11.15.2010

Maniacal Monday: Let's Nano at Last!

Hello, hello! It's been approximately a very long time since last I posted anything. I have slightly more excuse than usual (Krispy is my shining bloggerstar) because I have been furiously finishing my thesis that I might earn my MFA in Creative Writing and have a beautiful piece of paper to stick on my wall and admire while I'm eating Cup o' Noodle and wearing holey socks and trying to write, as my father so fondly hopes, the next Harry Potter.

Yesterday I printed out three copies of my thesis novel at Staples and today I handed it in. Two years of grad school, two years of slave labor, two years of feedback and critique and the support of the most amazing and talented classmates and professors, and I have completed my first novel. (Well, second. Technically my first novel was my first NaNoWriMo effort, entitled The Magical Valley and the Search for Pooka, and I made no effort to make it anything other than a silly magical romp of romping magical silliness.)

Want to know what two years of grad school workshop looks like?


The neatly stacked bit at the pinnacle is one copy of my monstrous thesis, which sounds really exciting if I describe it as an pan-mythological apocalyptic urban fantasy, though when you read it it's probably not nearly as exciting.

The rest is two years' worth of workshop: say, 4 to 5 submissions per semester x 4 semesters, x 8 to 10 copies of each submission (one for each classmate and the prof to write crtique upon), x 20-30 pages per submission + 3 thesis copies x 530 pages each = a two-foot-tall stack of paper. Fortunately my writing program offered basic free printing.

It was a long hard road and a long hard haul, but ultimately quite rewarding. I like to think that I have grown as a writer.


When I earned my driver license, I titled myself Alz, Scourge of the Roads. Now I'm thinking I should add another title: Alz, Killer of Trees.

Now that the crazy is over with, I'm ready to relax by tackling NaNoWriMo. Yes, after all that summer-into-fall thesis frenzy, NaNoWriMo is my idea of relaxation. I'm not going to be writing a novel. Instead this is going to be creative playtime, to flex my writerly muscles and pursue other tones, points of view, stories, and magical zombie unicorns. You can watch my progress on my NaNo page here. I re-activated my account today after handing in my thesis and asking myself, "Alz, do you really want to try writing 50,000 words in two weeks after you just wrote a novel and have to wait a month for your pass/fail notice?"

I said to myself, "Yes, Alz. Yes I do."

9 comments:

Emy Shin said...

Congratulations on finishing your thesis! It sounds both scary and amazing -- and good luck with NaNo. :)

Melissa said...

Congrats on your thesis. That looks like a crazy amount of work. Amazing!!!

Krispy said...

ALZ I LOVE YOU, AND I LOVE YOUR THESIS!!! <3 Congrats again my darling pumpkin! :D

It is as exciting as it sounds. I wish you had told me that description earlier so that I didn't have to fumble around when trying to describe to my inquiring coworkers as to what it was I was reading and what it was about.

I was like, Uh, there's a girl who's traveling around with the Destroyer, who is trying to get her infamy back? It's a fantasy, but there's technology? To which my co-worker said, oh like Magi-tech? To which I said, Um...sure???

Ahem, but yes. YAY!

Christina Lee said...

wowee--- good job, you! And here's to Cup O' Noodles!

Nayuleska said...

Congrats on finishing! It's a fab moment :) Enjoy the freedom! And hope you get lots of words in for Nano :)

Lydia Kang said...

Whoa, that is one big pile of dead tree!
Congrats on your thesis!

Alz said...

Thanks, everyone! I was pretty OMG when I stacked up everything and took some measurements because it's such a massive amount of paper...but worthwhile paper, with tons of good critique and feedback scribbled all over, and at least it's all biodegradable.

Elana Johnson said...

AWESOME!! What an amazing amount of work you've put in. You should be proud.

ali said...

Ha! Hi Alz! We haven't met ~ Krispy's been keeping me company all these months. But your post was SO funny and I feel doubly excited to be able to read this awesome blog by two super awesome writers.

Welcome back and welcome to NaNoville!