Yes, I did pass my thesis defense with flying colors yesterday. I found it very much to be like what one graduate that I had finally been able to pin down about the process, at least at the W, said it was–it was a workshopping of my thesis with me as the only student with a group of professors that wanted me to succeed.
We discussed my process for writing, the effect the narrative had on the reader because of the choices I had made, what to alter or change that would keep the reader in the flow of the narrative, my purpose in writing the entire work and whether or not I had achieved it, etc. We were there about an hour and ten minutes–I didn’t notice we had taken so long. Some comments of note–my program director said it had powerful narrative arcs throughout. One of my committee members who is a novelist said I had done something she didn’t think she could do–make ordinary everyday incidents compelling.
They started discussing publishing houses to pitch to, edits to make or publication, going far afield from the thesis as it currently existed. I was super pleased with everything they said because even their suggestions for change were well-reasoned and argued. So I am looking forward to spending more time with it this summer and making those revisions and changes so I can maybe start looking for an agent this fall. Then start on something else.
I got some wonderful questions and comments at the reading itself, and on Facebook, one of the other students who read before me was talking about starting thesis next semester and gave me a shoutout as some one who had been a lot of support and an inspiration to them in their writing. I was so very moved by that. So a wonderful time was had by all.
Thesis defense at 4 p.m. US Central Time. Wish me well.
So far I am the only one awake. I went to bed on time and Bob stayed awake forever. I don’t know if it’s his anxiety or what that kept him up all night. I plan to ask him once he gets up this morning. My youngest is still asleep as well. No problem. I only have two errands to do today–Get linen cotton paper for my signature pages and get a mani-pedi. Bob says he will go to get his car this morning, so we will see about that.
I don’t think we have plans as a family this morning so I shouldn’t have any trouble getting those errands run. Then after tomorrow, I have to send off to get the copies printed and mail one to Mike. I hope it surprises him enormously and makes him happy.
I feel better today. Probably because it doesn’t feel like I have a lot of pressure on me to produce since it is the weekend. I am really hoping the defense goes smoothly and I get a lot of feedback out of it. I already know where some cuts will be made–I’ve found some places where I am still in my “advice” mode that I missed in the last revision. And I think I’ve figured out what part I’m going to read–the whole Hurricane Katrina chapter and part of the Amy chapter if I have time. We will see about that. I will practice at some point today. I know I’ve got some typos they will tell me to correct.
But on the whole I’m not afraid of how I will do. I think I have a solid craft foundation, a solid purpose for having written the work, and some strong narrative arcs–being broke in the American South during that time, being a smart girl in an environment that didn’t respect that, and being bipolar when no one knew it. The bipolar is the main thing, and the others are subplots. But I think the defense and the reading will come off well. I’ll have my cheering section and will be content with that.
So I think I heard Bob stirring around to wake up. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. I got the shot–so should you! Godspeed.
So I talked to Tillie yesterday about being frozen up and worrying if this was finally it–I wouldn’t be able to bounce back into writing after this time. She told me to cut myself a break and take a break. Definitely don’t make any big decisions. She said the accident was probably much more traumatic to my brain that I had realized before. She pointed out that keeping up blogging was writing and a very good job of it. So that helped. I still don’t know what I’m going to do with these stories I said I would do. I may call my editor and officially pull back for a while. I want to write. I just want this fear to go away of picking up the phone and calling people.
I defend my thesis in two days. I am so excited to finally do this! Feels like FOREVER since I turned it in–May has practically CRAWLED by so so slowly. But I’ll go off with Candy and Christy and have a good time with them and then do my business and be happy with it.
I got my second shot yesterday. So far no ill effects at all. I am so thankful! I need to soon go and get my lunch medicine so I don’t miss my pain coverage throughout the day. My pain in my side is still easing down but not enough for me to go without ibuprofen.
Bob will be home in just a bit. Hope everyone has a good holiday weekend. I took the shot; you can, too. Godspeed.
After I posted my last post I went to our bedroom and just laid down on the bed and started to cry. I mean loud, ugly crying. This went on for about fifteen minutes and when I stopped, I discovered my side where I had the contusion didn’t hurt as much any more. I was much, much more mobile. I think I had been holding in so much tension that i was actually hurting there more than I should have been. With the crying releasing the tension, I physically felt better.
I go see Tillie this afternoon to try and work out the rest of it. I’m going to have to take Bob back to work at lunch and my youngest will pick him up at five so I can still cook while waiting for them to get back. So we will see how it works.
I’m still locked up on writing. I’m going to try to do some internet research before I go and find a source that might be more willing to talk to me. Then maybe I can get over this attack of the shyness and make the calls I need to.
I need, need, need to have a manicure before I go up for my thesis reading–I’m going to try to schedule it for Friday
. I read a really interesting article on the NAMI website about prodromal symptoms in bipolar disorder. It discussed that if you mapped your emotions, etc. before an episode you can see patterns that tell you that you are about to have an episode before it fully develops. I’ve noticed that but didn’t have a name for it. I know sleeping in is one for me and depression, but sleeping in has now become such a part of my routine I’m not sure of that anymore. But it was informative.
I guess I’d better finish lunch and get on with everything else. Thanks so much for listening, y’all. Knowing I’m not just quacking into the void anymore is so, so helpful. I appreciate your support.
I am trying very hard not to despair.
I’ll get my MFA this August and have no idea what to do with myself after that.
The torrent of words I’ve always had in my mind has slowed to a drip, drip, drip. I can’t do the phone calls for my stories I’ve contracted to do. I’m just scared, confused, and SOOOOO upset with myself at possibly letting the dream die.
Maybe I just waited too long and got too old. Maybe the fire has gone out of me. Maybe the accident just knocked the wind out of me. Maybe the whole bloody year and a half of blows have staggered me.
I’m leaving a horrible example for my kids.
I thought I could outlast everything that had been working against me to keep me from following what I ultimately wanted to do. I’m almost there for the life I thought I always wanted. And there’s no THERE there.
I’m going to see Tillie tomorrow at two. And see if we can thrash this thing out.
Up early waiting on Candy and Christy to show up and on a friend of my youngest one to show up some time today–she is going to spend the night tonight. I got up just as Bob was leaving and got to give him a hug on the way out. Getting up hurts so much with my side hurting and the ibuprofen completely worn off. On occasion I also feel rough spots in my scratches and wind up pulling out a piece of glass with tweezers. That’s a lot of fun, too.
Need to make phone calls for my story this morning. My emails have not worked so I will have to move on with phone calls to other places. I love legislators who are too ashamed of their actions to answer questions about them. It makes things fun.
Sunday I will finish the program at the W and have my MFA degree by August. That’s going to be so nice. I look forward to going in and revising again. Maybe I can cut out a lot and add in more and keep it to 300 pages. I hope so. I’m looking forward to shopping it around. I’ll probably get turned down a lot, but that’s the nature of the beast. I’ll just have to put up with that part.
I need to keep reading and see what I can pull out of my craft books to say at my defense. I am going to read one more this week and then see if I have time to squeeze in another one before the defense begins. Two more I want to read. I should be able to finish that.
Hope everyone has a good week this week. I am doing my best to be upbeat today. I may still go back to bed, But I am trying to do better. Godspeed.
My oldest one’s wedding photos came in–she emailed me the album. Everyone looks so nice except me. I look like a cow. I HATE how I look. I wish someone had told me I looked so bad in that dress. I would have rather worn a jacket and shirt and pants than look that bad. I just can’t beleive I couldn’t tell beforehand. So sickening.
Anyway. I ache today. I took my ibuprofen today and still hurt like the dickens. I want to go back to bed but that doesn’t really help with the pain. I need to be up, I need to go to the grocery store, I just can’t slack off today. I just don’t feel well enough to do the things I need to do.
And I can’t spell–the last name of the person I interviewed for the last story is unusual and I didn’t get it right typing. I’ve had to send two messages back to my editor trying to fix it. I’m just a winner all over today, aren’t I?
I just feel like my life is profoundly off the rails today. I can’t get up in the morning, I can’t get hardly anything done, I just feel useless. I wish I could talk more positively but not today. I am so tired.
One day it will be better. Today is just not that day.
I guess I will stop here. Hope everyone else’s week is starting off well. Godspeed.
We went to church this morning and had a good Sunday School and service. Bob and I went down after the service to pray that he wil be healed of whatever made him pass out or that the doctors can find out what is going on and treat it. So that was good.
My hand that was so cut up is itchy today. I suppose that means it’s healing well on its own. But it’s uncomfortable because I don’t want to break the scabs and make the scarring worse that it already will be. I don’t hurt except where I had that chest contusion and it hurts enough to take care of all the rest. I just can’t get away from it except when I sleep at night–I take so much sleep stuff that I go to sleep, hurting or not.
Next week I may make it to church, I may not. Candy and Christy and I are going to leave Brandon around 10 a.m. and be ready for my defense by four p.m. I think church will run too long so I think I will just stay home so as to be ready whenever they get here to pick me up. *whew* It’s finally time, put up or shut up. I am so excited.
Bob’s going car shopping again this afternoon and see what else he can find. He says he’s not buying this weekend; he is just getting a feel for what’s out there. But he wants to wait until the insurance comes through. We will see.
Hopefully one of my stories will come out Monday and I will get back to work on the other two I’ve contracted for. I hope I can get more energized this week to do it all. I am so abjectly tired. I want to lie down this afternoon so I will have to see about that. See if my side will be calm enough that I can rest.
I am going to rest for about fifteen more minutes then get some kind of lunch together. We’re going to eat light so we don’t get to evening and skip dinner altogether because we’re not hungry. So I guess I’d better move along wit the other things I have to do. Hope everyone has a good weekend and a good week this week.
We go to my youngest’s dance recital tonight–then that will be the end of dance until next year. That’s not quite true–she has one event she can go to still and she might but we haven’t nailed it down yet. She will be in four dances tonight–including the first dance and the last dance. So no sneaking out early. It will be okay now that I haven’t had to endure so many competitions and whatnot. So that will be tonight.
Bob has headed out to search for another car. He is going to one dealership this morning and then several more after lunch then one tomorrow after church. Hopefully he will find what he needs and wants. He says he’s not going to buy this weekend–he wants the insurance to process and send him a check before he does that. So we will see.
I’m going without ibuprofen during the day but need them still at night so I can lie comfortably in the bed.
I am having such a hard time doing my work for my articles. I’m just so lacking in motivation. I don’t want to do ANYTHING at all. Money is not motivating me, nor savings, nor recognition, nor importance of stories, nor freedom to write–NOTHING. I don’t understand what is happening.
Pray for me as I try to write today. I have no choice but to do this today. Hope everyone is doing well this weekend. Godspeed.