The Final Countdown (Doo-Doo-Doo-Doooo, Dee Dee Deet-Deet Doooo, Doo Doo Doo Doooo, Dee Dee Deet-Deet Dooo)

Welp, that was fast. Where the hell did December go?

Because I'm obsessive about things like this, here are the stats on my manuscript:

• 19 fable ("sow") poems (one poem per page)

• 15 pages of the fairy tale poem

• 7 myth poems (12 pages)

I'm close to finishing the fairy tale poem -- as far as creating the first draft, that is. It's going to need revision -- places in the verse where the lines are too much like prose, too little like poetry (found through A.P.'s valuable close reading and feedback, and my own compulsion to reread my previous work before writing more) but I'm interested in completing the tale before I go back and nit-pick (important nit-picking, but nit-picking nonetheless when compared to the narrative).

I know that once I'm finished with the first draft of the fairy tale poem I'll begin to revise my first draft of the verse play -- the first and second scenes, specifically. They need to be revised before I write the rest of the play because they were written at a time when I had only a vague (very, very vague) idea of what I was doing when it came to metrical verse . . . and for continuity's sake, I wish that the first real draft of the play be written more or less in the same time period of my life -- not in bits and pieces over years.

What I'd like to do, then, and what I see happening (maybe? with luck?) over the next few weeks is this:

• Finishing the fairy tale poem before my return to teaching

• Writing at least one more myth poem before my return to teaching

• Revising some (if not all) of the first draft of the verse play (before *ahem* my return to teaching)

Once school begins, I'll use my mornings to write, and I'll eek out as much of the verse play as I can within six weeks. Why six weeks, you might ask? Because my official report on my sabbatical is due on March 6 -- eight weeks after my return.

I realize that technically the sabbatical is over and that I should simply turn in whatever I finished writing as of December 21, or whenever classes ended in 2011, instead of racing to finish my play. (It's so awesome that I don't even know when the last day of classes were -- I totally *heart* sabbatical.) That, however, would be totally against my nature, which is determined to lead me not down the Path of Least Resistance, but down the Path of Whatever Will Drive Me More Fu**ing Crazy.

Of course, I have more serious reasons for this plan, too. My most serious and important reason is that I want to remain a writer even though I've returned to teaching. I've spent too many years letting my teaching and service career at the college overshadow my writing career -- or maybe not too many, but just enough, because all that work over those years were necessary to get me to this point, this past semester, my sabbatical, which has been so precious to me, and, I might venture, incredibly fruitful. (Wow, those were a lot of commas, huh? Too bad my prose writing didn't improve.)

Also, it would be sweet if I could turn over to the Sabbatical Committee all of the documents I outlined in my sabbatical proposal.

I have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks, though, in addition to the writing I've listed above: course outlines to prep, homework assignments and tests to create, reading and lecture writing for the new class I'm teaching (The Short Story). And there's the work for the Creative Writing Festival, which is a labor of love but also creates a lot of labor, period.

A lot of writers have been posting New Year's Resolutions on their blogs. I feel like I can't really get my head around 2012 until I've more or less put to rest what I began in 2011 -- this manuscript. Once I've finished the fairy tale poem, perhaps I'll celebrate my own little private new year: a year filled with more writing, and less nonsense.

Days Until Reality Sets In: 19

P.S. If you have the patience to watch the awesome video I linked above, I have these questions for you: Can you believe that many people ever went to a Europe concert? And just how awesome is Joey Tempest's hair and lipstick?!!! And who gave them all of those gold records?

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