Oh my. I feel like I have been on a blogging hiatus. I assure you, that was not the plan. Things are hectic (more so than usual, even) right now and it has been a challenge to find the time to blog. Especially since the things that have been happening have more to do with school and exams than with anything remotely interesting. Nevertheless, I am back with an enormous post for you to devour. It has been divided into Topics to make it more manageable.
Topic 1: What Happened in Creative Writing Class
Do you guys remember those little "flash-fiction" pieces I posted about the old gas station attendant named Neilson? (Don't have the foggiest inclination what I'm talking about? Click here and here for a peek into the past.) Well. I might have cheated a bit in Creative Writing and turned in slightly modified versions of those pieces instead of creating something new for two of our assigned exercises. (And by might, I mean I totally did.)
I got the second one back last week with the word "outstanding" written across the top. This compliment put an idea in my head. Or, rather, it put me in a bold enough mood to let an idea out of my head. I waited around after class and approached my professor (who, incidentally, is my current role model) with this previously stated idea. This is what was said after I shared the idea:
"Does that sound completely crazy?" I asked.
"Not at all. I think that could really work," she replied. "It reminds me of the novel The House on Mango Street. Have you read that?"
"No. I've never read anything remotely like that. That's why I thought it might be crazy."
"Oh, well you should definitely see that one." She wrote down the title and author for me.
Are you guys understanding what just happened in that little conversation up there? I think it might be a little foggy still, so I'll just spell it out now. I'm doing something completely insane with those two pieces of flash fiction. I'm trying to turn them into a part of something bigger.
Dear Lord, help me. I've fallen off the deep end and I'm afraid there's no pulling me back out. If this goes well I will become completely consumed with it. If it goes badly, I'll be in mourning until I think of something else. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What have I done? What am I going to be doing? Oh bother.
This is the part where I start pleading for help and/or miracles: If you're at all religious, pray for my sanity. If you're Catholic, do that little cross thing. If you're Irish, send some luck my way. If you're Harry Potter, kindly lend me Hermione bearing the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw. If you're a novelist, send me a list of pointers. Or, if you're none of those things but you are one of my wonderful readers, please bear with me if I'm a little scatterbrained in the near future, and be understanding if this new project becomes my first "flop." (Which it very well might.) Or, you know, if it does happen to become something some day...take pity; buy a copy.
I also received the feedback from my creative-nonfiction essay which I posted here earlier this month. And by "received feedback," I mean that she read it aloud to the class.
Slightly unnerved? Most definitely.
A little proud? Of course.
The only criticism (which I completely agreed with) was terrific advice about how to fix the sloppy ending.
Topic 2: Announcing the Traveling Notebook
Last month I received an email from my blogging friend Kess. She told me about an amazing project sponsored by Anna of Beyond the Misty Stars. Anna purchased a notebook and dedicated a few pages to her autobiography. Then she mailed it on to Kess of The Passing Place, who decided to give it to me. I've had the notebook in my possession for quite some time now, and until last Friday I couldn't think of what to say. (I mean, how am I supposed to sum up who I am in a few pages?)
My pages are almost complete now, and I'm planning to mail the book on to Iida of With My Head in the Clouds by Thursday. (I've had some trouble printing the photos.) Before I ship it off though, I want to share my pages with you. Expect those images late Wednesday or Thursday.
If you're interested in becoming a part of the project, email Iida. She might send it to you next. If she has already chose a successor, your best bet would be to contact Anna.
Topic 3: Even More Awards
Sarita, Jon and Lexa were kind enough to send some more awards my way. Sarita and Jon bestowed the Sunshine Award on my blog. (This gives me a grand total of 5 Sunshine Awards. Good heavens. I'm flattered beyond belief.)
Lexa passed along The Beautiful Blogger Award. This is the first time I've received this one. It's rules are as follows: I must first thank the bestower of the award. (Thanks again, Lexa!!) Then I post the award on my blog and share seven things about myself. (I have seven "topics" in this post. I think that counts.) Next I pass it on to recently discovered fantastic bloggers. (Congratulations to Fairytale Hausfrau! I'm new to your blog, but I'm absolutely loving it, dear. Keep up the excellent blogging.) Of course, I must contact the winner to acknowledge their accomplishment. (Doing that as soon as I hit the "PUBLISH POST" button...)
Topic 4: The Editing of the Rules of BotM Awards
Since I cannot keep up with ANY project I start, (Does this mean my new novel-y project is doomed from the outset?) I've decided to change the rules of BotM. I really can't keep up with finding a new and exciting blog to fuss over each month. It isn't that there aren't plenty of them out there, or because I don't want to, because there are and I most certainly do. It's that I am so busy trying to get this last semester of EKU over with that I can hardly breathe, toss down coffee and keep up with my own blog, let alone go on a quest to find a new one each month.
However, I'm not ready to kick this idea into the bin just yet. I'm just going to change one word of the title. Instead of "Blogger of the Month" awards, I'm going to be giving out "Blogger of the Moment" awards. The criteria for the award is the same, but the naming is now more random. I think it actually adds to the prestige of the award. Now you KNOW I love the blog to which I bestow the award. There isn't any possibility of it having been a "whim" or "last minute decision." (Makes sense, right?) Plus, this actually increases everyone's chances of earning a BotM trophy-button because there is the slight possibility of there being multiple winners in the same month.
Anyhoo, I have selected my next BotMoment. I will eventually get around to announcing her and giving her a trophy. In fact, I might get around to doing that sooner now that I don't have an annoying self-imposed deadline.
Topic 5: My Dishes, Oh My Dishes...
This is more of a confession than a topic.
Since I pride myself on being honest with you guys, I feel I need to share. Remember way back in this post how I was talking about having a system? I was so happy about having my own apartment. I had schedules and plans for keeping it tidy.
I succeeded in keeping up with all those schedules and plans except one. Maybe it's best to just spit it out?
Brianne and I went a WHOLE MONTH without doing dishes.
There. I said it. But before you squint your face up in disgust, know that all of those dishes were pre-washed. It isn't like they were covered in disgusting food. Also, we were actually continuously washing them for the entire month, because we just washed them as we needed them. And as they sat there on the counter, mocking me, they were doing so from nicely arranged and sorted stacks. I mean, I'm not a total slob.
Does that make it a little bit better?
Topic 6: Wrapping Up Our Nashville (Spring Break 2010) Vacation
I have a few more photos of the trip to share with you guys. These are from our last night in Nashville at the AFI concert. (Yes, our second time seeing them.) Kylie and Brianne, more ardent fans, pushed their way into the front of the crowd. Courtney and I preferred our comfortable seating in the back, far from foot-stomping and rib-elbowing.
Photo credits for the last two images go to Courtney Spradling. :)
Topic 7: In Which I Announce That I Have the Most Amazing Readers in the World
And I mean that, from the very bottom of my heart.
You guys rock.
You encourage, strengthen and flatter me, but you also keep me in check.
It's a hard balance to manage, but you do it well.
Because I don't know if I say it enough:
Sitting there, reading these words.
Thank you. :)
Have a wonderful week.