Monday, July 21, 2008

On a jet plane

Sitting in the Birmingham Airport, on my way back to Chicago, there's no denying third semester's underway. I need a first draft of my critical thesis by August 11th.

Partly because of this, I'm thinking of suspending word counts for the time being, maybe indefinitely. I've liked posting them (especially when they're big), but I'm getting deep into revision territory even in my creative work, and I don't know that quantity's the best measure of my work right now.

For my thesis I'm looking at books in which middle-grade-aged protagonists use fantasy or imagination to empower themselves, along with the attitudes adults bring to writing about childhood imagination. So far, my reading list includes:

The Witches of Worm and nearly anything else by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth
The Lord of the Flies
The Other Shepards
The White Darkness

I'd love book suggestions if you've got them!

During residency, I came to consider that I may have been writing two novels side by side, one with a 5th grade protagonist, and one 10th grade. I've been writing so much back-story and twisted chronology, and the story's gotten darker as I've been writing, so that I'm no longer convinced all the pieces belong together. I suspect that writing so much just opened the floodgates -- I've certainly got enough "issues" in my novel to warrant more than one. So, I hope to simplify.

Lucky me will be working on all of this with my new advisor, smart lady Uma Krishnaswami.

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