Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Defense

Yesterday, faithful reader, I successfully defended my dissertation and received my Ph.D. It's been a truly interesting process, the last year. The most valuable thing to come out of it, though, has to do with writing. I had to set aside fiction writing in favor of academic writing for a year.
What I've learned about writing in this past year, though, by doing so, has been invaluable. Things you may already know about my writing from reading it were not obvious to me at all, but are becoming more clear to me, now. For example, the tiny detail work of editing is something in which I simply have zero talent. This is not to say that I don't edit and polish my work--far from it. However, I've learned I simply don't have the eye for such work. Bizarre as it may sound, I actually have a physical reaction to sustained periods of such detail-oriented work. My heart rate goes up, I get "squirmy" because of this uncomfortable tightness in my shoulders, and I find myself holding my breath without realizing I'm doing it.
So, besides being happy that I've crossed this particular finish line, and being excited about the new possibilities that are out there, I'm also very excited to get back to fiction--not in spite of the academic work, but instead being able to balance them both on my own terms. The follow up to Stealing Ganymede is also in the final stages of editing before I propose it to Rebel Satori and see if they want to buy it. There's a novel I'm working on right now that I'm just dying to tell you about, but I can't--I think it's going to knock your socks off, though.
Interesting note: The moment I got into my car after the defense was over, I turned the car on, and the radio came on because I'd been so nervous I'd forgotten to turn it off. Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" was on, right at the part where Buckingham is repeating "Don't you look back" over and over again. That's one of those things that, if you wrote it into a novel, people would think it was the worst kind of cheese, but actually happen to people.

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