mandag, april 30, 2007

Back with a passion, back with a meme

This is courtesy of Devil Mood, who has picked up a meme, the instructions of which are:

You're supposed to pick up the book you're reading right now, go to page 123 (or the last page of the book if it doesn't get that far) and copy the 5th paragraph (or the last paragraph, in case there isn't one).

I considered using a passage from The Hypercomplex Society, but there were no paragraphs on page 123, just a section header. Then I pondered something from The Practice of Everyday Life, but it has long paragraphs, and I couldn't bring myself to enter all that text. But then I remembered a book that I have been periodically reading parts of for the whole process of creating Tristino, and which is a bit more accessible. Page 123 even addresses revision, the stage where I am at now (pretty much). Here it is, from Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day:

"Your zero draft can be described as the pure outpouring of prose that just comes. Revision involves making important rational choices: of what stance to take, of speaking voice, of words and sounds, of kinds of argument, and of what is to be included or excluded. As you reread your draft, you will make such choices at different levels, from the overall shape of your argument to where the commas go. In the earliest drafts of your chapters you probably wrote as if talking to yourself - how you felt about your subject; your own slant on it; your questions, concerns, and irritation with it; your attempts to wrestle it to the ground. At the revision stage of your thesis you will write much more explicitly for your audience."

This is not exactly how I write a draft...I like my drafts to resemble the final version as much as possible, though I have over time developed a system where all the talking to myself is in a different color so that I can ignore it when I don't need it. But that doesn't make the advice here any less useful. I am looking for that refinement of thought in my academic life, in opposition to other areas of my life, where I'm striving much more for the zero draft, that 'pure outpouring'.

So, that's the back with a meme part. As for the back with a passion, really, there is passion, but I can't quite get it all together in one post at the moment. Passion for my recent long road trip in the states, passion for all the future possibilities that may or may not be, passion for getting text on screen. It will happen soon enough.

As for the photo, Groucho Marx famously said, 'Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.' He may have had a point, but I claim that no book could be as photogenic as a rug-colored dog. (Photo courtesy of FourLegged).

12 kommentarer:

Simple American sagde ...

Are you still procrastinating? 0.0

Devil Mood sagde ...

Ah, am I glad to see a new post! :)
That book sounds helpful but I tend to hate those books because they tell you what to do but they don't tell you *what* to do. lol I don't know...

I used that method of different colours too. And the final result is always similar to the "draft" because once I've written something down, I have trouble changing it, unless I delete the whole, to be honest, there isn't really a draft, just a final result that can be changed lightly. ;)
Cute doggie ;)

Oh, a road trip - Now I envy you! :)

Anonym sagde ...

You sure took your sweet time to post again. Glad to have you back though.

Marion sagde ...

Wicked t'ave ya back, luv. I don't do drafts either really, that's why academic writing takes me aaaages. I mull over every single sentence. Bu' wha' canya do - I'm no' bovvered! :-)

daphnewood sagde ...

yay yay yay! Kim is back! oh how I missed you *hugs*

soooo how did it turn out? are you going to share before revision stage? I had a friend from TX get on my case about grad school. maybe this will be the year. or maybe not.

I want to hear all about this road trip. Where did you go? share the passion kimananda!

Greg Mills sagde ...

You should write a book, "Writing your dissentation in one 96 hour spree of swearing and caffeine induced auditory hallucinations"

I would read that.

Cathy sagde ...

Oh, you can come over here and help me to write a draft (wow, could I use you!).
Thanks for posting today; it was an added necessary distraction!

Maddie sagde ...

I think my comment has been
swallowed up!

(sob) I left one I SWEAR!

cute dog - missed you!


Vanessa sagde ...

Sorry for the delay, here are your 5 questions...

1. You're originally from California, what do you miss most about home?

2. On the flip side, what do you like the most about being an expat living abroad?

3. Last year you visited a number of countries, including China, what travels do you have planned for this year?

4. In the past you've mentioned that you enjoy doing cross stitch, when did you begin this hobby and what are your favorite type of items to work on?

5. Hows the thesis coming along?

Greg Mills sagde ...

Kim -- I just ordered the Hypercomplex Society. I'm sure I'm going to pay for it dearly.

Your nerd friend,


Anonym sagde ...

that dog is too so cute.

kimananda sagde ...

Mr. American, I had a very intense non-procratinating month before going on holiday, and have been pretty efficient since then, too. The thesis is doing well.

Ms. Mood, I know what you mean about the book...I don't use it for any advice, but just because it has a nice positive tone, sort of a 'you can do it!' thing, which is always useful. As for the colors, I know what you mean too, but it seems to be more productive for me now than in the past. Basically, it's a place for me to put the random thoughts I have about the paper so I don't forget them. Then, when I am stuck, I look at the purple, and think, oh, yeah, I should be doing that, too, huh?

Kunstem..., it's good to be back. Thanks for the support! :-)

Marion, I think not writing real drafts makes me quicker. But I'm probably a pretty fast writer anyway. Not sure if that's good or not, to tell the truth.

Daphne, I'll share the road trip, the thesis (which is basically done, but I'll be adding some minor extra bits before it's turned in on Wednesday), and any passion I may have soon. Stay posted! :-)

Greg, you give great comment. I'd read that, too! And, speaking of reading that, I think you'll find hypercomplexity quite readable. Qvortrup has a very simple premise (or maybe two) and expands them in a fairly interesting way. If you're feeling more masochistic, I can always then send you the Qvortrup part of my thesis. ;-)

Cathy, glad I could help. How did it go?

Maddie, I saw your left it on the last message...hugs to you! When are you visiting me? :-)

Vanessa, some of those questions are tough, so I'll be thinking about them for a bit before posting.'ll be fun to answer them!

Day, she is pretty cute. She's the one I miss the most when I'm not in California...not that I don't miss my family, but I talk to them, write to them, chat with them on-line. The dog is the one that I'm not in contact with. Whenever I see her photo, I have the urge to pet the screen!