Glad to be Back! by Debbie Bagnato

During our delightful hiatus from school, and food-fun-filled holidays with family and friends, I found it difficult to focus on my writing due to the family obligations and a lack of time. Luckily, I managed to remain in my own store--the basis for my thesis--but had to readjust to my old department and slightly different schedule. That was the easy part and actually allows me more time with the women in my play who "mind the fort" so to speak by staying in my version of the Acropolis--our Customer Service office. I found myself finishing each section then returning to change things around throughout the entire piece--every day. It felt as if I was avoiding the ending--as if I would have a brilliant idea for an even better denouement than Aristophanes. Obviously, that was not going to happen, and eventually I went forward with the proposed ending based on the traditional one written by this ancient Greek playwright. Perhaps I hated to finish the piece? Or was hoping to have a flash of brilliance that would astonish even myself? Whatever the reason, I realized how desperately I needed the feedback of my little group of Omar, Colin and Dr. Z. The reactions and suggestions help me to shape what I am doing and from those gems of wisdom and honesty I am able to better work towards my goal. Also, I enjoy watching their pieces move forward and so much of the advice and suggestions from Dr. Z as well as the guys help me brainstorm as I rewrite something from so very long ago and make it relevant today. It needs to remain a comedy so it cannot get too heavy or angry yet there are valid points that I want to make--either blatantly or subtly. When these guys read with me a new scene I can depend on honest feedback and then try to apply their suggestions or work with ideas that come as a result of our time together. Really need that as an extra source of motivation I guess!
The other thing I am painfully aware of is my need for time limits; I tend to procrastinate when I should be writing. Often I wait until the time is quite short to actually do the writing, but take several days jotting down ideas, re-reading sections of the original, reviewing other modern day situation comedies--all to prepare for the writing which is already in my head! Then I spend an eternity--without realizing how long I am sitting at the computer--to actually write the play as planned. This is my process, and it usually works rather well, but I do need to move it a bit faster. Which is why I need to set time limits for myself--if I want to finish my editing and revisions (by May)...
The next step is to create a website--that is a big step for me so I want to start soon. I will be revising--with the feedback and opinions of my very special group--constantly, as although the basic play is finished I am nowhere near done. First, I need to tweak some basic things like my character list, and take photos for the website of my "real-life" characters. My plan is to include photos or sketches of the basic costumes and a photograph of the "Acropolis" in my version (the Courtesy/ customer service office) as well as a sketch of the stage-set. These are many fun yet important details that must be attended to and will be integral to include in the website. So in keeping with the time limits theory, I am hoping to start with the website after we meet up again and for now, I plan on taking a few photos each day. And of course, keep writing and revising. Thanks for listening, now back to work.

Glad to be Back! by Debbie Bagnato

During our delightful hiatus from school, and food-fun-filled holidays with family and friends, I found it difficult to focus on my writing due to the family obligations and a lack of time. Luckily, I managed to remain in my own store--the basis for my thesis--but had to readjust to my old department and slightly different schedule. That was the easy part and actually allows me more time with the women in my play who "mind the fort" so to speak by staying in my version of the Acropolis--our Customer Service office. I found myself finishing each section then returning to change things around throughout the entire piece--every day. It felt as if I was avoiding the ending--as if I would have a brilliant idea for an even better denouement than Aristophanes. Obviously, that was not going to happen, and eventually I went forward with the proposed ending based on the traditional one written by this ancient Greek playwright. Perhaps I hated to finish the piece? Or was hoping to have a flash of brilliance that would astonish even myself? Whatever the reason, I realized how desperately I needed the feedback of my little group of Omar, Colin and Dr. Z. The reactions and suggestions help me to shape what I am doing and from those gems of wisdom and honesty I am able to better work towards my goal. Also, I enjoy watching their pieces move forward and so much of the advice and suggestions from Dr. Z as well as the guys help me brainstorm as I rewrite something from so very long ago and make it relevant today. It needs to remain a comedy so it cannot get too heavy or angry yet there are valid points that I want to make--either blatantly or subtly. When these guys read with me a new scene I can depend on honest feedback and then try to apply their suggestions or work with ideas that come as a result of our time together. Really need that as an extra source of motivation I guess!
The other thing I am painfully aware of is my need for time limits; I tend to procrastinate when I should be writing. Often I wait until the time is quite short to actually do the writing, but take several days jotting down ideas, re-reading sections of the original, reviewing other modern day situation comedies--all to prepare for the writing which is already in my head! Then I spend an eternity--without realizing how long I am sitting at the computer--to actually write the play as planned. This is my process, and it usually works rather well, but I do need to move it a bit faster. Which is why I need to set time limits for myself--if I want to finish my editing and revisions (by May)...
The next step is to create a website--that is a big step for me so I want to start soon. I will be revising--with the feedback and opinions of my very special group--constantly, as although the basic play is finished I am nowhere near done. First, I need to tweak some basic things like my character list, and take photos for the website of my "real-life" characters. My plan is to include photos or sketches of the basic costumes and a photograph of the "Acropolis" in my version (the Courtesy/ customer service office) as well as a sketch of the stage-set. These are many fun yet important details that must be attended to and will be integral to include in the website. So in keeping with the time limits theory, I am hoping to start with the website after we meet up again and for now, I plan on taking a few photos each day. And of course, keep writing and revising. Thanks for listening, now back to work.

English and Writing Studies Thesis 2017-01-26 18:09:00

This week I did not do much in terms of my thesis. I am very proud of what I have accomplished thus far though. For the upcoming weeks, my goal is to work on / think about some of the other ideas I had. Hopefully when I meet with the professor, we can discuss my work done over winter break and the ideas/work accomplished after winter break.

In terms of how I am going to present my work, I am still thinking about it. But for now, I am still praying and believing this will all work out! 

English and Writing Studies Thesis 2017-01-26 18:09:00

This week I did not do much in terms of my thesis. I am very proud of what I have accomplished thus far though. For the upcoming weeks, my goal is to work on / think about some of the other ideas I had. Hopefully when I meet with the professor, we can discuss my work done over winter break and the ideas/work accomplished after winter break.

In terms of how I am going to present my work, I am still thinking about it. But for now, I am still praying and believing this will all work out! 

On the Road Again

   

   I have a newfound respect for anyone disciplined enough to commit time to write each day. Using life as an excuse isn't fair since everyone has one of those; we're all busy. Over break, I was guilty of assuming I had so much more time left. I remember my wife asked me at the beginning of January when my first class was, and shouldn't I be writing (yes, the answer is always yes). I saw that the first class was the 19th and thought I had so much time left. Then I blinked and it's January 26th. Like George Carlin said, "This shit is moving, Ruth."

     I didn't waste all of my time. I did an incredible amount of reading about my subject matter. In fact, the more I read the more I realized that my original idea had to change. A point I have been preaching to my students ("Don't stay married to an idea kids. You reserve the right to change your mind") is proving to be easier said than done. But, it is laying the groundwork for the ideas that will spring forth soon.

     I started writing the next part. It's the technical part that discusses how our bodies react to our perception of fear. It is a challenge to match such dry material with my writing style. Luckily, I work with a great group who I know will help me out tremendously. I look forward to reading what everyone has created.

     On a personal note, Maddy has joined Daisies so I've been pimping out cookies for the last few weeks. I never thought I would be that dad, but I want that damn badge.

On the Road Again

   

   I have a newfound respect for anyone disciplined enough to commit time to write each day. Using life as an excuse isn't fair since everyone has one of those; we're all busy. Over break, I was guilty of assuming I had so much more time left. I remember my wife asked me at the beginning of January when my first class was, and shouldn't I be writing (yes, the answer is always yes). I saw that the first class was the 19th and thought I had so much time left. Then I blinked and it's January 26th. Like George Carlin said, "This shit is moving, Ruth."

     I didn't waste all of my time. I did an incredible amount of reading about my subject matter. In fact, the more I read the more I realized that my original idea had to change. A point I have been preaching to my students ("Don't stay married to an idea kids. You reserve the right to change your mind") is proving to be easier said than done. But, it is laying the groundwork for the ideas that will spring forth soon.

     I started writing the next part. It's the technical part that discusses how our bodies react to our perception of fear. It is a challenge to match such dry material with my writing style. Luckily, I work with a great group who I know will help me out tremendously. I look forward to reading what everyone has created.

     On a personal note, Maddy has joined Daisies so I've been pimping out cookies for the last few weeks. I never thought I would be that dad, but I want that damn badge.

My Thesis is a Collection of Short Stories

It seemed like I didn't get much done last semester, what with the new classes at Rutgers and all. But my vague idea about how to present the stories I want to write solidified without much struggle. It sort of just presented itself after I stopped struggling with it. Now, I know exactly what it will look like on paper and online. So here it is:

I'll have a "table of contents" if you will, but it won't be a list. It will be a story, told in simple terms, as to a child. Then, many words or phrases in the story will be clickable, with stories behind them that probe or explain the simple idea in depth.

This isn't necessarily meant to be an online work. In the print version "table of contents," the same story will be presented, but it will refer you to a page or chapter to follow.  This is a bit odd, but I think it works. I hope my group will help me decide if it actually works, or it's just me thinking it does. Part of the point of my table of contents being a story is that some things as seen by children or outsiders seem simple, while underneath, they are anything but. That will make more sense once you read the stories.

Also, I call the work a story, because I'm not sure what to call it. It's not a novel. It's a creative writing piece, part fiction, part creative non-fiction, part personal narrative (and possibly part research, but I haven't decided). There are different episodes that revolve around the same topic, but may seem unrelated at times. Episodes are in short story or vignette format, but some are prose and some are dialogue and some are email chains. There is no particular order they must be read in; however, readers may find it convenient to follow the order presented in the table of contents. Well, I guess I just answered my own question, duh: it's a collection of short stories.


My Thesis is a Collection of Short Stories

It seemed like I didn't get much done last semester, what with the new classes at Rutgers and all. But my vague idea about how to present the stories I want to write solidified without much struggle. It sort of just presented itself after I stopped struggling with it. Now, I know exactly what it will look like on paper and online. So here it is:

I'll have a "table of contents" if you will, but it won't be a list. It will be a story, told in simple terms, as to a child. Then, many words or phrases in the story will be clickable, with stories behind them that probe or explain the simple idea in depth.

This isn't necessarily meant to be an online work. In the print version "table of contents," the same story will be presented, but it will refer you to a page or chapter to follow.  This is a bit odd, but I think it works. I hope my group will help me decide if it actually works, or it's just me thinking it does. Part of the point of my table of contents being a story is that some things as seen by children or outsiders seem simple, while underneath, they are anything but. That will make more sense once you read the stories.

Also, I call the work a story, because I'm not sure what to call it. It's not a novel. It's a creative writing piece, part fiction, part creative non-fiction, part personal narrative (and possibly part research, but I haven't decided). There are different episodes that revolve around the same topic, but may seem unrelated at times. Episodes are in short story or vignette format, but some are prose and some are dialogue and some are email chains. There is no particular order they must be read in; however, readers may find it convenient to follow the order presented in the table of contents. Well, I guess I just answered my own question, duh: it's a collection of short stories.