Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Room of One's Own

I am exhausted! 

Exhausted and excited, because I just submitted the first draft of my thesis today.  This is a creative thesis, so the focus is on quality, not quantity - maximum 75 pp of quality.  I have spent hours upon hours doing revisions, something that I haven't spent a lot of time on before now.

Revisions terrify me - or, they did terrify me.  I'm catsitting for some friends right now, and they invited me to play their video games, borrow their DVDs and read their books while they're gone.  I haven't done any of that - but I did discover that their apartment is a perfect, distraction-free location to work on my revisions. 

I spent almost the entire weekend working at their dining room table, and I discovered something else - I REALLY like working on revisions.  I have a decent collection of short stories and exercises that I've worked on over the course of my program, all of which needs revising.  I'm tempted to get started on those as well, while I have access to my friends' apartment 24/7.  Sadly, they will be back before it's time to work on my second round of thesis revisions.

I have 2.5 weeks before I get feeback on my first draft, and instead of starting revisions on all this other stuff, I'm going to focus on clearing out my office and making it the work-friendly, distraction-free environment that I'll need moving forward.

Watch out clutter and dust bunnies!  Here I come!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Under the Gun

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment.  You want to know why?  I'll tell you why.

1. The first draft of my thesis is due is six (six!) days and I'm nowhere close to being finished with my revisions.  I submitted my thesis planning form a month ago, and I'm waffling about my story selection decision.  I'm almost certainly going to change it, but I really need to make up my mind because the draft is due in six days.  Of course, that may not matter, because ...

2. I lost my thesis advisor.  No, that's not quite right.  I don't have a thesis advisor.  I am the only person in thesis who doesn't have an advisor.  Oh, I had one selected, and I asked her very early on, but it's been a while since I've spoken with her or seen her, and I forgot to confirm with her before I turned in my planning form ... and I just found out that she's completely booked for the semester.  So I've requested someone else, a writer/teacher who I really respect, but I don't know if she's available or if she'd even be willing to work with me.  I've emailed her, as well as my director and the thesis coordinator, and I have as of yet to hear back from any of them. 

So if this teacher can't (or won't) be my advisor, I just have to take whoever they assign me to.  Which feels like such a waste, even though I'm sure it will be fine, all the teachers in my program are great.  I just feel like I've spent so much time in this program, I've put in so much extra effort with additional classes, that to have a random advisor seems so willy-nilly.

3. I signed up for an additional class (beyond thesis) this semester.  WHY DID I DO THAT?  Again, I'm sure that it will be fine, but the next week is going to be miserable with everything that's going on.

4. Work is insane.  I just have a lot of work-work to do, far more than what I can fit into a regular 40-hour work week.  This normally wouldn't be an issue, I'd just work some extra hours and take care of it, but this week I need every single hour I can find outside of 9-5 to work on my thesis.  Something has to give; my boss demands that work comes first, school demands that school comes first, and my brain demands sleep.

What's a girl to do?  First, she blogs about it - then she gets to work!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Les Jeunes de Paris

SNL was replaying Emma Stone's Fall 2011 episode tonight, which included a French dance off skit that I love.  So I thought I would share.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

NYR Update

I'm pretty happy with my NYR progress thus far -- I'm well ahead of my Publish at least 52 blog posts by December 31, 2012 goal.  This is my fourth post into 2012, and it's only January 8! When I first decided on this particular NYR, I wasn't so sure how it would work out.  I didn't know if I could come up with enough interesting things to write/discuss to post once (or more) a week, but it seems to be going OK.

In regards to Finish the first draft of my novel, I haven't even thought about this yet.  I won't be able to focus on this until May at the earliest.  I always have to work a lot of extra hours in January, and I have my thesis course this spring, along with an additional class (Novel Form, Style and Structure) that I foolishly signed up for as well.  I say I was foolish to sign up for it, but I can't bring myself to drop the course, even though I don't need it for my degree.  I'm trying to get as much out of my program as I possibly can, so I will graduate with 12 courses instead of the requisite 9 courses.

Submit at least six different stories to twelve different journals.  This too will be pushed off a little longer.  Since I will be revising a number of stories for my thesis, my plan is to submit those stories that I've worked on for thesis, so I will probably start submitting in April.

Be more punctual.  Yeah, I have completely failed at this so far.  But I always think of Mondays as a clean slate, and I'm going to do better, starting tomorrow!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fun with Poetry

My work PC went down today, the victim of multiple trojans.  All my work is on my computer.  if my computer doesn't work, I might as well go home.  So while IT was working on my computer, I decided to play on my Nook Tablet.  For some reason, I thought it would be fun to tweet in haiku about my computer problems - and my cousin (@the1skelly) decided that he would tweet back, in haiku.  I was so tickled by our exchange, I thought I would post it here.

@escameron, 11:15 am: Computer virus/No more productivity/Tweet haiku instead
@the1skelly,  12 pm: @escameron Sorry to hear that/ Tech is a fickle ally/ Enjoy your respite :)
@escameron, 1:57 pm: @the1skelly -- Info Tech staffer/My hero, scanned and repaired/Now must change passwords
@the1skelly, 2:10 pm: @escameron Crisis averted/Poetry delay short-lived/Rhyme another day :)

The funny thing about this exchange is that I haven't written a haiku in ages - I think the last time was in 2006, when we had one of those magnetic fridge poetry kits.  When we moved to our current place, the set was thrown away, lost, or boxed up somewhere.  I'd completely forgotten about it.

The thing is, I remember that I thought haikus were really hard to write - I seem to remember struggling with them.  But writing these today, I felt a little giddy, and they just seemed to flow.  I'm thinking that I should write more haikus, and tweet them.  It's fun to tweet in haiku!  And it's a great showcase for little tidbits that might not otherwise ever be read.

My cousin has his own blog, which you can read here: http://jonathanskelly.com.  You can also follow him on Twitter: @the1skelly, but only if you follow me first: @escameron.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Nooky Nook

So, I'm super excited because I got a Nook Tablet for Christmas, sort of.

("Sort of" refers to the Christmas part. My husband and I received an Amazon gift card for Christmas, and he simply can't resist the look I give him when I really want something. I do a wonderful impression of Puss in Boots. So I got my Nook Tablet.)

I am completely enamored with this gadget.  It does SO MANY THINGS!  Netflix, Hulu, Goodreads, email, digital magazines and books, Pandora ... and whatever other apps and games you can find.  It came on Friday, and today is Tuesday.  Since it finished charging on Friday evening, I have watched the entire first season of 30 Rock on Netflix.  (Have you seen 30 Rock?  It is an insanely good show.  I can't believe that I've missed it all this time.  And the characters and the writing are all so strong.  Can this be considered educational?  It's helping me learn about character development and dialogue, right?)

I'm supposed to be revising my thesis in anticipation of my thesis and publication course this spring, and I was supposed to clean in anticipation of a house guest this week.  I'm taking two classes this spring, and one of them is thesis, as in "graduation depends upon successfully completing my thesis."

I am in so much trouble.

Monday, January 2, 2012