Just a quick update!

I’m so glad that so many of you have found the 25 Ways to Be A Better Writer so helpful. It’s been fun to put together and I’ve been learning a lot myself. Look for the next installment next week sometime, probably on Tuesday.

For those of you that have been following this blog for the last several months you’ll know that for my MFA I was working on  a paper that focused on Harry Potter. Since you all were so awesome to put up with my ranting, moaning, and various other Harry Potter posts, I thought you might like to know the outcome.

I got an A!

AND My professor suggested with a bit more revision that it could be publishing ready, so woo! Also, I know that I was pretty hush hush about the focus of the paper on here. So I feel like I can finally reveal what I was working so hard on: I was looking at how the characters of Harry and Voldemort relate to one another in the terms of Jungian critical theory. TADA! 

At the moment husband and I are on vacation (with my parents) and are not only relaxing but having a great time celebrating the conclusion of this past semester. Look for regular blog posts next week as well as the review for Divergent‘s sequel Insurgent.     

Just Keep Swimming

Sometimes I feel as if I have just shot myself in the foot.

I mean, I’ve loaded the gun. Lined it up with my foot. Pulled the trigger. And POW!

Foot has been shot.

That’s how this Harry Potter paper is making me feel. Like, I have all these ideas and plans and evidence from the texts and outside sources and a detailed outline all done. And then I sit down to write the paper and BAM! I run into a wall. I keep looking at my paper and get worried. All I see are quotes that I’ve strung together, my “original thought” sentences connecting the better phrased quotes together.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve tricked everybody into thinking I’m all brilliant and everything. Surprise! I’m not! Ugh.

But then I think: No. You can;t have fooled this many people. Not the acceptance board at my graduate school. Not my husband (who can read me like an open book). Not my parents. Not all these amazingly awesome teachers at my grad school. No. There is no way I fooled them all. So then the person I’m fooling has to be myself.

I am brilliant. I can write this damned paper. And it will be awesome.

So sitting here staring at the screen (not writing my paper), I think of some advice that author Ellen Kushner gave me this summer: Get the words on the page. Get a frist draft done. Let it be shit. Let it be a shitty first draft. Because that’s what it is: a first draft. You can’t fix nothing. If there are no words on the page – you can’t refine them. But I can refine shit. I can take a piece of coal and turn it into a diamond.

And then I think of Finding Nemo

Just insert “writing” for “swimming” and you could have my theme song.

So, what am I going to do?

I’m going to keep swimming. And so should you if you hit that awesome wall of self doubt.

Missing: One Blogger/ Creative Writer. Reward if found.

I promise I haven’t forgotten about my blog. I know it seems like I have, but there just aren’t enough minutes in the day sometimes.

So, what’s been going on in my life in the past month?


I finished my annotated bibliography and detailed outline (which wound up being nine pages long and generated a WOW! from my professor) and got them turned in.

I’ve started writing the first draft of my paper (wish me luck)…

My life has too much Harry Potter in it… I keep having dreams about it. The one I remember most involves me and my husband being at Hogwarts with Lilly and James and me giving dating advice to Lilly while my husband replaces Wormtail as the fourth member of the group (but doesn’t go all evil…)

And I’ve been sucked into the Hunger Games world. Yes, I saw the movie friday, finished the second book later that night and then finished the third yesterday. Holy cow. I’m pretty sure that sometime this weekend I overdosed on reading… Husband accused me of huffing literature and it’s true. I can get addicted to certain books.

Now that I’m done with the Hunger Games I can start having a normal life again, and I’m going to start reading John Green’s latest book The Fault in Our Stars. It promises to be good, so hopefully I’ll stop being lazy and actually post a book review on that one.

Just wanted to make an appearance… Let you know that I’m not dead (yet). And that there will be more to come.  

*Evil Laughter*

I turned in my critical paper. YES!

And sadly, to quote Charlie Sheen… “Winning!” Ugh. I hate myself a little bit for even typing that. Blech. I need to clean my keyboard off now.

Back to the point. Paper = done. Ha! I almost don’t even care what grade I get on it. I’m just epically glad that its done.

And yet… And yet it’s not my favorite paper so I don’t feel the same satisfaction. It’s like, sure this is a good paper but it’s nothing that I’ll pick up again and expand upon. Which is a bit of a bummer because I did learn a lot. So it goes.

And also, the term here is coming to a close, but I’m not all that relieved. I guess it’s because it’s not like I’ll be getting a big break. I’ll be doing two online classes this fall (both creative) and then a directed study in the spring.

So, the point of this post. There is none. Just that, no matter how much I complain about writing critical papers. I can do them. And I think I kind-a kick ass at them on a certain level. No. I’m not the next big literary critic, and I don’t want to be. But I think that I’m pretty awesome at (and I think this applies for all creative writers that write critical stuff) making the critical approachable and being able to use some nice descriptive verbs and whatnot that make the paper more fun to read.

Suck it vampires (the doubtful kind… see previous post)
Suck it.