Thursday, September 3, 2009

Breakthroughs, Battlestars, and Bogus Bad Words

Packet #2 is in, and I can breathe a sigh of relief, well, at least for a few days. The next deadline is September 25, so I'm not exactly basking in free time. I've got a book to finish, 2 papers to write, and a short story to create between now and then. Oh great, now I'm going to start the panicking all over again.

The good news about Packet #2 is that through my work on it, I had a bit of a breakthrough. I've been struggling ever since the residency with a bit of writing paralysis. I won't call it writer's block because that isn't what it is. I've got ideas and stories I want to write, but I've had so many other voices rolling around in my head (professors and such) that I couldn't hear my own voice. I was trying so hard to manufacture something that I thought everybody wanted that I had completely obliterated any hint of my own writing. After months of struggling, really bad writing, and prayer, I finally was able to turn off those other voices. The point of this MFA is to fine tune my voice, not to create some lifeless, hybrid voice that isn't me. The writing came quickly and easily after that. The jury's still out on whether my professor/mentor will like what I created. Either way, though, what I created was mine. We'll see how long the epiphany lasts.

Since I turned in my packet, I've taken a bit of a holiday from all the hard work (I actually missed a Friday house cleaning during the last minute rewrite.) What have I been doing with my brief stint of free time? Just indulging my inner nerd with complete immersion into the world of Battlestar Galactica. A friend of Steve's has been loaning us all the seasons on the Blu-Ray, and we have become seriously addicted. We've been averaging about a season a week!

If you've never seen BSG, it's a reimagination of the original 1978 television show. I mean total reimagination. (Starbuck is a girl.) The funniest part of the show (not that it's meant to be funny) is their made up swear word. Apparently the word has its origins in the original show, though the new version has certainly taken it to new levels. What is the word you ask? Frak. Yes, that's right. Frak. You can imagine all the parts of speech in which it is used. The characters use it fluently and without a hint of amusement. Steve and I are halfway through Season 2, and it hasn't stopped being funny yet...every time they use it. I don't think it will ever stop being funny. I think it may be even funnier than the bleep (a personal favorite.) The best part? You can actually find an entry for "frak" on Wikipedia! I love the internet.

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