First I want to thank you all for your kind words at the passing of my brother-in-law.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the requirement in my class to do an annotated bibliography for a creative reading and my bewilderment about how that would go down and concern that we may have to do that in all of the writing classes in this program.
I met with my professor this week. She said it's just an exercise for this class because we need to be able to do bibliographies in general. Most of the people in my class, Intro to Graduate Studies, are not on the Creative Writing track. She's just letting the "creative" people read a creative piece at the mini-conference instead of making us do a research paper. She said this would generally not be required in the writing workshop classes, which is good.
I decided to use a chapter in my last novel where I need to do a little research on mental illness and the meds my MC would be taking. The novel is almost done, and I'd probably feel relatively comfortable reading it to a crowd of students and professors. The chapter I picked was funny in my mind - it's a dark comedy, so it's a dark kind of funny.
This morning I read that section of the novel because I have to commit to the project tomorrow with some amount of detail.
When I read it, I cried. In the scene right before the funny part I wanted to use, the husband of my MC's best friend talks about his wife dying. She had died the day before in the MC's apartment. The reason she's taking the meds is because she's overcome with grief. There's no getting around talking about death.
There's no way in hell I'm reading that section.
I panicked for a few minutes and then decided to use the first ten pages of my new WIP, which is historical fiction and lends itself to research. I'll use this research opportunity to decide on the exact setting and whether it will take place in a real coal town or one I make up. I was planning on visiting the county where the story is set at the end of March anyway. It will be more work than I intended to do for this project since the opening chapter isn't close to being done, but it will definitely be less painful.