, to simply visit the doctor each time she broke. But when she meets the strange boy Sylas in the waiting room, he offers hope of others like her – freaks and outcasts, content as they are.

Great Geppetto’s Circus of the Travelling Strange is a place she could be welcomed, celebrated even. Just a simple contract Geppetto has written could provide a place where Julia may not be so strange after all. Geppetto has plans of his own, having learned that the success or obliteration of the entire circus depends on this contract with Julia. Meanwhile, Julia must decide if the circus is truly a community as it claims, or rather an enslavement the others have been powerless to escape from.

Your Response:

If you’re a writer, what’s your query (tentative or otherwise)? If you’re a reader, what makes you want to read a story? Is there any specific info that grabs you in the writing on a bookjacket?