Thursday, October 23, 2008

momentum, and home as a state of mind

So, I did some writing yesterday. Finally! Quite a bit, actually. And it felt really good. I also sort of plagiarized myself, haha! I was writing a narrative on the theme of home as a state of mind. I used to assign this essay to my students when I taught at UMD. The challenge for them was to write an essay about home w/out using the words "home," "house," "comfort," "cozy," "warmth," etc. I didn't restrict myself quite as much yesterday, but I found myself looking to past essays that I had written on the subject. Frankly, it's been a recurring theme in a lot of my creative writing, fiction and non. So I actually took 'em out of a box, found some golden oldies, and made some minor adjustments, excerpting passages, changing the tense and a couple of names, etc. Since this is for my book, I wonder if I have to cite myself. Always the academic, to the very end.

I hadn't read some of these pieces in awhile, and I thought, "Damn, these aren't half bad." One of them was a creative nonfiction piece that was published in the literary magazine Siren at UMD. At the time, it was one of my best, if not the best I had ever written. Hard to believe it's seven years old, and I've since written three novels. It brought back some bittersweet memories, too, although I focused on the good.

Later in the day, when I had finished the draft, I sent it to my writing partner, just for her enjoyment. I wasn't expecting feedback or anything. I wasn't even expecting a response. But a few hours later, she did respond, and was her usual honest, thoughtful self. And she praised it, assuring me that she liked it not solely because it was mine, but because it was good. I was happy to hear from her, and happy that she liked it. And incidentally, when I write, I'm at home.

Mit commented on getting the momentum going, and I hope I've done just that. It's hard when I've got another 50 rhetorical analyses, an average of five pages each, needing my attention and grades. This is the time of year when I get really antsy for the semester to end, when Thanksgiving feels right around the corner and it's a mad rush to fit everything in. And does anyone else want this election over and done w/ already?

And speaking of home, it's finally starting to look and feel like fall around here. That certainly adds to the momentum, not to mention my mood.

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