I wrapped up my MA program on Monday morning (my time), and I have to say it’s a little surreal. It’s also a little sad to be out of a program where I was able to hang out with a bunch of other writers and supportive, helpful professors. Suddenly though, I have…free time. My husband and I celebrated my degree completion by ordering pizza and playing the Borderlands Pre-Sequel. It was glorious. [Side note: playing Claptrap is both hilarious and infuriating, especially when using your action skills because you never know what is going to happen. You’ve been warned.]
The fact of the matter is, although I feel like I have all of this time now–and I really do in a lot of ways–I also really don’t have that time available to screw off. Even though I finished my program and submitted a thesis that met all the assignment requirements, I still have an incomplete novel on my hands. I also have a major deadline coming up at the end of May. That deadline? A baby. Not a metaphorical novel-baby, but a real-live human baby that is going to demand a lot of my attention.
So with that in mind, my goal is to have a working draft of my novel completed by the end of May. Currently, I’m not sure how long this novel is going to be. Since it’s fantasy, I am aiming for ~100k words; however, I am also wondering if this novel might be best split into two or three shorter novels. That wondering is only going to be answered once I get the entirety of the novel out and can see where I need to split it up or even if I need to split it up at all. I have not quite 27k words written, so I definitely have my work cut out for me.
I recently discovered an app called Write-o-Meter which gives me the ability to insert a writing project, set a deadline, and work within realistic goals. It also prompts me to write at a certain time each day, which is great for someone like me. I still have to decide to respond to that prompt, of course, but it’s been a nice way to keep track of things and follow where I’m at on a graph since I’m something of a visual processor.
As I’m working towards this deadline, I do hope that I will remember to post here and on my other social media platforms more regularly. Sometimes I forget that I exist elsewhere on the internet, honestly.
Just kidding, although it’s tempting to leave it at that. I think education is incredibly important, but not all forms of education are equal. To explain the types of education that I believe are most valuable, I turn to one of my favorite educators. Continue reading →
Note: This becomes an increasingly cranky post, so no hurt feelings if you just want to skip it altogether. I get it.
When people are clueless about how to behave on the bus. Outside in a park? Go ahead and be noisy! In a crowded bus? Keep it quietly to yourself. Feel free to talk with your friend, but please keep the decibel level such that I can tune you out if I’m half a bus-length away. Also, please don’t bring excessively smelly or messy foods on the bus or sit with your legs so far apart that you take up three spaces all to yourself. Really? Continue reading →
I have been an avid reader since early childhood and read everything I could get my hands on from my mother’s college mythology textbook when I was seven years old to Mange-moi, s’il te plaitas an adult. In college, my reading dwindled because my brain could only handle so much, but I have begun to read more since I graduated. Depending on the engagement in my current course load, I still read for pleasure where I may. (Bus commuting is prime reading/writing time.) Continue reading →
I have posts in the works, but the first couple of weeks of December ran me over a few times, so the blog fell by the wayside. On top of coming down with a cold on the first of December that only went away a day or two ago, I had to wrap up this school term, which included writing a final essay on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw using narratology for my theoretical lens. Crunch time for said final paper included pulling an all nighter, which really did not help with that nasty cold, but it’s all over now. I got my final grade for literary theory, and I am happy to say that I did much better on this round than I did when I studied the subject in undergrad. Continue reading →
For a long time, I have thought–and seen the evidence for–the importance of education worldwide. As Paulo Freire put it in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “all education is subversive.” There is something about power structures–especially corrupt power structures–that insists on limiting or denying educational opportunities altogether. We see this under tyrannical dictatorships and in peaceful democracies. Those who have the most power usually dictate the flow of knowledge. So it really is no wonder that when a teenage girl in Pakistan spoke out about education, the Taliban targeted her.
In case you have not heard of her yet (probably from living underground without internet access), Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani teenager–now 16–who started speaking out about education when she was only 11. An educational activist, she says that she realized the importance of education once it was taken away from her. At 14 years of age, the Taliban attempted to assassinate her on the school bus when she was heading home, shooting her in the head and the neck. Miraculously, she survived the attack and was flown to England for a recovery. Below is a short interview with Jon Stewart that is worth watching.