Well, there were new developments in the Great Poetry Debate (4/10/97 entry). I'm not going to go into it in depth, but briefly, some people from class ran across my journal entry and got really upset. It all got aired in class yesterday, which was difficult, but on the whole a good thing, I think. At least the problems/issues were aired, even if they weren't quite settled. One thing that was made clear was that a lot of people in the class felt uncomfortable at the idea of having their critiques posted on a web page, even with the names stripped, so I agreed to take out the text of the quotes. I hadn't realized that people might be upset by that -- wasn't really thinking, I guess. Just too frustrated/upset. Live and learn, I suppose. Time to move on with life...that's probably enough of that issue for now.
Roshani left this morning. It was great having her here -- we provided shoulders for each other. I did get a little overbusy while she was here -- I'm making noises towards having her move out here, so I wanted her to meet my friends. We ended up having dinner parties Tuesday and Wednesday nights (we both love cooking - Indian Tuesday, Italian Wednesday), which were a lot of fun, but I was just so drained from class, etc. that I made myself kind of ill. Spent most of today reading and recovering.
Adam had loaned me a really excellent book, An Exchange of Hostages, by Susan R. Matthews. To quote the back cover, "A promising young surgeon, Andrej Koscuisko has come, with great reluctance, to study at a military orientation center adrift in black space. Against his will, he will train here to serve as a 'Ship's Inquisitor' -- a vocation that runs counter to his deepest moral convictions." It was really engrossing -- the kind of book that you don't want to put down and wish was several hundred pages longer. Luckily, while it's not officially part of a series (it works as a stand alone book), it's pretty clear that she intends to continue the story. I'm awaiting it eagerly.
Also read recently was Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon. It has a really lovely digressive, storytelling tone -- I think that's what I liked best about the book. She has a really deft hand at characterization as well -- I must admit to being envious. Ah, gone are the days when I could just read a book and enjoy it for itself without thinking, 'hmmm...that's an interesting trick of characterization'...or plot, or style, etc.... Not that I'm really complaining. Though I've started doing it with movies too. Thank god for romance novels, most of which have none of that to worry my head about. :-) There are definitely times when one wants a little mind-candy.
I've also started Cisneros' Woman Hollering Creek, a collection of short stories. So far, very promising....I'll try to let you know how it goes.
The weather's gorgeous. I'm very tempted to just mark this day off as a healing day and go sit under a tree and play my flute. But I ought to get a little work done first -- I'd like to raise the money for Clarion and my summer expenses before the end of June. That may be a little complex, since I think I'll be spending approximately May 16 - June 13 in Chicago. My semester will be over, and I think I can work just as well in Chicago as here. And I miss Kevin.
Oh, I did get some good news in the last couple days -- won second place for graduate fiction in a Mills writing contest, and was awarded a teaching assistantship for next year (significant financial help). I'm nervous about it, but looking forward to it as well. I'll be teaching analytical, not creative, writing, but it should still be very interesting and hopefully fun. I've really enjoyed teaching the times I've done it before. It does mess up my schedule a bit for the fall, since I'm required to take a class on teaching -- I'm having a hard time deciding what else I'll be taking. I really want to take a class with Ginu Kamani, author of Junglee Girl, who's a visiting professor next year. Well, we'll see what happens in the fall.
Well, I think that mostly covers the last couple of days. Tomorrow should also be quiet, and Saturday I'm having dinner with Sherman and his parents (really nice people, and his mom likes Star Trek!) Lot of stuff due for my poetry class Wednesday, so that's the main focus for the next week. I should really also get going on my final paper for my Modern Fiction class. Don't think I have much left to do for my fiction writing class -- I've actually been working pretty hard in that one. The novel is up to about 180 pages. If Clarion goes well this summer (the focus is on short stories, but I should still have a lot of time to work on the novel), then I'm vaguely hoping to actually finish the thing by the end of the summer. Probably over-optimistic, but it's good to aim high, right? :-)
Okay, best get a little work done. Talk to you later, guys.