Monday, November 9, 2009

A Room of One's Own

The final deadline for the final packet of semester is quickly approaching (I need to get it mailed by 2 days.) I'm slowly plugging away at the work - slowly being the operative word. The new room/desk is helping. I may have waited 7 years to have my own desk again, but it was worth the wait (nevermind that I had to get pregnant in order to get it.) What's not helping? The large, purring cat dancing around in my lap, the doctor's appointments, the dinner that needs to be fixed, and that ongoing struggle to keep what's left of my brain from leaking out my ear. I think I know what I want to do with my story now (which helps), and I've gotten some more reading done while waiting at the doctor's office (so that's something.) Looks like a couple of days' cramming is now in order.

I am reading Best American Short Stories 2009 for part of my packet. I have to write 2 to 4 pages about current trends in short stories. So far I'm struggling to find a common thread/element between the stories I've read, but I still have one and a half more to go. That's not to say that the stories aren't wonderful. It was such a smart move on my part to take a break from Charles Baxter to read a few of the stories from this book. I was starting to get bogged down in writing theory. I have found, however, that when one is not running on all eight cylinders (is that how that saying goes? Not a car is a car metaphor, right?), it can be paralyzing to your writing to read a lot of theory and rules. I'm not saying that Baxter isn't brilliant or that I don't love the book, just that my confidence is barely hanging on by a thread. I need to steer clear of sharp object, writers, and observations to avoid it being severed.

Hobson (my cat) must have sensed my need to buckle down and get things done. She came upstairs for moral support. Despite her brief attempts at distraction, she has now curled up happily on my lap and is purring loudly. Nothing quite so soothing (and potentially literary) as that!

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