And So I Live (For the Time Being)


This is, more or less, a completely pointless post about what has been going on with me. I’m feeling particularly bad right now as I haven’t posted anything of significance in quite some time (I don’t really consider the movie reviews to be of significance, though important in some way). So, what’s happening with me?
I moved. It happened quite suddenly actually. Preceding this I had contracted a horrible cold, or the flu, or some other equally terrible illness responsible for a terrible fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose, clogged nose, delirium, and other such issues. Maybe it was bird flu. Regardless, I was ill and when I moved it was sudden and I don’t really remember it. Trust me, if you have a bad fever, a horrible cough, and about two gallons of cold medicine floating around in your belly and someone tells you “okay, we’re moving you, so pack up”, it’s really hard to have any idea what the hell is going on. Needless to say, stuff got packed up in boxes and I had no idea how to find things. This becomes an issue when you have sold a lot of things on Ebay and have to ship it off, because if you can’t find such things (partly because you’re horribly ill and because there are about 50 boxes to go through) it’s really difficult to ship in the first place.
In any case, I’ve moved deeper into the Santa Cruz area. The good news is that I don’t have to worry about driving. I’m within two miles of downtown, there’s a Safeway just up the road, and I can ride the bus to class and get there by 8 AM for my Lit. 101 course (the bus stop is right up the street actually). Basically, I’m in a decent spot as far as getting around. The great thing about Santa Cruz and the outlying areas is that you can get to just about everywhere during the day. SC isn’t really big enough for there to be late night buses to everywhere, but that’s fine because I’m close enough to the things I need to be close to.
The result of being sick and moving is that I am somewhat behind on homework, or was. I’m mostly caught up now, thankfully.

Now to other stuff: writing and reviews.
I am ill for other reasons right now. One of those reasons is my complete lack of writing. Last quarter was really easy. That’s the truth. It was too easy, actually. I didn’t have to work hard on anything and while that is bad in some ways (not being challenged) it is good in other ways (not being overly challenged means doing lots of other stuff).
This quarter, however, is exceedingly challenging. I think was rather stupid in how I picked my courses, but in some ways it’s probably for the best. I absolutely love my Philip K. Dick course, mostly because I’m getting to read things that are really great. PKD is amazing. The Lit. 101 course, however, is killing me. I’m writing a paper every week, and it’s really difficult to try to put the proper amount of thought into a paper that is only two pages long. Needless to say I’m doing decent in the course, but probably not as well as I would like. I’ve got a high B thus far. The PKD course won’t be an issue. That’s an easy A, actually, and the professor sponsoring me is really amazing. She offered to sponsor me to do an undergraduate research project, which means I can apply for funding to do such a thing!
The result of doing so much work is that my writing has dropped off the face of the Earth. I’ve tried to fit a little in here or there, but the biggest problem is getting my head into the game. It wasn’t a problem before when homework took me a couple hours a week, but I’m doing ten times the work this quarter. My brain is exhausted after reading a lot of this stuff, primarily because a lot of it is really boring and uninteresting (the PKD stuff excluded).
Why does this make me ill? I hate not writing. Yes, hate is a strong word, but I absolutely hate it. I’ve never been so serious about my craft before this last year and a half. The honorable mention from WOTF really pushed me to get my writing under control as well, but now my head is so exhausted from all this reading it’s hard for me to do much other than, well, read. It’s hard to force yourself to write when you’re mentally exhausted. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it’s the same as working 10 hours in a day doing hard work and getting home and not feeling like doing much other than getting some water and sitting down.
I am writing a little. I did some writing yesterday and a little today. It felt amazing to write. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Maybe it is. Should you feel fantastic when you write something? Should you feel like a huge load has been removed from your shoulders? That’s what it feels like. It’s a relief. I am going to write more as I get more used to this quarter, I think. It’s about half over, actually, and if I don’t get to writing during this quarter you can expect a huge load of writing. And I mean huge! I have ideas, short stories to finish writing, stories to edit, etc.
Okay, enough of that. I’ve also fallen behind on the reviewing. I have about 20 books in my list to read. I am going to get that done because I have a lot of downtime while riding the bus back and forth. I don’t get car sick so I can at least read while the bus is bouncing around (writing is a whole different experience because for whatever reason buses are so bumpy it’s impossible to stay still, plus I’m not pulling out my laptop and typing while on the bus, because that’s just asking to be mugged).
I expect my reading schedule will return to normal and I expect that if this week doesn’t kill me I’ll manage to get some writing done. I think I might have to change my daily writing goals to something a little more realistic for this quarter. Maybe 500 words a day? I don’t know.
Okay, I’m done rambling.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

3 thoughts on “And So I Live (For the Time Being)

  1. Glad you’re feeling better. Moving is such a pain. I couldn’t find my review books for almost a week after moving. The guilt was awful. You got a lot going on, so try to go easy on yourself.

  2. Oh, you bet I’ll be taking it easy. I just want to make sure I do well this quarter. I didn’t expect this one to really hit me so hard, but then I found out that this quarter is actually 2 weeks shorter and I’m taking twice the load as the last two quarters…so yeah :S

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