Archive for January, 2010

On 2009 Resolutions

It is time for a quick recap of the 2009 list of resolutions (which will be followed up shortly by the 2010 list in a second post…

1) Get weight down to between 175-185 (target). Didn’t happen, exactly. I did manage to shave off about ten pounds before the holidays hit, I was still a longway from the target goal. But some is better than none, and gives me a good place to start.

2) Read 26-30 “new” books. Holy crap, is the best phrase that comes to mind. 44 books. Even if you drop off the one reread (for a class), I still managed a helluva lot of reading, across a pretty wide range of works (from academic, to various forms of fiction, both short story collections & novels, and some writerly advice books). Epic win is another phrase that come to mind.

3) (a) Write. The daily routine (500-1000 words per day), with the year’s target being at least: 2 books (50k+ words), 6 short stories/novellas, 2 scripts (long form), and 2 scripts (1 act/short form). Lofty goals, but no dice. I do have two books at almost half-done, and a few other projects that were worked with, butnothing “complete” in the sense I was looking for.

3) (b) Marketing and sending submissions out. I started the process, and made some short story submissions. Meager volume of works out, but I broke the (mental) ice, and began solicitation. I even scored a Finalist spot in a writing contest! A modest first step, but room for a lot of growth in 2010.

4) Train for the local Biathlon (to be held 5 April 09 – 3 mile run, and 15 mile ride). Nope, darn it.

5) Get “A”s in my classes. Done.

6) Finish cleaning out at the old house. Um, close but not quite. There’s still a lot of stuff that is in the attic that will need to be hauled away, and will need weather that is somewhere in a more comfortable range (neither freezing, nor roasting) before I try to clear the rest out.

7) Travel – like last year, 1-2 “good” trips, just me and MC, with a few weekend jaunts free of any familial obligations. A weekend trip to Myrtle Beach, and a week in the Carribean. Call it done!

8) Christmas shopping done by early November. Success, actually. Most of our shopping (for other people) was done by early November, and we were able to handle shopping for each other without a lot of the extra stress in the weeks before Christmas.

9) Send out birthday and anniversary cards, etc. in a timely manner. Also done, er…. sort of. Thank you cards were pretty much on the ball, and most birthday stuff, butthere were a few that probably slipped through the cracks.

10) Work on the photography skills… [Which means, actually, taking a lot of pictures, and carrying a camera around on some of the expeditions… or plan “photo trips”…] Sort of done, with some side credits. I played quite a bit with my phone’s camera (at concerts, etc.), and took quite a few pictures on our Carribean trip. Got a new camera for Christmas, and am readingthrough some stuff to be able to start getting some pretty nice shots. Definitely on the agenda for 2010 to try a variety of things.

11) Process the Netflix queue – watch 100 movies from the queue. Not quite. Made it the the 1/4 mark before the end of the year hit.

12) Work on my Wii Fit age (which, I suppose, goes with # 1). And I have not gotten on the Fit recently… which translates into a severe fail on my part.

All told, not too bad for the year. Not a glowing, star-studded success, but featuring a lot of areas that saw significant steps towards some level of acheivement. Which is part of the point. I think resolutions should be something to create a challenge, so completion carries some sense of accomplishment. And it’s the challenge that keeps things interesting along the way.

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On Planning a Thesis

[post idea originally started on 4 Dec, 2009…]

So I officially have another semester in the books, and am down to three real “classes”, and the thesis. The classes are already figured out (taking two this semester [Spring 2010], and will need one more “workshop” class that I’m planning for my last semester)… but it’s the thesis that will be part of the beast for the coming year. Technically, I’m not “registering” for it until the fall semester, but I know that if I don’t at least start working on it now, then by the time things come around to really start cranking things out (aka – when it’s due), I’ll be setting myself up for a bucket of extra fried stress – something I would prefer to avoid as much as possible.

Here’s the thing, though… Most Creative Writing theses (thesi ?) end up being a collection of poems, short stories, etc. (depending on the specific concentration… being in “fiction”, mine would likely lean towards short stories)… but I don’t really want to do that… at least, not entirely. I want to put some mileage on a book, and use it as the major portion of the thesis. And here lies the issues: selecting a panel. The chair/advisor is a bit of a no-brainer for me: I’ve already hinted at asking the person before I actually got my acceptance, and he had said yes then, so it’s a matter of making things official. From there, it gets sticky. I would need to get two other individuals (and up to one of them can be from outside the CW concentration). I have a couple of individuals in mind, but ultimately who I may ask (from outside the concentration) depends on what kind of text I create. Something playing fantasy & folklore, ask person A; Vampires? Ask person B. And then it’s deciding who to ask that’s in the CW program.

But the first step, before I worry about any sort of committee selection, is planning, plotting, and starting on the project… which is the most important part of the adventure…

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Happy New Year!

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a week late here, but I’ve been so busy around the house the past week and getting ready for the new semester that I’m only now getting back to the blog.

I hope the holiday season was good to you, and not too difficult to get out in the swarms of shoppers. More to come soon, on the 2009 recap, 2010 projections, and other writerly goodness.

Until then, again, Happy 2010!

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