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Final Push

Here’s my list of what I have left to do for my finals:

History 436:

– Done. Just need to attend class tomorrow to watch other peoples’ presentations 🙂

Religion 215:

– Done. Just need to check with the prof about emailing him an outline of my presentation
– If so, email prof outline of presentation

English 452:

– Read last 3 short stories and edit
– Write responses to the letters
– Write revision statement of intent
– Write reflective letter about strengths as a  writer
– Write up 3 – 4 short pieces to put in the portfolio
– Print EVERYTHING
– Turn in portfolio Thursday Dec 9th

Religion 409:

– Read and make notes on the life of St. Augustine
– Supplement with research from his original works
– Outline research paper, set up as a chronology of his life
– Construct powerpoint presentation
– Write up handouts with examples of Augustine’s philosophy
– Practice presentation
– Give presentation on Thursday morning, get notes from Dr. Turner
– Write 10 to 20 page paper on this research, turn it in Monday the 13th

And so goes the madness. I graduate a week Saturday.

Ho. Lee. Crap.

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Completion

Where have I been all weekend?

Working on my project for my History class. Tomorrow I will scan all 24 hand-drawn, hand-colored and painted pages for my project: ‘Saints, Witches, Madwomen: An A to Z”. Until then, I am going to drink a cup of hot peppermint tea, watch Battlestar Galactica, and pass out in the hopes that tomorrow I won’t suffer to much for being up so late to get so much done.

The madness is just beginning, but I’ve been through far worse in less time.

Dead week has begun.

Bring it on.

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So that’s it. It’s December 1st and NaNoWriMo 2010 is officially over. To all my friends who won, or even attempted this utter insanity, I offer my hat to you in congratulations. Now go sleep for a week. You’ve earned it.

This was a rough NaNo for me. I powered out of the gate, guns and pen blazing like a racehorse covered in napalm, but then I hit stumbling blocks that extinguished my fire and tripped me until I was ass-deep in dirt. I hit 50k on the 15th after two weeks of exhausting myself and then said ‘I can’t keep this up.’

I blame school mostly. I’m almost to the finish line of my final semester of college, and because of this projects, papers and presentations have taken me by the arms and said ‘oh no you don’t!’ and have forced me to pay attention to my studies while leaving my novel projects by the wayside. And I gave in. I chose not to fight. ‘This is my fate’, I said, and allowed the bastardly assignments to claim me.

Normally I wouldn’t do anything of the sort. The writing comes first, hell or high water. This semester is different though. This is the last time I have to put school first. In about two and a half weeks I’ll be done with homework in it’s traditional form and donning my cap and gown at ass in the morning, traipse across that stage and give the University the finger, wishing it Good Riddance.

Then I can get down to the real thing; actually writing.

That’s the real thing I’ve learned this November. That it really wasn’t about the wordcount for me. I’ve discovered that I’m definitely an overachiever, because most of the novels I come up with don’t fit in the 50k frame. I also don’t like to stop in the middle of a scene. I don’t like writing with abandon, because I write fast enough that I have the time to edit as I go.

NaNoWriMo isn’t about writing 50,000 words for me. It’s about writing. Just writing. The act of putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and creating. There’s no right way to do this mad month of noveling, no matter what people may say. And while I love a lot of the community surrounding NaNo, a lot of it just gives me a headache. People being people of course, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Or put up with it.

This is my third NaNo, and I will continue to participate, but I will also be taking the spirit of writing daily into my new, post-graduate life. It’s time to put writing first, and even though it stung, even though my idea turned out to be ill-suited for prose novel form, this is, and was, the very last time I have to put school first.

So that’s that. Ghost was a good exercise, but I don’t think it’s the novel for me. I hope to be transferring it to Graphic Novel format as next year progresses. As well as this Jeff and I are looking to start a webcomic together (casually, nothing serious of course), and I’m going to focus my noveling on Strain 10.

And hopefully I’ll end up getting a job so I can support myself without having to eat my own foot.

So that’s my NaNo 2010. Rewarding, but backburnered quickly. I didn’t make it to my minimum goal of 75k, let alone 100k. But I hit the 50 thousand, and right now that’s good enough for me.

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Some days it’s rough to write, and this was one day that I anticipated it being as such. As well as being the beginning of Week Two, I had a lot working against me.

I spent an hour of my afternoon lying back in the dentist’s chair having a tooth filled, and since I have such a problem with dental procedures (psychologically: past trauma combined with anxiety, long story) I spent the rest of that time leading up to work resting and spending time with my Dad looking over the family genealogy, his current project and hobby.

I spent work reading through short stories for tomorrow’s fiction class, which left me pretty exhausted. I managed to bang out 1400 or so words after getting done, and I broke 25k (yay! a quarter of the way there!), but for now I’m done despite being a bit behind my daily wordcount. Time to curl up and prepare for tomorrow, which will involve more Freud (ugh), catching up with my wordcount, another trip to the dentist and writing class. Wish me luck!

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I just wrote the first difficult scene in my novel; two characters getting into a fight in a cemetery. Lots of high emotion and raised voices. I wrote 5800 words today, and I’m proud of it. I’m almost to 25k, but I need a break before I even think about continuing on tonight.

Last night we ate Awesome Tacos (devastating the kitchen in the process. Seriously, it was like a delicious spice-flavoured bomb went off in there) and watched The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which I loved even though Jeff and most of my friends were less enthused. I’m a tireless fan of Terry Gilliam’s work, and am pretty okay with a movie with a less than linear plot, especially when it features stunning visuals, several very attractive and very talented men, and Lily Cole.

Enjoy that image for a bit.

Moving on.

Today I spent most of the time napping, cleaning and working on catching up with my daily wordcount. We also had D&D, and Jeff’s roommate Alex gave me a late birthday gift:

Cute, ne? The design is inspired by Appa from Avatar the Last Airbender, which if you haven’t watched it (the show, not the festering bowel movement of a movie) is excellent and fun.

Here’s another view:

Once again proving that I am the coolest kid in school. But seriously, Appa is a badass. I am okay with adorning my head with a piece of cloth that represents his badassitude. Because Appa don’t take no shit.

That’s all for tonight. Tomorrow I have more writing, a dental appointment (to get my tooth drilled – woo!) and 120 pages of Freud to read. Wish me luck, and whiskey.

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It’s almost noon, and I’m still in bed. The wind is whistling outside the window and I’ve buried myself under the comfort of multiple blankets, one of which has penguins on it. I’ve been awake for probably about half an hour, and in that time I’ve done little, occasionally pondering shuffling to the kitchen for toast.

Laziness, as always, trumps hunger.

Today Jeff works from 9am until noon. When he gets here and promptly passes out from exhaustion, I’ll spend a couple of hours tidying up the kitchen and the living room as we’re having friends over tonight for Awesome Tacos and Bruce Campbell movies later tonight. Hitting the store for Awesome Taco ingredients is also required, but that can wait a few hours.

*Reminds herself not to forget the sour cream like she always does*

I also have over one hundred pages of Sigmund Freud to read for class today. I understand my professor’s logic in wanting us to read Freud so we can more accurately determine that he’s a misogynistic hack, but it’s seriously like pulling teeth. *sigh* the things I do for a well-rounded education.

At some point I also have to get a little writing done (I need to hit 20k today to stay on my maximum target- I hope to write more than that). I plan on plugging myself into my laptop with headphones and listening to playlists on Grooveshark, typing away until a few more scenes appear on my screen. Jeff will do Astronomy homework and we’ll distract each other with episodes of Angel and videogames until it’s time to cook and be merry with friends.

So that’s my Saturday, both the so far and the yet to come. I hope, whoever you are, that your Saturday is going this well. ❤

 

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It’s day three of the NaNo madness, and another day of the tremulous balance between wordcount and courseload. That’s been going all right though – I banged out a good 500+ words in Religion and Culture class today quite by accident while I was doing a bit of research (on viruses and pandemics. Also bioterrorism – I’m sure I’m back on the CIA’s watchlist for my google searches again :3 ). I added a nice chunk of words to my third chapter (which I hadn’t been particularly happy with. The ending was too abrupt and the tone was too dull). Who says editing is always bad during November?

After that I spent my two work shifts critiquing the short stories of two of my writing classmates. I’m not a big fan of forced, structured critique, and this class requires we not only turn in a single-spaced page detailing our thoughts and criticisms, but we give a copy of that letter to the professor.

Yes, we’re being graded on our critique. Go academia.*

So I read the two stories. Both were well-written (it’s the highest level undergrad writing class, this doesn’t surprise me), and at least one of them had an engaging plot and likable characters (the other didn’t go far enough and I ended up finding it boring and pointless. Sorry classmate, but your story was dull as dirt).

After this I ran my errands (quest to pick up roommate’s half of the rent complete. Quest to locate fingerless gloves complete. Quest to find gloves that are less itchy added to Log) and bought a mini-pizza, which I ate while watching Monday’s new episodes of How I Met Your Mother and Chuck (one of which makes me happy, the other makes me want to punch babies).

I then spent the next two and a half hours writing my short story for class. I’ve been debating for the last few days as to whether or not Valhalla should count towards my NaNo total, as it is a short story and not actually connected with my novel. Ultimately I decided that while a midterm paper wouldn’t necessarily count as wordcount material, a creative fiction piece should, as it’s in the same vein as NaNo in terms of style (I was definitely writing it on the seat of my pants for the most part). So two and a half hours and 5000 words later, I had a short story and had hit over 13,000 words total. I was, and am, pleased.

So it’s been a productive day for both school and writing. I feel scarily on top of things.

Now I just need to update my resume to get ready for the jobhunt. *cringes*

*We turned some of these letters in at midterms and my prof told me that my critiques were ‘too nice’. Heaven forbid I be kind to people. Apparently critique = assholery.

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