Okay, have you ever had one of those days? Perhaps a couple of those days in a row? How about an entire week? Maybe a week and a half? I have had almost a month now of “those days” and all Hell’s broken loose! Without getting too personal on the internet, there are school issues, family issues, mental health issues (probably the most important in this list as far as fixing things goes), and anniversary date issues. Throw in deadlines, writer’s block, and the relative lack of interest of other people on earth regarding these problems during their own pandemic-stricken schedules, and you have a dystopia—for me, at least . . . It is a good thing that I write dystopian fiction! Fuel and fodder for the fire! I did not really need a fire, but I have so many burning in my life right now that it is difficult to settle the priority of each into a nice, neat list. There is no outline or manual for life. Life is messy. Much messy-ness is going on right now in mine and I would like the merry-go-round to slow just long enough for me to orient myself in some sort of direction! I am not even asking for it to stop!
On a good note, though, this craziness has forced me into so many corners that I have to deal with one or another of them right now, so I decided to deal with the deadlined ones first. Those would be the school deadlines. My graduate program is awesome so far, and this term has been so great. I cannot let it go now, only a week and a few days away from the end of the term! I work remarkably well under pressure (and with the help of my psychiatrist) considering that I have a mental illness from military service, and I managed to break through the writer’s block after my doctor called to check on me and see if I was okay. It was just the gesture of kindness that I needed to renew my faith in mankind and the point of all of this—to become a better writer. Yes, the “A” would be nice, but ultimately, I want to be a better writer. That is what I am really aiming for. My doctor reminded me that the training was the point, not the grade, and the writer’s block vanished. POOF! Praise God!
Now that I have submitted both my final paper for the term and the smaller weekly paper that was due, I have been able to breathe a little bit and deal with things like sleep, eating, exercising, and did I mention breathing? Breathing is extremely important. Oxygen does a body good (on this planet, at least). I am relieved that, even though those two papers may not have been my best work ever, they were darn good, and I still have until tomorrow at midnight to resubmit edits and revisions to either one or both of them. Right now, though, I am rewarding myself for all of my hard work this last week in dealing with stressors and crises by reading a new graphic novel that I bought at Barnes & Noble today. It is a dystopian tale that I had not heard of before, and it was written first as a novel, and this book that I purchased today is a graphic novel adaptation of that book. If I like it, I will definitely put the title and author up on this blog for you, my readers. I am hesitant to do so before I have read through it because if I do not like it, I am not going to comment on it. I like to give good reviews online, and especially to those who have pledged their readership to my blog. I want to give you the titles and authors that you might enjoy, rather than the ones that may likely be duds for you.
I must say, though, that after working with two of my favorite texts and dissecting them over and over, six ways from Sunday for ten weeks, I do understand the concept of book burning! Just kidding, but I am definitely over these two books for a significant period of time once the end of the term is here in another week. I worked long and hard at marking a copy of both texts up in such a fashion as to be useful to me in the future as examples of gruelling and desperate grasping for the deepest understanding of storytelling elements, literary conventions, and themes ever undertaken in my literary career. In other words, they are unreadable unless you are me, which is why I bought an extra copy of each in case I ever feel like reading them for pleasure again, which will be far, far in the future. I can tell you where everything in these two texts is, though, from metaphor to onomatopoeia and beyond! It has been a good exercise in reading as a writer, though, and that was the point of the entire term. I must admit that it was an extremely useful exercise that has forever changed the way I read books!
One tip: If you are ever in a position to choose your own texts to “read as a writer”, choose short texts. Believe me, you do not want to read the almost 1000 pages that I had to and remember every detail of every page! Or maybe you do . . . but I would recommend that only to masochists and people who deserve to burn in the personal Hell they have created for themselves out of sheer stupidity and not listening to good common sense and gut instinct. Just saying.