State of the Astrid …. yeah a status report.
So instead of a State of the Union, I suppose this is a State of the Author address? Anyway, I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath to know what the heck the mighty Astrid is up to. Yeah, right. Well I’m gonna tell you anyway.
Last fall I decided that it was time for me to try *AGAIN* to get my degree. In something. Anything. Just to actually say I did it. I figured if I could write and publish a book, then surely I can finish school finally. Right? Let’s hope so! Anyway, I jumped through all the hoops, filled out all the paper work, yelled at a few people for making my life more difficult than it needed to be, and started back to school in January. Of course, at the SAME time as all this is happening, I was also trying to get Between Heaven & Hell revised, edited, formatted, and all the other bells and whistles so I could get it out the door and in your hands by the deadline. And I did! By some miracle I did that AND managed to keep my grades up at the same time AND not lose my mind in the process (I think…. at least I think it’s around here somewhere….) ANYWAYS.
I’m majoring in English Lit (because, well, as a writer and with the plans to actually put my grammar nazi ways to use as an editor, what else would I possibly pick?). And I discovered today, quite by accident while talking to my advisor (via email because I’m a hermit)about what classes to take in the Fall (because this summer is for finishing writing World on Fire), that I never declared a minor. As an English major I’m required to have a minor. Thankfully my advisor rocks, and she asked me what I want to do with my degree. I explained I’m a writer, and my genre is in the fantasy realm (urban, paranormal, straight-up fantasy), and she looked over all the different minors and suggested one. Like, she didn’t laugh at me (okay maybe she did but that’s the nice thing about email, you can pretend they’re taking you seriously), she just said oh, well as a fantasy writer here’s what I think you should do. So my new minor is Gender and Multicultural Studies. To quote the Awesome Advisor, “One strong possibility to enhance your fantasy writing, then, might be Gender and Multicultural Studies. The minor draws from a variety of fields rather than focusing on one. Of the three categories of classes for the minor, many of the courses from the Humanities section and the Social and Behavioral Science section would cover excellent background material to enhance fantasy worlds and characters. The Business category is the least useful from my perspective, although I could see using information from a Cultural Diversity & Communication Issues in International Business as a framework on which to diversity the cultural backgrounds of your characters.” She’s so smart. So that’s what I’m doing, because it makes sense. And the classes I get to choose from all sound pretty cool.
What classes did I choose, you ask? Well first let me tell you what I’m taking this semester! I only take two classes at a time (I’ll explain why in another post maybe….). Major Authors I is my hardest class. Myth, Ritual, and Culture is my other class, and it’s not easy, just easier than Major Authors. So far this semester I’ve read the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Aeneid, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Dante’s Inferno, Boccaccio’s Decameron, Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier, and this final week is Milton’s Paradise Lost. That’s just in Major Authors. I’ve also learned about pretty much every Greek god (and its Roman equivalent), the major Greek sagas (Theban, Mycenaean, Trojan), the heroes (Perseus, Heracles, etc), and this week is “research week” for our term paper. Which totally isn’t fair because I want research week for my Major Authors class too – I have a term paper for that class too!!
For my Mythology term paper, I had to read a children’s or young adult novel regarding some facet of Greek or Roman mythology, and then I get to compare it and argue about the evolution of the myth. Or something like that. For Major Authors it’s even MORE confusing. I have to pick 2 or 3 of the pieces we’ve read, pick a topic that they share in common, and then compare or argue or something like that. And of course, I have to have plenty of scholarly works to back up whatever I’m saying. Ugh. Shoot me in the face.
Oh and I still have final exams on top of that. I am SO ready for this semester to be done. I miss writing what I what, when I want. I miss my characters and their lives and their world. So I’m more than happy to take the summer off and spend it finishing up World on Fire so I have plenty of time for editing and whatnot before December comes along (which it will all too soon).
Anyway, that’s plenty of complaining for now I suppose. (And I realized just now that I use a LOT of parenthetical speech!). I think it might be time for rum….