Posts Tagged ‘English’

It’s as close to a halfway point as we’re going to get. Normally semesters start on Wednesdays, giving the semester sixteen weeks, plus a week or week and a half for exams. For some reason this semester it started on a Monday, so it’s fifteen this semester, plus exams. We’re halfway through the seventh week of class, so I say time to update people on how my last semester is going.

And going it is, rather fast. I’m having trouble believing it’s the last week of February. I’m also having trouble believing how cold the weather is, but I guess that’s part of the deal when you live in Ohio. Anyway, school is going well. If you don’t know, I have three classes this semester. Business and Professional Writing is taught by one of my favorite teachers, so you know I’m enjoying myself. I’m also learning a lot that I can apply to my professional life, like some tips for job searches and resumes. I’ve already applied some of it by making slight modifications to my resume, and I keep modifying it depending on where I’m applying for a job. Whether or not those modifications are helping, I’ll write an article on that later this week if I get the chance.

History of Magic and Witchcraft in Europe is, as you can probably imagine, full of interesting stuff to learn. It’s not like reading demonologies or the court records of particular witch hunts. It’s more like learning how certain beliefs evolved, how people formed their views on witchcraft and how it came to be demonized. Right now we’re diving into the Malleus Maleficarum, the definitive work on witch-hunting of the Middle Ages. Trust me, it’s heavy stuff. And believe me, I’m getting plenty of inspiration for my own writing, as well as plenty of opportunities to go “Nyah ha ha ha!” like a witch.

History of Magic and Witchcraft in Medieval Europe. If you pass, you get a pointed black hat (I wish).

Restoration and 18th-Century Literature is also pretty interesting. The class is mostly focused on depictions of masculinity in plays and poetry of the era. It’s pretty raunchy stuff (believe it or not, we even read a poem about a living sex toy called Signor Dildo. Hilarious stuff!) and a lot of what we’re reading is pretty comedic. We even read a play I read my first year at Ohio State. It was quite the flashback. Sadly though, the teacher of this class has come down with a sudden illness and has had to cancel class a couple of times because of it. He’s currently rearranging the syllabus due to the missed days and he may have to give up some teaching duties, so I’m hoping and praying he gets better soon. He’s a good guy and I enjoy the subject matter, so I hope he doesn’t have to take off too much time for his health.

And finally, my thesis is coming along great. I’ve been working on the second draft of Rose, and I got two chapters done last night.  I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I should be ready for my thesis defense in April. I’m meeting with Manny and Paul tomorrow after work to talk about progress in our theses and maybe our defenses, so I guess I’ll have something to write about after that.

Am I forgetting anything else? Well, I guess I can say that I’m on track for graduation in about ten and a half weeks. Still a few things to knock off my checklist, but I’ll get them done before too long. Also, work and home life are going well. I know I’m forgetting something…not the job search, I’m writing about that later this week…oh yeah, now I remember:

After the semester started last month, the Ohio State Buckeyes took on the Oregon Ducks in the National Championship and defeated them 42-20! This is something I’ve been hoping would happen since I started at Ohio State and I’m delighted and proud to say that it happened in my final year. I’m going to have to get a commemorative T-shirt or sweatshirt one of these days. GO BUCKS!

Well, that’s all for now. Lots of editing and other stuff to do. Have a good evening, my Followers of Fear, and stay warm if you’re like me and you’re stuck in a place with lots of snow and chill.

A picture from the Ohio State Fair, which was a big influence on my own “State Fair”.

Well, it took me a day longer than I wanted it to, but I got it done. This is my final short story for winter break, and I got it done. This one’s called State Fair, and it’s about a ghost haunting a state fairgrounds who becomes infatuated with a girl he sees one day. It’s different than some of my other short stories, very literary but also very ghostly. I also think that this short story’s first draft is much better than my usual first draft, and I wish I could have submitted this one to my creative writing class to critique. I think they would’ve liked this very much.

From the moment I had the initial idea for this short story, I knew this one was different, that it was special. It’s probably why I decided to work on it over winter break. I also got to integrate many of the lessons I got from last semester and from some books I’ve been reading recently with this story, which I think might have contributed to the quality I feel this first draft has (though I still can’t keep a short story under forty-five hundred, it seems).

I’m still deciding what to do with this short story. My ultimate goal for State Fair is to submit it to a contest on campus for short stories. The deadline’s in mid-February, so I have a little time to edit and maybe get another person to take a look and give me some feedback. I got an honorable mention for my submission last year, so I think that this year I’ve got a pretty good chance with State Fair. Whatever the case, I’ll keep everyone posted and let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I’m watching my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Oregon Ducks, and I want to see how this game ends. Tomorrow I get back to working on my thesis Rose, with the hope of getting that done by late February. I’ll keep everyone updated on what i’m doing and how things are going. Wish me luck and have a goodnight, my Followers of Fear.

Double, double. Toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble! Mwa ha ha ha!

I’ve just finished the second draft of The Murderer’s Legacy, which I’ve renamed Miranda’s Tempest (after trying Miranda’s Retribution and Miranda’s Reprisal). This is the same short story I had a breakthrough on Christmas after having a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to fix that one since I wrote the first version back in May. It took me a couple of days, but I got it done. This draft is about forty-eight hundred words long, it seems I can never get a short story done without it being over 4,500 words.

A lot has changed from the original draft and the second draft. The original was set in a magical version of Victorian England, was complicated and cumbersome, and my protagonist wasn’t enough of an asshole like I wanted to portray him. This version makes magic the result of one person, and my protagonist is a total asshole, like I wanted. Plus I got to add in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Can’t complain about that.

Like all my short stories, it could stand some editing. A lot of the story involves flashback and exposition, and I’m worried that might be less in the story’s favor than I think. We’ll see what I can do. I’m hoping that I can get a few people I know to take a look at it before I edit it, maybe get some feedback. There are a couple of fantasy magazines that I think could be interested in this one if I can polish it up a bit.

In the meantime, I have one more short story I’d like to get done before I get back to working on Rose. It’s called State Fair (might change it to The State Fair later on) and its about a ghost haunting a state fairground who becomes infatuated with a girl attending the fair one day. I’m hoping to submit it to an annual short story award they have at Ohio State every year. It’s the kind of thing they tend to like, so I’m hoping they’ll go for it. But first I have to get it finished. In fact, I’m going to start working on it now, and also through tomorrow if I can, I have the day off tomorrow so I shouldn’t have any problem working on it then.

Well, that’s all for now. Have a good night, my Followers of Fear. I certainly am.

Well, it was bound to happen. It’s been a long time coming. I’m not surprised that it’s here. I’m actually looking forward to it ending (provided that I have some sort of job by the end of it all). But still, it’s pretty amazing that I’m here. My last semester as an Ohio State student.

I’m going into this coming semester, which starts a week from today, with a lot of emotions. Hope for a variety of things to happen, as always. A tiny bit of nervousness about my grades, though that’s expected. Excitement that this’ll be my last time around this block. Fear that I won’t find a job before the semester is over (God forbid). Impatience over just wanting to get it over with. At least I’m not feeling the apathy of senioritis. Or maybe I am but I don’t realize it. Can you have senioritis if you know you still have to work very hard to get good grades and still intend to?

Going to try my best not to become this guy.

Anyway, I’m taking three classes this semester, something that I haven’t done since my first year at Ohio State when we were still on the quarter system. Normally I’d take four to be considered a full-time student and receive financial aid, but my English advisor and my thesis advisor got together and changed how much my thesis counts for credit so I can still be considered full-time. I don’t mind; I get a bit more time during the day to work on my thesis Rose and maybe watch a little television in the evenings. And after this past semester, with five classes and a thesis to work on, I could use the rest time.

I have some very interesting classes this semester. First is a Restoration and 18th-century British literature course, which should be challenging in a good way. I don’t normally care for stuff written in that time period, but I’ll give it a shot. I might even grow to like some of what I read and use it in a future story. I’m also taking a Business and Professional Writing class, which I hope might be useful when I get a job. This class is being taught by a teacher I’ve had before and whom I absolutely love because she’s such a funny and sweet woman. Plus she’s a huge science fiction nerd, including Doctor Who (her husband actually saw the very first episode in 1963 and knew right then and there it was something special. Maybe he had a time machine too).

Those two courses will fill out my English major. As for my History major, I just have one class left, and I have to say this one will make for a great last course. It’s History of Witchcraft in Medieval Europe, which is a new course and is being taught by a new teacher. As soon as my History advisor, who knows of my writing preferences, mentioned it to me, I was like “Sign me up!” You can bet that something I learn in that class might make it into a future short story or novel. My dad and one of my friends though are concerned it’s a how-to course. They need not worry; I already know how to do all that. Mwa ha ha ha!

As for my thesis Rose, I’ve seven chapters left to write, and I hope to get back to working on it by Monday next week. Right now I’m working on two short stories, one of which I hope to submit to a short story contest held every spring in the English department, so I want to get those done first. But I’m hopeful that when I do finish Rose (and I’m hoping that it’ll be done by the end of March at the very latest, though I’m aiming for late February), I bet it’ll be great. I just hope my advisor and the people who read it prior to my thesis argument think it’s great as well.

At Ohio State, graduation takes place in the Ohio Stadium. I’m looking forward to it. More on graduation as time goes on!

Well, that’s all for now. I’ll update you on how the semester’s going about eight weeks in, when it’s halfway over. I’m hoping that I’ll have some good grades and maybe I’ve finished Rose by that point. We’ll just have to wait and see! Wish me luck, my Followers of Fear. To make sure I graduate on time, I might just need it.

Well, its a week before classes start, and I turned in the first round of tuition fees when I go off to work today. So it’s time for me to do what I do before the start of every semester: let everyone know, whether they care or not, what my semester is shaping up to be like and what I’ll be doing this term. And this is a special update, because it’s my last year at Ohio State. Meaning this is my last autumn semester. And one of the last times I’ll be able to look forward to a new term and new classes and new experiences…

Please excuse me while I go pretend to cry.

…….

Okay, I’m back. Still here? Excellent! Well, as usual I’m going into the semester with hopes that I can get A’s in all my classes (though my past track records suggest that I’ll probably get at least one or two B’s). I’m taking a total of seventeen credit hours this semester, far more than I’ve ever. Fifteen of those are divided among five three-hour classes, while the other two are for my thesis work (more on that down below). This semester, I’m taking two classes for my English major, two for my History major, and one course to fill out all my general requirements. For English, I’m taking an advanced creating writing workshop and a special course on Shakespeare. Regarding the workshop, I wanted to take one more before I graduated, having taken two during my sophomore year. I’m not too keen on the fact that we’ll be focusing mostly on literary fiction, but hey, I’m adaptable, I’m sure I can write something that’ll pass as literary and get me good grades. As for the Shakespeare class, it looks like we’ll be focusing more on the comedies, such as Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice. I’ve got a complete collected works of William Shakespeare’s, so I hope that’ll be allowed for class. If not, I won’t mind having to buy copies of the plays, though I do wish we could explore some of the tragedies, like Titus Andronicus. When I saw that in London, I absolutely loved it (though that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me and knows the play’s subject matter).

For History, I’m taking a class that goes over the history of war, from early Mesopotamia to today’s wars and a class that looks at the early history of East Asia. Both should provide an interesting look into both subjects, and the former class should be interesting for me as a guy who’s done plenty of study on WWII.

Movie time.

And as for the one general requirements course, it’s an interesting one. It’s a Biology class, the last class I have to take for my science requirements and my general requirements. However, this one seeks to explore the subject of biology and anatomy through film. Yeah, I have no idea what that means either. But I’m just going to go with it. Besides, it sounds very, very interesting and it means watching films two nights a week, so who’s to complain?

And as for my thesis, it’s going to be a tough but fun project. As I’ve said before, I’m working on a novel called Rose, about a woman who dies on the night of her engagement party and is resurrected by her stalker. However the magic that brings her back changes her biology and makes her totally dependent on her stalker for survival, even as she tries to escape from him, and from whatever evil the magic let into the house. I’m hoping it’ll shape up to be an awesome horror novel with plenty of room for introspection and character development.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m tired and heading to bed. You all have a good night, my Followers of Fear. Pleasant nightmares, one and all!