Friday, May 28, 2010

Writing, How I Love Thee...

I have been woefully slacking on this blog recently--however, to be honest, I've had other dry spells before this, and I can't truthfully blame it on "having too much to do." Lately, especially the past five days, I have not done much of anything that was overly time consuming or inflexibly scheduled. The fact of the matter seems to be, when I have more to do, I actually get more done. Seriously!

This week has been spent, largely, reading. I read through Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game in a day (yes, one day!), barrelled through The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and am already a third of the way through Jean M. Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear. Next up is the series "Mordant's Need" by Stephen Donaldson--I love those books so much that I think no matter how many other wonderful books I read throughout my life, Donaldson's The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through will always be in my top favorites. They (along with So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane) directly inspired and influenced me in the writing of the first full book I ever created. My story was initially a fairly exact hybrid (that is, stealing of ideas) of Donaldson's and Duane's novels, though I have since revised, rewritten, and rethough the whole storyline many times.

Up until my final year of college (this past year), I was an almost exclusively scifi novel writer. Only very recently did I start to pick up the joy and challenge of writing poetry. In my study of poetry in school, I all but stopped dead my work on novels and the type of story I have written all my life since I can remember writing. Though I by no means regret having begun my studies in poetry, I do regret having so compeltely cut off the other side of me as a writer. And now, after reading so many fantasy/sci fi books recently (many with religious/spiritual and feminine power themes), my mind is brewing new ideas for stories that my fingers ache to write.

The biggest obstacle between me and writing (and typing this blog, and job hunting, and exercising, etc.) right now is getting off the couch, out of my book, and walking the ten feet to the computer.

Reading two very inspirational and charming blogs recently (and this morning especially) has gotten me back into the swing of writing my own. If you're looking for something good to read, check out, and if you're looking for something good to eat, check out

Lots of joy!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Finals, graduation!

Sorry for the long absence! The past few weeks have been very hectic--this week is my final exam week, so I've been spending my days doing the last of my school work and then working on projects, papers and exams. AND NOW I'M DONE!!! I have to turn in my compelte editing portfolio by this afternoon, and then all I have to do is graduate!

I made a big mistake recently. I wrote down that all my finals were on Tuesday (yesterday), but thought that they were all on Wednesday. When I actually looked in my book and saw that they were due a day earlier than I planned, I burnt myself out on getting them done in time.... only to discover that they were, in fact, due on Wednesday. Obviously I just wasn't paying attention to which box I was writing in, and so stressed myself out more than I needed to. On the one hand, I got my project and paper done early, but on the other, I didn't leave myself enough time to study for my ethnic studies exam. The biggest problem was that I didn't start work on any of these things early enough. I had some of my editing portfolio done (as a class assignment), but hadn't worked veey far ahead and so made this week really difficult for myself. I also didn't get a head start on my philosophy paper, or make enough time to study for my exam. So, after eleven years of exams, finals, and graded projects, I still haven't learned my lesson. Let this be a lesson to me for the future!

On the other hand, I've read a ton of books this semester in my spare time. The count as of right now is sixteen--not bad for a graduating senior with a full class load! I read Ken Follett's 973-page novel, The Pillars of the Earth, recommended to me by a dear friend, in under a week. I blazed through that book faster and with more hunger than any book for a long time--faster than some 300-page books I've been reading recently. It is definitely what I would call a character-driven book. The characters live and act and react exactly like living humans would in similar circumstances, and all the action, love, murder and fear in the book was created by the characters, not by plot. Often, plot drags characters around a world they have no desire to be in, through lives they would not actually live, and the characters lose their autonomy--the plot becomes more complex than the people. This book had a simple plot--it could be explained in one sentence, but it would not describe the story. The characters are what give this tale life and love and meaning, and they shape the plot with their lives. I felt like these people were truly alive, and their pain was my pain, their love my love. I would read this book a thousand more times!

It's been difficult to tear myself away from my books and my schoolwork, so I've barely started packing. I've devoted the rest of this week to getting my things in order, and this weekend to moving my storage stuff to my boyfriend's parents' house and my necessities slowly to his.

I promise I'll have more interesting things to write about soon!