Monday, October 27, 2008

Still here

My only excuse is that I don't have internet in the house. That's the only standing excuse that I can come up with. Otherwise I really should make sure to update this thing more often.

It's almost November, and we are entering the final sprint to the end of the semester.

I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing something wrong with grad school. Not taking enough opportunities? Or maybe I am going have this report card with EPIC FAIL written in large friendly letters. The semester started with this unnerving sense that the worst was yet to come. I spent every waking moment wondering if this was it. If I was about to be ambushed by assignments and paper and a massive wave of work. It hasn't happened yet.

I know that I'm not really doing the readings any more, and that might be part of it. But if that's the overwhelming wave of work then they've no idea the program I came out of. I blow off the readings and still do well on the papers. I feel challenged in some respects, but in others this has been a cakewalk compared to the last 2 years of the grueling swamp of homework and assignments (even if they were creative writing instead of essays).

I was talking to one of the second years I've made friends with and I mentioned that yeah I've been able to be very lax in my work, watching television at leisure, playing games, and generally just enjoying myself. She looked at me with jaw dropped surprise. With wonder that I could even be thinking about relaxing. "The first semester is the hardest," she insisted, and maybe at the end of the semester my grade will reflect it. God knows I haven't been able to find anything to say in mt 500 discussion section. And chances are that's going to hit me hard come the end of the semester, but the GSI knows my name, so that might help in being forgiven.

But there is a little part of me that says, "No, Nathan. There is a reason this is going easy for you. It's because you kick ass. And when you graduate this is going to reflect upon the awesomeness of the well paying job you're going to get." But that of course is worth a lark because I'm going into Library Science. That's not a place to make money!


I've been working on the novel a ton lately. Redrafted a portion of act I and have been attempting sorely to try and dive into act II. It's a very tiring process, and I find myself more and more afraid to write more. Maybe it's a fear of success, or just a fear of getting it wrong. Either way I am determined to make some serious headway to finishing it.


I also got nominated by a friend I met at the beginning of the semester for the Vice President position of the School of Information Student Association (SISA). And maybe this is just what I need. Get busy with applying myself and finding things to do! Could do me some good.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


"That F***ing thing is going to kill you," my friend Mike told me today when he asked me about my novel and I said that I was facing a lot of thoughts about what the story was about, what I have already on paper, what I need, what's unnecessary. It's a daunting and almost debilitating thing. And as I spend day after day replotting, restructuring and thinking thinking thinking I start to agree with Mike that it may in fact kill me to bring this thing to close.

I don't know why. I don't know how novelists do it. The ones who push them out so fast. Maybe I'm afraid of completing it. Success? Maybe but it seems implausible. Failure? Seems more likely. I mean Bam! this is crap they'll tell me and then my dreams are quashed. Sure but I mean I've sent things out already.

The rider's story should be an easy one to tell. I mean it has a direction. East. It has an end. He gets home. It has a focus. He spreads chaos. There. You have point A and point C and the bloody trail of bodies that represent point B and the space between. There. Story done. Now where does my problem come from?

I spent the last month exploding the story. Balancing a bunch of stories of characters who I want to be important eventually, but not until later. So what I did was send it out to a few friends to have them read it and toss their two cents my way. They have been. And it's been very helpful. But it's causing me to really figure out what I want to tell, and causing me to go swinging the broadsword of my editing ability and rebuild from the ashes of destruction.