Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Words and Things

Next time I'm having a panic attack, please remind me not to blog. A) It didn't help at all. B) I probably caused people much undue worry. Though I still have the same amount of work and the same amount of time (less, actually) in which to do it, I'm feeling nowhere near as upset about it. In fact, I think I have a handle on it, for the most part. Thank you for all the kind text messages/emails/Facebook messages that helped keep me grounded.

For the past several days a prospective MFA poet stayed with me while she checked out UNLV and Las Vegas in general. It was interesting being on the other end of things, remembering what it was like when I first came to decide if I could live in Vegas almost exactly one year ago. It reminded me just how happy I am living here, how glad I am that I came. My life is certainly different than it was, and I've had to work hard, not only at school, but simply to reestablish some sense of security. Nevertheless, this program has been more than worth it.

I hope the aforementioned prospective poet does come here. I thought she was lovely.

Speaking of poetry, I was up again in workshop today, and it went SO WELL. I was especially nervous because I put a great deal of effort in to this one, and I actually liked the result. You may think poetry workshop shouldn't matter to me, since I'm here to write fiction, but it does. First, it's still writing with my name on it. For that reason alone I want it to be not awful, at the very least. Furthermore, so many of my best friends here are poets, and I love them, and I respect them, and I don't want to waste their time with a terrible poem. Also, since I am required to do cross-genre work anyway, I may as well take advantage of the situation to develop this skill as much as I can. I know there are plenty of writers around the world who would sacrifice a great deal for the opportunity.

It did go phenomenally well, though. I was (overjoyed) surprised. Some of the language was quite playful, far more so than in any other poem I've written, and I was afraid that it wasn't working how I was hoping it would, but I guess it (mostly) was. I feel, however, that I should give credit where credit is due; I may have written the thing, but I wouldn't have been able to revise it to its current state were it not for Jamison. I sent him my poem and he literally made a book for me, by hand, full of his comments and various poems that he recommended I read based on how I was writing. As you know from all my January posts, I am not well-read in poetry, nor do I have any experience writing it, so to have that much feedback tailored to my own needs was invaluable. That is why Jamison is currently winning my ongoing "best human ever" contest. The best of luck to other competitors.

If you're wondering about the title of this post, it's related to this week's theory class. We were reading Foucault's The Order of Things, but that's actually the translated title. In French it's Les Mots et Les Choses--literally, "words and things." I suppose they had to change it in the English version because it sounds so silly, but I think it's silly in a delightful way.

And now that I have procrastinated, let the drudgery of grading begin. Until next time...

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