Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh, Yes. I Do Love Me Some Surprise Holiday Gifts

Thanks to lovely relatives (you know who you are), I've been digging into some good Magnetic Fields tune-age. Ahhhhhhh. . . .


Monday, December 20, 2010

Done, and Done.

Residency number two has come to an end. Once again, I failed to find the kool-aid that everyone else was drinking. ("It's been life changing, this whole experience!! I love each and every one of you in this room. Yes, even you. The person in the back whose hair I mocked behind your back to my friends in the lounge.")

It was less inspiring for me this time than last, because the faculty punted on the literary analysis lectures in favor of panels on craft. Which is fine, it's just that I'm more jazzed to dissect what Faulkner does than to muse philosophically over "how much of myself" is going into my work.

My new mentor appears to be very smart, engaged, and helpful in terms of feedback. And she's already read some of my stuff, so she's had a preview of where I'm coming from and what I'm trying to do.

Alas, this term I have to cover all sorts of bases (come up with a field study, write a critical paper, do an intensive two-week online conference), so I'm going to have to hit the ground running. The sooner I knock this other crap out, the sooner I can concentrate on the writing.

I'm musing on whether I want to write a novel, though, for my final project. Everyone seems to leap into that direction because, of course, it's marketable. I'm not burning to do that, just yet. We shall see, though. Next term, I want to work with one of the ass-kicking mentors, who's pushed along folks from "Eh, don't care about novels" to "Um, okay, I'll get your a draft of my 300-page novel by that date."

We crank along toward MFA-ness.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mad Cramming

School starts the day after tomorrow, and I am trying to wrap up (1) paid work and deadlines (hah! which allegedly runs out at the end of this month, although no one has actually discussed this with me); (2) coursepack readings; (3) workshop piece comments; and (4) any other life-related do-dads that will go out the window for the next ten days.

The nice part is that, for this stint, I'm local and have my own car.

This is Awesome

The Penmonkey's Paean:

This book is not the boss of my shit.

These characters dance when I tell them to dance. They leap, cackle, fuck and punch because I jolly well told them to and if they don’t do as I say I will have them nibbled to death by marmots.

This plot is knotted tight in the configuration I demand. With it I shall tie a noose, and with that noose I shall hang my fears and uncertainties by the neck until they void their bowels and their legs quit kickin’.

These words march in the order I choose. They are my little bitches, cobbled together of letters and made to carry heavy notions and lofty ideas and character motivations and bad-ass non-stop mad ninja action. In this way they are like ants, carrying more than they should rightfully be able to carry.

The whole thing is awesome
.

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Is the Stuff We Live For

I see on weather.com that about 4 inches of snow are about to fall in Bungalow-ville . . . and I do not have to shovel it. It's a liberating feeling, even if I am chilly right now (imagine fall, before you turn on your heater; no, I'm not looking for your sympathy). And also, it's super-duper foggy out right now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Theory on Social Networking

People are trying to collect complete sets ("Marge! I found the last woman I used to work with at Dunder Mifflin Inc.!"). How else to explain the sheer volume of friend requests from random people I went to high school with, who were not friends and who, indeed, in some cases never even spoke to me? Does the fact that we rode a school bus together in the seventh grade really warrant continued updates into your child's hockey team/husband's beer making/baby's potty training progress or my snack-food preferences/celebrity hate watch/cat's barf status? I think not.

I'd ditch the whole thing, but for the ten people I genuinely know and like, who post pithy things, using the word "yule" as an adjective. Some people really excel in the medium.