Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Category: SHU (page 1 of 2)

Residency Update

I have, as usual, completely failed in my goal to take more pictures at this residency. 

But I presented my thesis Saturday night and did my teaching module this morning, and both went very well.  Tonight my two critique partners defend their theses (Matt has already done his; Sherry still to come) and then we’ll all have two more modules, one more workshop session, and the graduation ceremony.  Yay! 

I need to burn my thesis onto a cd and turn it in to the library, and at some point I need to swing by the campus bookstore and pick up my graduation robe, but that’s about all. 

My brain has been set to “coast”, at least until the end of this week, when I’ll start up on revisions again. 

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Residency Ahoy!

Yes, still moderately panicked, but I got three hours of sleep and now it’s off to the airport. I’ll try to update again, at least a little bit, before Wednesday, but we all know I’m bad at blogging during residency.

Time to go!

(p.s. I sound so cheery because if I wasn’t artificially cheerful, I would immediately fall back asleep, and then I would miss my plane, and it would all go downhill from there. whee!)

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Pre-Residency Countdown

There have been too many things happening for me to properly focus on the fact that I leave in the middle of the night between Thursday and Friday for my last residency. Now, with nothing but three days at my day job desk between me and that flight, I find myself rather overwhelmed with things that need to be done. Not that I didn’t expect this. Because I did. It’s just that then, I had a very fuzzy idea of what I’d be behind in doing, while now I know in exact, excruciating detail how very much I have to get done in the next 67 hours.

And it’s a lot.

I mean, it’s not so much that I can’t get it done. I found a letter from a friend the other day that I got ten years ago, and she mentions that I was always ragging on her for getting things done way in advance, and then pulling all-nighters to finish a paper or a project, and getting grades just as good as hers in the end. It’s pretty clear in the letter that it was a long-standing habit even then. This is the way I operate. God only knows how or why, but it seems to work for me.

So now, since writing a blog entry is (surprisingly enough) not helping me read my workshop critique pieces a second time or flesh out my lesson plan or time how long it will take to read the pages I’ve dog-eared for potential thesis reading sections, I think the responsible thing would be to stop typing now.

Oh, but I can’t go without saying how very happy I was when Matt told me that when he was reading my manuscript, he kept forgetting that I had written it, that it wasn’t a “real” book, just a manuscript. I don’t let him read unfinished work (by which I mean incomplete story arcs, since I don’t quite consider this manuscript “finished”), because he usually just says “it’s good, where’s the rest?” which is really frustrating when I’m still writing the rest. But he’s really good with a finished manuscript. He pointed out a few things I hadn’t noticed, and had some ideas to help with places where I haven’t fully fleshed out a solution to a problem with the text. And he confirmed a few of my gut feelings. It’s always nice to know my gut feelings are on track.

So yeah. Need to work now. Ciao.

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I Am That Person

I have “watched” many of my friends approach their final residency for the SHU-WPF program. Some were super-organized and some were scattered. Almost none of them were prepared well in advance for their teaching modules.

And I’ll admit, I secretly thought, “I’m going to be more on top of things than that.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with chasing the ball a bit, just that I wasn’t going to do it.

Those of you who know me should be falling off your chairs laughing by now. I talk a good game, don’t I? Useless noise.

So I am taking this opportunity to declare – in an organized, on-top-of-the-ball fashion – that I will almost certainly not be ahead of the game come January. And I’m firmly cushioned by that irrational sense of peace that precedes panic, which will certainly remain until January 1st, when I’m on the plane flying to Houston for my cousin’s wedding. Then I’ll start wondering what in the world I’m doing a week before residency without anything more than an outline for my lesson plan.

Between now and then? I have other things to worry about.

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Genre Paper

I think I’m done with the paper.

I’ll print it out and do another round of edits tomorrow, but I think this is as good as it’s getting. Talk about pulling teeth – oh wait, no, that’s Wednesday morning. I crack me up.

Time for bed.

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Yarg

I need a thesis statement.

Turns out I figured out why I’m having so much trouble with the genre paper, even getting started. . . and it’s because I want to argue one point, but I need to argue another for the purposes of the assignment. And I’ve been trying to figure out how to argue both, but that’s just not practical.

So now the trouble is, I can’t figure out how to word my central argument. And by “I can’t figure out how to word my argument” I mean “I haven’t got a darn clue of anything to say.”

So. Goal for the day: Figure out what I’m defending.

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Deadline Met

Pages for my July deadline have been sent off, but that doesn’t mean the pressure’s off. Lots to do, not much work time this month, especially if I want to catch up and get ahead in my schedule for edits.

Since I’m not much fun today, here’s a photo of Shiloh:

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End Of Residency Brain-Fry

I has it.

I did take pictures around campus, but they’re not online yet, so I can’t post them. I don’t think I took a picture of a single person all week, so if you’re hoping to get something like that, you’re going to be disappointed. But there are some cool photos.

My brain crossed the “fried” threshold yesterday afternoon at about 3:30, and most of my conversations since then have been punctuated with odd pauses and nonsensical words (more than usual, I mean) as I try to figure out which words I’m supposed to use to convey basic thoughts like “I’m going back to my room now.” It’s rather an amazing thing to see scores of writers reduced to babbling lack-wits who can’t hold a coherent conversation. Also fodder for lots of laughs, though that may be because we’re all punchy, too.

Almost everything is packed for my flights home tomorrow. I’ll be at the airport early, but that never matters much. I’ll be reading there just like I’d be reading here, and who knows? Maybe I can get on standby for an earlier flight.

I’ll take most of tomorrow off from any kind of writing work (I might take time at the airport to compile some of the comments from my workshop critique earlier this week) and then start in on hard-core revisions of the manuscript on Tuesday.

That’s the plan, Stan.

For now, I’m finishing the packing, watching the end of a Dirty Jobs episode, and get me some good sleep before a day of travel.

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Residency

I’ve been amazingly remiss in taking any pictures at all while I’ve been here at Seton Hill. I’ll try to remedy that tomorrow, at least a little bit. So far, I’ve talked about The Lies of Locke Lamora, been briefed on all the things I’ll have to get done before graduation, taken modules on critiquing methods and various trends and expectations in romance publishing (good info, even if I’m working on fantasy stuff at the moment), gone to thesis defenses and teaching sessions, and in general had a lovely time with my fellow WPFers.

I also met with my mentor, and we talked about what needs to happen in order for my thesis novel to be finished (to my satisfaction) in time for graduation. It’s a lot, but I’m up to it.

And I’ve got what I think is a good idea for my own teaching module in January. I think I’ll talk to Lee before I head home this time around to see if I can lock in on that and have one less thing to worry about later in the term.

Now it’s time to head to sleep – tomorrow my piece gets a workshop critique, the afternoon module should be lots of fun, and then more thesis readings at night. I’m looking forward to it.

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Update on All Things

Deadline: Extended 2 days + flex time
Pages to write: 17
Books to read: 0
Book journals to write: 0
Days at the Day Job: 0
8-Page Synopsis: Done
Girls’ Night: Done
Trip to the Zoo: Done
Small Group Night: Done
Wax in Hair: Crisis Averted; Wax Removed

I got an extension on my deadline; two extra days to get my reading responses turned in, which I’ve just done, and the rest of my pages are due ASAP. I intend to have them done and sent in by the end of the week. Then for the rest of the month I’ll be concentrating on finishing the full rough draft.

I mailed off my contest entry today, so it’s all out of my hands. If I’m one of the category finalists, they’ll call me in mid-August; otherwise I’ll get my stuff back in the mail in the end of August sometime. Winners will be announced on September 13th, at the conference. Haven’t decided if I can take the time and money to actually go to that at this point. We shall see.

I’m feeling good about things.

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