n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Thursday, December 16, 2010

grading, check; writing, check; reading, check; enough time, no check

So glad to be done grading. So very glad. Though it happened on Monday, fairly early into the day, I am still very, very glad. I need to get one student's comments back by tomorrow, but other than that, I am on to planning the new class, which I feel slightly panicked about. Last night, in fact, I dreamt about teaching said creative writing class, and it was a bit of a mess. I only pulled my way out of it by clowning around.

Do any of you know of a good essay or small book about how to read as a writer? I.e. how to read with an eye to craft?

Okay. Nuff of that. I've experienced a bit of a crisis about my spider book and realized that maybe it's not the book I should be shooting to finish by February. The story of my life, right? One project to the other to the other, never finishing any of them. But the spider book wasn't feeling right, and I have to say maybe it's not the kind of nonfiction I can write. How is it possible to write about my thoughts on friendship, community, and interconnectivity without talking about my experience, which I don't want to talk about? Every time I start talking about my experience it starts sounds whiny, but that's not the point... the point(s) are the thoughts that experience has produced, but I can't get there without talking about the experience, which then starts to sound whiny, and so it's this big circle. What is it about creative writing that makes it so damn hard to discuss things? All that show show show the story (and pretty precise lovely language) stuff getting in the way.

So, in my frustration, I swapped back to the short story I've been working on as an alternate piece, and suddenly I realized that it was good. It's maybe only a third done, but it is good, and has direction. When I get going in the wrong direction on it, I just back up and start over where it got bad, and slowly bit by bit, this has been working for me. Funny thing is that I think it's about some of the same issues I am working on in the nonfiction piece, though not all of them, and it's covering them more adroitly than the nonfiction... through someone else's eyes, and experience, I guess.

And the nonfiction was making me sad. And I don't want to be sad. So... I think I'm going to swap back to the short stories for awhile and just try to trust myself on them. My voice is changing in my writing and it feels a little, hmmmm, bulky. But I like it too.

Everything else is going okay, but I wish WA wasn't on the quarter system; two weeks between quarters just isn't enough time to prep, get some of my work done, visit friends, and go through the holidays. Not to mention resting.

I've been spending more time with SP, which is always good but still confusing. We have certain things worked out, like we're not an exclusive couple, but other things not worked out, like how precisely we feel about each other. See, I decided a while back that I'd been shown enough of the ways that romantic love can fail and/or can damage the crap out of you, but that I really need to keep myself open to what romantic love can still teach me, regardless of what that might be. So, I feel open, but I don't feel directed like I used to... like I'm not sure whether it's going to ebb errr... flow; that I don't even know what love is, what it's capable of; and that all I really understand is that it's not what I used to think. Like I was wiped free of any preconceptions of romantic love, and all the Cinderella stories disappeared, and all the Beauty and the Beast stories disappeared, and all the round, fat little hearts with their chocolate bubbly centers disappeared, and in their place is just a quiet little blank spot.

SP has had a hard time with me, I think, for this reason; she sees that spot differently than I do, and I have a hard time recognizing whether what she sees is what I want, whether it is even realistic, how it coincides with what I feel, etc. I remember too how multiple people (ex's predominately) have told me that I was closed to love, and that I would end up alone and bitter because of it. But I feel open, just not sure like other people seem to be. If I don't see commitment with people who do see commitment, does that make me closed? Anyhow. Right now, I try to just enjoy the time, see SP and myself for who we are, and not push and prod, or even resist, the future.

And I've been feeling restless again. Like I ought to be applying for other jobs outside of Bville... that it is time for me to look away, and that maybe I don't need the safety I sought here. It was strange, but I moved and moved and went here and there, by myself finally, and tackled everything on my own, bravely. And then I just felt like I needed refuge. Stability. Not having to scrape and scrape just to keep going, although I do recognize that is what everyone (but the rich) does. And now, I might be ready to scrape and scrape again. Not right away, but maybe in another year. So... time to start looking where to go, what to do.

That's about it. Other than that I'm fit to be tied with NM again. It's impossible to talk to someone who is just day by day holding on about how she is driving you absolutely up the friggin' wall. But I need to say something, just don't know how. Sigh. Friendship shmendship.

Okay. I promised myself some write time before I go have dinner with my father, so off I go.

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (too obvious?)

Burning Down the House by Charles Baxter.

If you're not familiar with it, I have a copy of BDTH if you wanna take a look at/borrow it when I see you this week. (oh boy oh boy!)
I passed on a blogging award to you. Maybe you could check it out on my blog?
akr: it was fab to see you last week. hope CA is treating you well!

Aseela: Woah, uh, thanks! Don't feel I merit a blogging award but it's very flattering. I'll have to check it out. I did mean to tell you (though I had trouble leaving comments on your blog) that I had read yours and you're a great writer! I'll link to you soon. Cheers.
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