Hey, look – I’m not dead!
This month hasn’t gone quite how I imagined it would. I thought I would have most of my dystopian novel planned by now. Instead, I’ve put that one on hold again to work on another novel. It’s not that I don’t still love the dystopian novel, because I do. I just still feel so overwhelmed by that novel.
Not that I haven’t worked on that novel at all. I spent the first week or so of this month watching documentaries that I thought would help me picture what the United States would be like 80 years from now. Those documentaries include the following: Standing Army, Superpower, I.O.U.S.A., An Inconvenient Truth, Detropia, Trouble the Water and Tapped. I’ve also been flipping through my old International Relationships book and reading one of the political books that’s been on my shelf for years.
I have notes on all of those documentaries and books. I feel more knowledgeable than I did last month, so that’s something at least. But as time went on, I found myself less interested in reading or watching those documentaries. I guess it was just too depressing, and I like to spread out those negative emotions so I don’t get too overpowered.
Part of the problem this month is also that I was supposed to be put in a school three weeks ago. I’m two semesters away from graduating with my Masters in Teaching, and one of the things I have to do this semester is my practicum. That’s where I spend at least 60 hours in a high school classroom and observe the teacher and then slowly start taking a more active role, helping him/her teach and actually teaching 10 lessons myself. My orientation meeting was July 29. I was supposed to have my placement by then. I didn’t. I was supposed to go in and meet my teacher Aug. 5-7 so I could be there for the first day of school. I didn’t have a placement. It’s now 3 weeks after the orientation meeting, 2 weeks after the semester started, and I still don’t have a placement. So I’m freaking out rather a lot, and that has made it hard for me to concentrate on anything else.
So between all those “the world as we know it is about to end” documentaries and the fact that I’m now worried I won’t have enough time to do everything I’m supposed to for the practicum, I’ve been rather unhappy lately. Plus most of the fiction books I’ve been trying to read are horrible and not at all the nice distraction I was looking for.
Which brings me to the novel I’m currently working on – Degeneration. I don’t know if that’s necessary a happy book, considering it’s about a family that hates each other that get together for a wedding, but at least it was something else to think about. This is the novel that I wrote twice as a screenplay and then once as a novel, so I’m familiar with the plotline and characters. Besides, I really wanted to work on a novel that I knew what to do with.
So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m working on the second draft. Or at least I’m about to. Earlier this month, I imported the novel into Scrivener and fun putting it in e-book format. I put it on my Nook and read through it. It’s rather short – about 48k – but I still really like a lot of it. I made notes on the big-picture stuff that I need to change. I made her trip to visit her family longer (a week as opposed to a weekend, which wasn’t nearly enough time). Yesterday I created a new Scrivener project for draft 2, making index cards for all the scenes in the new draft. This morning I copied the existing draft into the correct files so I can see which scenes I need to edit and which I need to write for the first time.
So for the rest of the day, this is what I will be doing: (re)writing Degeneration and checking the practicum site to see if I have a placement yet.