Writer finishes novel in a month; Girl Scouts create birthday party bags for homeless children; Charter Review Committee seeks input
South Orange writer Deborah Gaines, who was featured in About Town earlier this month, has written the required 50,000 words in November to have finished the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing a novel in a month. And today she'll post the last chapter of her Young Adult Novel Air Born online.
For the last month, she's pounded the computer keys and drafted the 21 chapters of her novel online as she goes, pre-edited, and sought feedback from readers – a brave writer, indeed!
The novel's fan page on Facebook has nearly 250 fans from not only South Orange and Maplewood, but from other states and as far away as Israel, Mexico, Colombia, New Zealand, Canada, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. And she only knows about 35 of those fans.
"The Facebook page got nearly 20,000 views this month, which was also astounding" Gaines said. " I plan to keep it active as I revise and -- if it's good enough -- submit for publication. "
Meanwhile, the blog where she's posted each chapter as she writes it, has received nearly 2,000 page views and 80 comments from readers.
Lucky for Gaines, the contest and the final chapter are finished. "I'm exhausted," she said. Plus, "I have a ton of real work waiting."
Girl Scouts help put the Happy in birthdays for those in need
Girl Scout Troop 20816 is collecting leftover party and holiday supplies to make "Birthday Parties in a Bag" for the OLS food pantry. If you have odd numbers of favors, or even a few festive napkins leftover from last year's party, the troop would welcome them.
The girls will take those supplies, along with donated cake mixes and icing, and assemble them into "party bags," using bags donated by Kitchen a la Mode. The bags are given out at the OLS food pantry to families who need a little help celebrating their child or grandchild's big day.
Last year this project won a national "For Good" award and the troop got to go see Wicked.
To donate, drop off supplies at the SO Public Library or contact email@example.com
Charter review tonight
Are you interested in how the Village run? Here's your chance at to have some input in a study to assess the Village Charter: Residents are invited to a public forum tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall.
Unlike most New Jersey communities, South Orange is governed by a special charter, which can be amended and, as required by the charter, is supposed to be reviewed every 12 years.
According to the Village website, a nine-member Charter Review Committee is interviewing, surveying and gathering information from elected and appointed Village officials, past and present, and from comparable communities to identify opportunities for improvement or appropriate alternatives to the Charter. The committee will consider whether an alternative form of government, as permitted under New Jersey's Optional Municipal Charter Law (the Faulkner Act), might be more beneficial for the Village.
The public is also welcome to attend all Charter Review Committee meetings. Check the village calendar for dates.