Sunday, June 11, 2006

Balancing bridges

Well, here's my first blog post. My summer's been pretty busy since I'm a 2nd year graduate student at NC State. I'm done with my academic courses, although I'm taking an Independent Studies class that only meets 2hrs a week. The class is African-American literary response to trauma. It's a little depressing because I'm researching why bridges were popular lynching sites. I'm studying lynching photographs from James Allen's "Without Sanctuary" (Yes, people took photos of actual lynchings, they were made into postcards and Allen collected them). My job is to find out what the Shubuta, Mississippi bridge looks like because I'm relating Langston Hughes "Bitter River" to my bridge topic which is dedicated to two 14-yr old boys who were lynched in 1942 on this bridge that's also called the Hanging Bridge, since in 1917 5 people were also hanged there. So, I'm calling the Clarke County, MS Chamber of Commerce tomorrow to see if I can get a copy of this infamous bridge. I'll keep you updated.

Along with this course, I'm designing my website www.aliceosborn.com along with Jane's husband's and son's help. Thank goodness! I've already set up my domain and host. I'm hoping this site will bring writers to my workshops and retreats and will advertise my editing services, as well as my books-to-be. I'm also hard at work on my first poetry chapbook, "Ghostcards," but need help getting my Word documents loaded into a pdf format. I'm hoping to have these two big projects done by June 26th, the start of Meredith College's Women's Only Focusing on Form, which is week-long writing workshop. I'm taking poetry with NC poet Betty Adcock and I can't wait.

I wish I could get more motivated to get my thesis done. My project is on "Creating Communication in the Composition Classroom" by writing personal essays that are framed by transformative creative non-fiction texts. I may even switch around some of the texts since one of my selections may be too long for my hypothetical students to finish. But I have to get my draft done by Aug 1st -- wish me luck!

So on top of all this I also write technical articles for the web and my editor/publisher, Will (aka Webman) gives my weekly deadlines. My last 800-word article was on the 7 non-security uses of video cameras and finished it before midnight on Sunday (my deadline). Whooo Hoo! Every week it's something new and trying to get these articles done over the weekend is tough since I have a husband and very active 3 1/2 year old. So I work Fri and Sat nights and pinch time where I can. Daniel goes to daycare/school during the week, so my days are spent writing/reading/researching and I'm fairly productive. I also started a p/t job with Katharine Giovanni, a business owner and self-publisher and is giving me wonderful tips. I got this job through my hairdresser, who is another fantastic person. Here's my philosophy: create a circle of terrific people and you'll become terrific yourself!!!

Alice out!

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