Reading Out of Focus...
The month of November was, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding and active in all of my writing career. This may or may not include my dissertation in 1998. Needless to say, something was going to give out, and, to all certainty, it was my reading. I've got four books to read the rest of the year and I probably won't get to the end of the list. I am sure there's no sin in that--I often have books that I forward to the new years' list. But keeping in mind that I will only be reading "Classics" next year, it will be another year or so before I can get to these four or five books. It's okay. I am resigned to this.
The bursts of writing still occur, but I decided to take off a couple of days after completing NaNoWriMo, and I believe it has been worth it to rest. I think my wife is more excited about the novel than I am, really. Of course the draft needs vast revision/editing, but all in all grammar and mechanics should not cause a problem during this time. I find it difficult to believe it, when I see the printed draft on my desk at work and at home, that I actually did this; that the first ever conception of a character and a plot finally came to fruition after so many years (at least 15 years, that is). The other day I reviewed all of my files, drafts of short stories, novels and other writings I have kept over the years, published and unpublished, and was happy to see that now the process of bursting them open and let everything come out is more palpable to me. This also applies to the non-fiction. I began a short essay when my father died three years ago which is now beginning to look like another possibility. There are so many things I want to tell.
Teaching has been tough in the last couple of weeks. Trying to teach MLA standards to a bunch of high school aged girls seems like an impossible task at times. They all seem so busy with other things... media trends, television shows, the Internet has become an extension of their social life, as more and more of them interact and share "space" where there is, in reality, no space at all. Often times they act like automatons, digesting whatever they see online or television as if it were the gospel of success. It's discouraging, but as long as I have one willing student, I will make some endeavour.