Thursday, November 29, 2012

Preparing Instructional Media

I know my avid readers are clamoring for my latest experiences in the world of Graduate Studies in Library and Information Science. So here's a bone.

Actually, it's a web-portfolio of my projects and reflections for LIS 6303: Preparing Instructional Media. It is my final project and should be completed by the end of this week. It has all the interesting things we learned to use in a pedagogical manner like blogging, podcasting, screencasting, presentation software, social bookmarking (which includes Pinterest) and Wikis.

So there, you can't tell me I don't show you something exciting every now and then.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Hard to Call it Quits

A slight exaggeration, but how I feel

When to hang it up

So. It turns out I was unable to write the next great American novel during the month of November in the year 2012. I got thrown off a week ago & have not been able to recover. I plan to continue plodding through it at my own pace & definitely learned a lot about the creative process--but it wasn't to be.

I was able to push myself to creative places that I had never been before. I explored dialog & music & tension between characters that I had only heard or read of, but never wrote before. I began chapters with an intention & ended with something totally different because my main character simply had a mind of his own & thought his own thoughts or did his own thing. I was telling a story that was formed in my mind about someone totally different. It was at once completely me, yet outside of me.

This may sound strange. That would be because it is strange. I don't know if this is the normal writing process. From what I hear, everyone has their own writing process. What I do know is that I will likely not finish 50,000 words by December 1. Not when I have to write 3,700+ words per day until the end of the month to finish on time.

Back to Grad School

I have been working on school projects in addition to this creative one. I've been putting together instructional media & a full-fledged research proposal. I am enjoying it a lot. I am also pleased to report that I have been doing well in these projects & expect to finish well academically this semester.

I am well past the middle of my Grad School career & have been casting a wandering eye at my spring/summer coarse load, Fall internship & potential job market in 2014. Ahh!! 2014?!? Can't we finish 2012 first?!? I wish we could. But that's not the world we live in.

Reflections

But I am glad to pause & reflect on how far we've come. (I include my lovely wife with the we because I drag her through some interesting times with this whole graduate school thing.) I suppose that's another thing I can add to my Thanksgiving gratitude list.

So here's to life! Because it goes on.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NaNoWriMo: A break from writing

National November Writing Month

Last year, at around Veterans Day I first heard of nanowrimo. I thought it was an awesome community of writers trying to scratch out their little novel in an action-packed, mondo-caffeinated, no-shuteye sort of way.

The idea is to write a 50,000 word story from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. Just write the words to get the idea out. Don't change the words through any editing. Last year, I vowed that I would participate in 2012. So here I am, already some 3,000 words behind (but making a furious comeback). Come December 1, I hope to have a huge, 50,000 word piece of crap novel to call my own.

My working title is Lonely, As A Cloud. Yes, a shout out to William Wordsworth, OK? Here's the crappy beginning to my future best seller:

It was another one of those nights. 
He turned this way. He turned that way. He tucked his knees up to his chest. He stretched his toes out just beyond the blankets. But still, his eyes were crusted open as he stared at the familiar shadows of his bedroom and took note of the purple, swirling darkness.
It was not fear that gripped him, though he had felt the kind of fear which creates a racket in the chest--much like a Cuban 9-year-old girl’s birthday party which lasts until two AM and all you want to do is pretend you’re asleep so whatever it is you’re scared of won’t notice you but you know they can hear your heartbeat clear across town.
It also wasn't excitement. He had nothing special to look forward to in the morning. He had no special outing planned or a love-note he was going to send to a special girl or a gift that was sure to come to him at the crack of dawn.
Nor did he dread the next morning. There was no mid-term in geometry class or dog that needed to be put down ever so clinically.
No, it was none of that.
Taylor Van Embden was just too tired to rest.
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