Yesterday I made the really hard decision to drop my Creative Nonfiction workshop. I had originally signed up for two classes, Creative Nonfiction and Fiction Writing, enough to put me 1/3 of the way to my master's degree.
A few weeks ago, I decided to drop the Fiction class because of a schedule conflict. Yesterday (the first day of class), it was clear to me the Creative Nonfiction class wasn't going to happen for a variety of reasons - partly family obligations and partly health issues that don't seem to be easing up no matter how hard I try to will them away. The thing that made the decision for me was the syllabus. It's just not a great class for me, not worth the things I would have to sacrifice. So it's done. I'm officially taking off this semester.
I thought I was going to be at least a little depressed for the next week at least and maybe resentful to certain someones in my house (hi, honey) for not making it easier for me to take the class. But today I'm feeling really great about the choice and surprisingly focused about what I will do with the time I would have spent working on material for the class. Today it feels like a win.
Next Wednesday, when my little one's preschool resumes, I'm going to resume working on my historical novel.
Today I'm going to do the research I need to do to finish the next chapter. I'm going to read Which Side are You On? The Harlan County Coal Miners, 1931-39 by John W. Hevener. The coal mine strikes, violence, and struggle to unionize in Harlan County, Kentucky is the historical backdrop for my novel. I've read a huge stack of books on coal towns. But the details of the Harlan County War were not explained in enough detail for me. Based on what I've read so far, this book is very academic and a little dry but definitely has the details I'm looking far.
I was going to write about this (and other) research for the Creative Nonfiction class and also the family history that has compelled me to write this series of novels. I think I will do that anyway here.