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Fri, Feb. 24th, 2006, 03:52 pm
Writing Progress

So, as usual, I’ve got one more writing project than I can really handle on my plate right now.  Fortunately, my advisor has been really supportive and helpful, and I’m turning out about 2,000 words a day of workable material.  Not good material, I will point out, but at least workable.

Right now I’m working on a book chapter for a book on “new literacies” - basically, trying to take a critical look at actual creative practices instead of narrowly defining literacy as being able to produce and consume school-based media like textbooks.  I’m writing about, surprise surprise, role-playing, and I’m looking at it in light of theories of reading and reader response.  I doubt I’m the first person to do work on this, though, so if anyone knows of scholarly work that looks at agency, authority and literacy in role-playing I’d really appreciate the pointer.  Deadline isn’t until late April/early May, so I’ve got some time, but sooner is better if I’m actually going to have time to read your recommendations.

I’m also doing a rework of the same study from a cognitive stance, looking at mental models and diegetic worlds, which is going much slower, as I’m not yet as much of an expert in cognitive stuff as I think I need to be.  (Particularly as I should be hearing in a couple of weeks whether I’m going to be graduating in the cognitive studies department!)

Some days it’s hard, living in four or five intellectual worlds at once.  Sometimes, though, it’s just fun.  Fortunately today’s one of the latter days.

Anyhow, the reason that I was thinking about this is because I just got my first issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, and I came across their section of awards and prizes.  You know, there are a lot of awards out there for first collections of poetry, and this got me thinking about why I haven’t written much poetry since starting grad school.  Then it hit me: I only have so many words in me, and right now they’re all going into academic projects (with a few spared here, for blogging).

Hence, a decision - I am going to apply for a month-long writers’ residency in upstate New York this summer.  While I am there, I will do no academic work.  Instead, I will try to turn my half-finished collection of poems into a finished one, in time to send it off to publishers and competitions next year.  I’ve been working on this collection, off and on, for the past seven or eight years, but it’s never been a first priority.  Well, I’m going to finish up my book chapters and journal article by May, I hope, and then this little-project-that-could will get its shot.

Well, probably.  Unless I come up with something even more tempting to do.  :)