I took a week’s hiatus from my blog. The main reason for this is that I sent myself a very big deadline for yesterday — to write the eight middle chapters of my exegesis. Our full draft isn’t due until next Friday, but I wanted to set myself this extra deadline so I get some sleep next Thursday night. Also, I’ve gathered (through trying to write about my creative work) that I only discover what I’m trying to say through writing about it — so now I can use extra editing time to sharpen those points and link them into a stronger argument. I met today with Francesca, and we talked about what will need to go into my introduction and conclusion to frame the chapters. What is really coming out in my work are different ideas about time — momentum and rhythms of time, the passing of years and the loss of time. I’ve titled each of my exegetical chapters to begin with ‘when…’ because these all talk about time and refer to characters set in different times. Each ‘when’ refers to a different period.
My nine creative chapters have all been published here. The publication of the final three was anticlimactic — a steady, gentle flow of readers, according to my stats page. A minor critique from Tom, who is offended that he only appears in one piece and is asleep in said piece. A blog follow from someone in Oman, too late. There will be one more piece to the memoir, a small one, which I am still composing. I haven’t yet decided if I will publish it online too.
Very lost with the latest chapter of my exegesis. I’ve decided to return to it when the rest is fleshed out — I’m not quite sure what the point is I’m trying to make in this chapter. It’s mostly devoted to explaining the use of the future tense in ‘A girl called Seventeen’, but I can’t find the words to communicate what I’m trying to say. What my reasoning is, and where the ethics are. I’ve attempted to finish it five times this week, but any references I’ve found don’t really support what I’m trying to argue. I suppose I’m using the writing to work through what I was thinking, but I haven’t quite got there yet. Upon reflection, I think it’s the only chapter I’m struggling with — the chapters that come later I have already laid out, and the arguments are mostly formed. It’s only this chapter that’s just grating at me and slowing me down.
I presented two creative pieces and one exegetical (draft) chapter to my lab class today, with positive feedback to the creative work and helpful, constructive feedback to the exegetical work. I have been worried about the tone and content of the memoir pieces, so hearing that I’m pleasing readers is really building my confidence. While I feared self-indulgence and monotony, others found the stories ‘personal and captivating’.
Feedback for the exegetical chapter was mainly the suggestion that I give more examples and clarification — which is something I’d worried I’d overdone, so I was surprised to hear this. Be prepared then — examples galore are on the way!
I’ve been reading the acknowledgments and commentary around Jo Case’s recent memoir, Boomer & Me. It is a memoir about her son who has Asberger’s. The story is told lovingly and openly and honestly, and invites the reader to relate to the experiences depicted. The response from critics and readers is very positive. But what I haven’t found to be questioned, is the fact that this woman has published a memoir about her young son. Regardless of good intent, is this an ethical issue? What has Case done to evade this ethical question? What boxes has she ticked? How has she overcome the ethical problem of writing about someone else — someone who is a minor, and who is under her care?
I’m feeling creative this week, and less stressed. Yesterday Francesca and I worked out a structure through which to present my project and exegesis, and also the form. We talked about the constant references throughout the project to childhood crafts, the aesthetics of Japanese culture, and also the physicality of writing — I’m thinking about referencing these in the presentation of my work, through making the ‘volume’ (or three) by hand. I also published this memoir piece.
Less stress also achieved by preparing all my food in advance this week and lifting weights at the gym! Distracted from impending deadlines by eating lamb shank soup and watching muscles grow.