Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Writing in the Small Scraps of Spare Time

So much grading, so little time for anything else.  In these dark (literally, not so much figuratively for me personally) days of December, let me hold fast to the idea that even little actions move my life-as-writer trajectory in the direction I want to go.

And let me also remember the wonderful e-mails I've gotten from students.  In the online environment, it's so hard to tell how one is doing in terms of teaching.  I had an abundant number of students write to tell me that I was one of the most engaged online teachers they've ever had.  In a way, I'm happy.  In a way, I'm sad--I have ways that I intend to try to be even more engaged--and most teachers do less???

One of my all-time favorite e-mails of this term asked what other literature classes I'd be teaching and what classes (taught by me or others) did I think would be of the most use to him in his goal to write work worthy of being taught in a class.  Yet a different student wrote to ask me if I'd consider teaching the Shakespeare course, because he'd love to take it, but only if I taught it.

Why do I take such delight in that vote of confidence?  I suspect we all know why--it's a variation of that old song--if I could teach Shakespeare, I could teach any aspect of literature!

Even though yesterday was primarily grading and bill paying and shopping of the we-must-get-this-done variety, I still managed to do some writing:

--I finished the Gabriel in Miami poem.  You, like Gabriel, may scoff at the idea of a virgin in Miami.  Can the one who is pure of heart really be in such a place?  Where does Gabriel find the virgin?  In a real estate developer's office, of course.  It's in accordance with the Advent/Bible message that you are likely to find God in the places where you least expect to find anything holy.

--I am slowly returning to my memoir.  My goal for the holiday break is to finish the rough draft that I've been toiling over so long.  I had thought I would include a monthly gratitude post throughout the book.  Then I thought I really didn't have enough material for once a month, so maybe a gratitude post for each of the four sections of the book.  Yesterday I decided to scrap the whole idea.  The rough drafts that I had seemed to have very little to do with the rest of the book.

As I look ahead to 2015, my goal is to write more poetry.  On Tuesday and Thursday morning, I want to write a poem--and if I don't, then I'll expect that I will write a poem on Saturday or Sunday morning.  Two poems a week--my goal is usually one poem a week.  But it's too easy to go into a steep slide if I miss one week.

No comments: