Gears Are Grinding

Organizing this has been an absolute nightmare. I took note of Erik’s method of categorizing my research articles (great job bestie!), but I quickly found it wasn’t too effective in my case.

I tried to categorize the articles by Personal, Historical and Social but I think the articles just fell into every category. The one commonality they shared in every article is the importance of understanding the lived experiences of refugees through the socio-historical context of their origin country.

At the core of my thesis is identity and parts of my identity that I’ve chosen to forget. The idea of internal versus external influences on my identity came up too. By internal influences, I mean the influence that my family and close friends have had on my identity. By external influences, I mean the socio-historical context I am living through and its influence on my identity.

Going back to the articles, their purpose is to help me better understand what my family has lived through and how it may affect me but also to understand the general social climate of it all. The trip I plan to take is also meant to do that for me. I’ve been looking into specific museums, one being Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, which will give me a visual look into what my family has endured. I’m also interested because my parents have never been to the museums in San Salvador and I think, my mom especially, will be intrigued. That is an experience that I’m excited to document since it’ll be like my two worlds colliding.

Then, I thought – what if I tried to envision the actual pieces I’m going to write in categories? How do I want them to be broken up and what kind of narrative do I want to follow? Linear or non-linear? I mentioned doing something like we did in E-Lit and I’m still really intrigued to do that because of the different forms of media I want to include. If that’s the case, it’ll most likely be non-linear and I think this just leaves more room for me to play around with the aesthetics of the piece.

This has been a mess of a blog, but it’s just an accurate representation of how non-linear my thinking has been in terms of organization. I really think the internal versus external idea might lead me somewhere I like and I plan to move forward in that direction. In the coming weeks, I’d like to start looking at old writings and focus on those to see if I can edit anything or grab inspiration from them. I’m itching to start the writing process, but I want to make sure I know what direction I stick with.

This was in my journal and lead me to the idea

Session 8: Approaching the Dragon (I.E. the Literature Review)

Going into this week, I’m finally starting to feel pretty positive about my progress. I have 15 sources on my literature review right now, with plans to search for a few more on a couple of other subjects. I’m also waiting on some more fiction to come in from interlibrary loan. I most recently read Flamer, which was an excellent read and very helpful when it comes to contextualizing and justifying the need for Retrograde.

Now, on my literature review, for the most part I just have the citations at the moment; I’ve not yet done the annotation part (except for one of my fiction reads). I read everything on there, yes, in order to narrow down my selection, and as I read I highlighted and made notes on the text. Now that I’m almost done with selecting the research, I’ll soon go back into the readings and start typing out my justifications for including each piece in the literature review. Since, like I said, I’ve already highlighted and made notes, I don’t think it will be too difficult to start actually creating the “review” parts of the literature review!

All that said, I will spend this week looking for a few more sources to round out the review. I think I’ll start the actual annotations next week, or perhaps near the tail end of this one.

Also…it’s November, which means NaNoWriMo has started! I’m not going to do NaNo “properly” this year, by which I mean I’m not starting a new novel project and aiming for 50k words. However, I am going to try to use the motivation and community of NaNo to help me finish my second draft! So far, it’s still been slow going…I feel like I need to get all the scholarly stuff finished properly before I can dive back into the creative. Not to mention, my workload from my other classes has been pretty high as well. This week, though, I’m really trying to get ahead of my classwork so I can work on some bigger projects with looming due dates. Perhaps I will be able to fit in some Retrograde writing as well!

I hope everyone has a good week, and I will see you all next Tuesday! Don’t forget to vote on this one 🙂