In my former job, I did plenty of presentations, often to hostile audiences, on the software I developed that would change the way they did their jobs (hence the hostility). It's not that hard to take a verbal thrashing from people when you're slightly overpaid.
But I'm not getting paid for this. Quite the opposite.
Here's the tricky thing: if we are in the creative writing track (I am), we have the option of doing an 'annotated creative reading.' What is that? Apparently, we are to give the context leading up to the part of the work we are reading, read the excerpt, then follow with context (like what happens next).
That's not that huge of a problem for me - I've read my work in public. Once I cried. Once I made the room laugh out loud. Note to self to read something funny and not sad. Very uncool to cry in class.
Many other students in class are equally terrified of reading in public. At least I'm not alone. I have the added benefit of being old enough to be their mom - I think age toughens us up a bit and gives us perspective. I delivered a baby that was more than 10 pounds - nothing can really be more difficult than that, can it? I've had a thyroid biopsy where a doctor warned me to hold my neck very still while he poked it repeatedly as if he were doing liposuction for thirty seconds and repeated it three times. I'm due for another. This little conference is nothing compared to that.
One thing about the project I don't exactly get is how to do an annotated bibliography (or a bibliography at all) for creative writing - except for historical fiction, that I get completely. I'm on my first draft of my first historical fiction piece, and I'm not ready to share it quite yet. Plus, it's really dark and has the potential to make me cry - definitely a no for my first college reading.
If I pick something else, like my last novel, I don't see where the research element plays in. My characters are generally mentally ill to one degree or another - maybe I'm supposed to research that sort of thing or the color and shape of the anti-depressant my MC takes or the details on the bottle of liquor she turns to when she decides to stop taking her meds. Do I write an entry for my trip to the liquor store?
In addition to the bibliography, we have to turn in an abstract. I'm guessing this will translate into a synopsis for creative writing, which is probably a good thing to practice doing. Odd and sort of awkward to be graded on it.
*If you have experience writing annotated bibliographies for creative writing, please feel free to clue me in. I'll even let you do a guest post if you want.*
I do intend to ask the professor if my assumptions are correct, but we don't have class until Saturday, where I have to present something else. And in one week after that, we have to commit to our topic for our research paper/creative reading.
I feel compelled to take the easier route and just write a research paper on some aspect of the research I'm doing for my historical novel. It would be much like writing here but with a stack of books next to my laptop instead of whatever random thoughts pop into my head. I think I could write a paper today on stereotypes of Appalachians with a literature spin since, well, it's an English class and not a History class.
But I didn't sign up for this class to write a paper. I didn't do it to get an A. I did it to improve my fiction.
So I will suck it up and go for it. I think I'll read the chapter where we learn my main character has stopped taking her meds at the same time her mother-in-law is ranting about what a 'dopehead' she is to anyone that will listen.
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BTW, I am profoundly behind on my schoolwork and have a précis to write that I wanted to have done this past Saturday. I'm kind of screwed. I'm going to only post on Mondays for a while. I'll check out your posts during the week as best I can. Must remind myself I love literary theory: I love literary theory. I love literary theory. I love it. I love it....