The MA thus far

I didn’t expect that working on my MA would be easy, I wanted the challenge.

We have just finished the Michaelmas Term, and so far so good. I have finished three of the self-directed learning modules, practicing how to post work online for peer conferences, considering my own writing as research, and navigating my way through the research resources available to me. Partial to research, I find I am discovering and exploring subjects that may not necessarily find their way into the work, but will definitely inform the work.

I’ve always been a slow reader, and there is so much reading to do. Books from the reading list that I tackled in the first term include Steven King’s On Writing, David Lodge’s Consciousness And The Novel, and Alberto Manguel’s The History of Reading. As well, I have been reading non-fiction works on birds and lakes, Trevor Herriot’s Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds, and Allan Casey’s LAKELAND. Two excellent books discussing Canadian landscape.

So far, I have written 25,000 words toward the long narrative–dare I say novel. I had more, but with rewriting as I go, some have been discarded. I am appreciating more and more how much planning and architecture goes into a longer work.

My classmates are from around the world, and our first conference was a rich exchange on our diverse created worlds, as well as the writing process. We email and we twitter to help each other out, despite the time change.

I am so fortunate to have a tutor who is patient, directive, and encouraging, and whose own writing is truly inspiring.

All this while I am trying to submit book reviews for publication and shorter works to contests. Catch my newest work in the upcoming Sports Issue of Windsor Review.

Now on to the Lent Term, revisiting the outline, more reading, and the task of producing an engaging read within the next 25,000 words.

One leaf at a time, on the book side. Stay tuned.

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