Two More Months!

I'm due for my beginning-of-the-month Survey of Completed Sabbatical Work, which more often than not tends to be part of my Continued Sabbatical Freakout.

So here I am, ready to take stock of what I accomplished in November -- but surprisingly, even though this precious writing time is dwindling away, I'm significantly less freaked out than I was a month ago. I'm not finished with my Fairytale Poem -- but I've made good progress. I feel so much more sure of myself since I returned to the original storyline and began working revisions of those original lyric poems into the narrative. I realize that last sentence kinda sounds like a recipe for disaster, and I suppose it's very possible that the project could, indeed, turn out to be a disaster, but I'm confident that it won't. For now I'm confident, at least.

I finished reading Blank Verse: A Guide to Its History and Use by Robert B. Shaw yesterday, and I would like to go on record as saying that Robert B. Shaw is the jam. The Bomb. The Shit. Whatever kind of accolade/admiration you want to bestow on him, I support it whole-heartedly. I'm a little sad that my time reading this book is over. Even though the book covers the history of blank verse up until this century and focuses solely on the nuances of that particular meter, and even though it took me forever to finish a mere 272 pages of text -- I think it has been a marvelous supplement to the study I began in Julie Sheehan's Meter and Form class this summer. It reinforced some of what I learned in that class and then augmented it further -- not least by providing a long (long) reading list of poems and poets.

I'm super-behind in my sabbatical reading -- or rather, super-behind when it comes to the books that I'd intended to read. I suppose I've still time to accomplish this, but I may just have to turn in a revised reading list to the sabbatical committee in February. I have been reading all along, but I haven't stuck to the original list as much as I thought. Sometime soon, but when I have some more time (i.e. not Right Before The Kids Are About to Wake and Get Ready for School) I'll write a post that details the work I'd outlined in my sabbatical proposal (writing and reading) and the work I've done so far. I'll try not to be too redundant -- I've already outlined my progress in writing pretty thoroughly in this blog, I think -- but the comparison might be useful when it comes time to write my sabbatical report. Also, it might give me some good perspective regarding what I can hope to accomplish during these last two months, particularly with the holiday season upon us.

So, anyway, about that recap:

At this point, I have 19/20 fable poems, six myth poems and six fairytale poems. If my approximate outline for the fairytale poem turns out to be accurate, I'll have a total of 10-15 poems for the fairytale when finished, or approximately 20-30 pages of poetry for that section. And the myths . . . I have no idea. I'm just writing them as they come. The last thing I want is for this section to seem forced. Right now, I think it's going to finish the book, and I don't want to write one of those collections that's front-loaded with the good stuff but peters out to mediocrity by the end.

The Thanksgiving week was rough in terms of productivity -- almost no new writing done. I DID, however, manage to scan my myth poems to check for any accidental, weak substitutions in the meter, and revise accordingly. Thus, I have about four myth poems that I think are more-or-less ready for submission to magazines. I'll have a better idea of what I think about these revisions once I run them by A.P. when we meet later today.

First, however, I have to meet with our campus dean at 10 a.m. It's part of the promotion process at our school -- submit application in June, submit peer review forms in September and October, and then Meet with Dean in November/December. Then he and other members of various committees meet to discuss applications in January, and then you find out the fate of your application in February. If you are deemed worthy of promotion, you begin working under your new title in the beginning of the new academic year (September). Thus it takes more than a year to be considered for promotion (not counting the three, four, or five years you have to wait out between promotions, depending on your level of advancement). It all seems a bit convoluted, does it not? But I guess that's the way they have to do it.

Wish me luck. More about the writing and the sabbatical stuff later, I suppose! Now it's time to feed my babies and clothe them (providing the dryer does its magic . . . faster, dryer, faster! The Doodle needs dry underwear, and the Girl, rather perversely for her, is insisting on wearing jeans . . . the jeans that are in the dryer.) Then it's on to feeding and clothing myself, and then the drive to daycare, then work, then the meeting with the Dean, and then -- finally -- Poem Friday can begin.

Yay Poem Friday!


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