Things are moving, plodding along surely and steadily.
Thesis officially accepted by the grad college, meaning I’m guaranteed to be allowed to wear a robe and shake someone’s hand awkwardly in a few weeks. Also means I don’t want to think about that project again for quite a while.
Another book review published, this time Shane Jones’s Crystal Eaters. Good, weird book. Cool publisher. One of the most entertaining author Twitter accounts around (hey, we can’t all be Elizabeth McCracken).
I’ve found gainful part-time employment for the summer (continuing work in the writing center) and for the fall (teaching two sections of first-year composition). The latter is vaguely terrifying. Not the actual teaching; I’m comfortable and confident with that. However, the fact that someone would entrust me with a room full of people expecting me to be able to impart some kind of knowledge to them is fairly disconcerting. I’m kind of pumped up about it. After all, the primary reason I went into graduate school was because I knew I wanted to teach writing as I tried to make it as a writer. It’s exciting to see a plan come together/fruition.
Also this fall, I begin the MFA program at Texas State. I’ll be taking Ben Fountain‘s workshop, which I’m amazingly pumped about. It’s crazy that the guy got called a late blooming genius by Malcolm Gladwell and ended up living up to that reputation with his book (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk). I went ahead and read his novel and will go through his short stories soon. I don’t think reading someone you’re going to be taking a class from is really that important (I definitely don’t think it made a difference when I took a workshop from David Lipsky [who is about to be played by Jesse Eisenberg, what the hell?]), but to me it’s the equivalent of Googling
everyone you interact with people on your panel at a conference or something. A combination of curiosity and wanting to know what to expect. I’ll also be taking a lit class about James Joyce and a Form and Theory class from the fantastic Debra Monroe, who is pretty much the reason Texas State made it onto my radar in the first place. I’ve read every book she’s published; you should too (especially her memoir).
New tangent. It’s kind of funny: I feel pretty guilty about this blog entry being so unfocused, but the guilt of not having updated in a month has outweighed the crime of not having much to say. When I started this blog, I told myself that in order to be successful and garner readers I needed to focus on things outside of myself. Doesn’t quite seem like I’m ready for that. Sometimes there’s a lot of external stimuli that give me things to ramble on about, sometimes there’s not. Most weeks I write a little bit, read a little bit, submit a little bit, get rejected a little bit. Figuring out the balance of what interesting things to keep in the work I hope to get published versus this blog is not easy.
Current projects: A recurring column pitch about writing mixtapes for literary characters. An essay about the unbelievable integration of advertising into NASCAR. A journalistic look at “get paid to” sites like Swagbucks and using it as a launching point to talk about our relationship with free stuff in the digital world. I’m not sure about anything.
I was really disappointed in the Latin Times for throwing up two prewritten clickbait articles with Gabo’s writings within a half hour of the announcement of his death. I don’t have a link to go with that besides the link to the clickbait, and that would kind of defeat the point of whining about it.
Real life often steals good plot ideas from fiction. See rival college A&M planting maroon flowers in Austin and a professor getting suspended over his daughter’s Game of Thrones t-shirt,
To go on about Shane Jones and workshops for a minute, I loved his essay about taking a workshop with Lydia Davis.