Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The beauty of hand writing a brainstorm

I breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, I'm back on track. I feel like my inspiration is back. It's the old pressure kicking in. I sat down and made a list and a calender of all the stuff I've got to do this semester (I have about 6 different categories and have taped a little timeline above my computer (conferences and conference papers, possible journal submissions..., class papers, and my Thanksgiving trip to New York, which I'm not going to give up because I gave it up last year and had a very boring and unpreductive Thanksgiving anyway) and it's pressure cooking me. I wrote an email to my committee telling them that I would be turning in my thesis next week. I knew that telling them that would make me get my show on the road. So, my prof says today, "Oh, so you're done with your thesis!" And I'm like... Erm... Well, I figured if I told you that I would HAVE to finish next week.

I just sat down and wrote (in red pen) all over my outline. Handwriting things on paper really helps sometimes. When you're doing everything on the computer, it's too easy to get seduced by the idea of just cutting and pasting from previous papers or brainstorms into the thesis without working it out how it fits exactly into my argument. So, writing it out helps. Now I'm working out the idea of the deus ex machina, as related to the appearance of the Yoruba god Esu-Legba in the story Viaje a la Semilla by Alejo Carpentier. Habila's appearance in his novel creates a similar trauma to the structure of the story, and acts as a kind of deus ex machina. Yet, the author is not able to SOLVE problems, there is no denoument; however, by playing with the structure and the time, he is able to suggest alternate possibilities which can become part of the social imagination of the community... (which fits in with what Soyinka said in his interview with Habila.) Oh lovely, lovely, lovely. I love my thesis again! Yay!

Now at the risk of losing momentum, I am going to go to bed. I read when I googled "writer's block" the other day... A very sneaky form of procrastination... that sometimes it helps to stop when it's flowing because your idea will stay on your brain and make you want to get started the next day. I know for a fact that doesn't always work. I've lost a lot of time and momentum by not continuing something when the inspiration is there. But I'm going to try it for tonight because I've got to wake up early and try to get into this Victorian literature class in the English Department tomorrow morning. I emailed the prof. last semester during registration and he said that the class was already full (even though the website showed 8 spots still open--I suppose they were reserving them for incoming English MA students), but that I was the first on the waiting list. When I emailed him again last week, he made it sound like it was going to be really hard to get in. (According to my roommate who is in the English department, there are a record number of new MA students this year) So, I'll go beg him tomorrow, since English is supposed to be my minor, plus this looks like a really interesting class. The name is Victorian Others/Other Victorians.

If he doesn't let me in, I'll take it as a sign from God that I should minor in something else... like Film. I hate the idea of giving up the English thing, but REALLY have started feeling like I need to take some film classes. I need to know so much more than I know.

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