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    Sobriquet 41.6

    Monday, April 7, 2008
    Although it isn't particularly late and while I'm not especially tired, I am going to just post a quick little entry and be off with it. Today was a surprisingly good day, especially considering it was my first day back at work after a week's break. I read the section of Disgrace I'd set out for myself and wrote some more of the dissertation chapter on The Master of Petersburg, so I have no complaints.

    Also, for anyone interested, my essay "Remembering Norman Mailer" finally made its way into the latest issue of Logos.

    For tomorrow: Busy day, so just try to read some more of Disgrace.

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    Tuesday, January 8, 2008
    Well, I finished transcribing the pile of quotations I had been working on. Twenty-two pages! Single-spaced, no less. Seriously, for a section I had planned to be between five and ten pages in the dissertation, it seems absurd to have spent so much time preparing notes and such.

    I also revised the edited version of the essay I submitted. I found that I agreed with several of my editor's changes. I also came to realize that I may have written the essay in a style not wholly consistent with the publication's format. In the end, I changed quite a bit of my own work, took several suggestions I thought were really helpful, and tried to write a revision that fulfilled my editor's vision of the piece while still retaining my voice and vision.

    As a writer of sorts, I suppose that this is the sort of thing you have to do. You know, accept criticism gracefully. And I think I have. Still, it has been amazing to reflect upon the changes I found most offensive. You learn a good deal about yourself when you consider why certain phrases or word choices are sooooo important...I think it turned out nicely, though. I may, however, keep the original version as a piece to use on this website (it is, after all, not just this blog) because I rather like that version, too.

    So, I am going to call it a night.

    I will, however, direct anyone who may be interested in such things to Six Sentences, a neat little blog run by Robert McEvily. Basically, the premise is simple: you write a complete story in six sentences, no more, no less. I thought it would be a fun way to blow off some steam, so I submitted a flash fiction piece, which appeared today.

    For tomorrow: Wrap-up the pre-writing. Have some fun.

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    Monday, January 7, 2008
    Well, after struggling to get myself into gear, I did manage to sit down and get a good chunk of transcription done and I should have no problem finishing up tomorrow. I would have liked to have finished today, but I'd rather not push myself to stay up later than I should, especially with the new semester beginning in less than a week.

    I also got the "edited" version of the essay I worked on over break. Initially, my response was not a positive one because my editor changed so much of my wording as to render the text more or less unrecognizable at first glance. Yes, the general structure and some of the phrasing remained mine, but I feel a bit too much was changed for me to really feel comfortable attaching my name to the text. I have to decide whether I will simply revise the revision into a more agreeable compromise or if I will request that my editor place publish the essay as a co-authored text, with the two of us sharing the byline. I mean, I am completely comfortable with the role of an editor and I usually don't make much of a fuss if something I write is altered to better suit the publication's readership, but, for whatever reason, I am uncomfortable with some of the phrasing, if only because it seems to reflect someone else's ideas rather than my own; if I can change it to sound more like my own writing again, I imagine, things will go well.

    I just find that I am wrestling with the need to publish and the desire to represent myself as accurately as possible in print. Fortunately, my editor sounds pretty willing to allow me to tweak the "liberties" he took with my writing. In any case, I think the best thing I can do is take a look at it in the morning when my emotions are not as immediate and then, with a night buffering me from the initial reaction, I will reassess the situation and take it from there.

    In any case, I have been reading a few pages of The Master of Petersburg, and I have been enjoying it. It's nice to read Coetzee's prose again after having spent so much time reading other people's interpretations of it. I also finished listening to an audio recording of Chuck Palahniuk's excellent Invisible Monsters, which I enjoyed immensely. I really enjoy reading Palahniuk or Kurt Vonnegut whenever I am stressed over school or burnt out after a particularly draining period of academic work.


    Well, although it is only a bit after two, I am going to call it a night and try to get myself rested for the homestretch. Thanks for reading!

    For tomorrow: Finish the transcription, work on editing the edited revision of the essay, and otherwise prepare to begin writing the chapter...

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    Sunday, January 6, 2008
    Well, today started off as another one of those sleep-in-a-bit-too-long days where I don't start working until after I would have liked to have finished. Luckily for me, though, today's work consisted largely of transcribing notes and copying quotes, which is essentially mindless. I spent a few hours plugging away at the keyboard, typing some ten pages or so of quotes and listening to Social Distortion, Against Me! (you gotta love a band that turns "Condoleeza" into a catchy refrain), and Agent Orange. I think I am more than halfway through the transcription process but, after so many weeks of tedious reading, an extra day or two of typing sounds kinda nice, if only because I can listen to music while doing so. Plus, as the pages scroll by, I do get to feel a distinct sense of accomplishment.

    In any case, I heard from my editor today and it looks like the essay I wrote will be published soon. Coincidentally, I saw that an essay I wrote on Don DeLillo made its appearance in a journal and a short piece of flash fiction I wrote (just to play with the form, really) will be published on Monday. So I feel encouraged by all that positive stuff.

    Well, again, it is after four in the morning, so I will keep this brief and sign off.

    For tomorrow: More pre-writing. Oh, and have fun with my friend.

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