Category Archives: Student Blogs

Spring Symposium Tomorrow! (Well Today)

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Just a little humor before I get started! The Spring Symposium is tomorrow! I am excited, nervous, shakin’ in my boots, all of that. Mostly excited though. I left last week’s class feeling more confident about presenting my work to an audience (including my family) for the first time. I finished my presentation and I also successfully made my surprise handouts for everyone. Here is what everyone will receive:

Thesis Handout

This is going to be a “Quilt Card” that everyone will be able to take home. By now, everyone knows the format of my thesis will eventually be this multimodal quilt that consists of all types of media and text. My topic is not just sensitive, but it’s very important. It’s not only for people who have careers in the academic setting, but it’s important to know in general. I wanted to make sure that the people who heard my presentation learned something new and remember what I said. Of course, there was so much more I wanted to put on this quilt, but I picked what I think people would remember the most.

After finishing the Quilt Card, I worked on my presentation. I must say, after editing it for hours, it turned out nice! Here are some screenshots:

To wrap things up, I am excited to present the work I have done so far. I apologize for the short post! It’s 1 am, and I am T I R E D want to be prepared for tomorrow. (Really today). Anyway…

Thank you and goodnight!

Closing Time, Part 1

Well, looks like I just about made it to the finish line. I still have a few more pages to write before everything is all said and done, and what better way to begin by explaining my presentation for the Spring Symposium?

My project is divided into two major points: explaining Godreign, the novel that came as a result of my research and discovery, and explaining my research, which explains my thought process in greater detail.

Since I know that the people at the symposium were probably educated, but likely not as well-read in the same areas that I had covered for my thesis project, I wanted to keep things as straightforward and understandable for the average person. This included (against my own judgement) the usage of Marvel and DC character images to further push my explanation forward. It feels awkward a little, essentially promoting a book that hasn’t been published yet. But it’s my project darn it, and I’m gonna consider it a practice in marketing, if anything.

I tried to take an approach that was less focused on the “how” behind my thesis; save that stuff for the actual written paper. Instead, I wanted to use a lot of time explaining the “why”. Why I feel this needed to exist, why I felt this was a worthwhile endeavor. I never, ever thought I’d be writing a book as part of my academic process, so I think it’s important to explain things to the average person with that in mind.

I’ll be trying to present the promotional materials with the website that is serving as a portfolio for my work. There is a bunch of materials related to both my research and my novel that I would like to share on it, and so I’ll be putting a decent amount of time on the website as well, which should have its own domain name by next week.

I always admired Apple keynotes for their layers of presenting a new product or service, so I studied some of their keynotes as a basis for my own presentation. In particular, the way they set a background for the product or service before they reveal it. While I am not selling anything here, I do want to introduce my story in the same method, using the research to set a background for my actual story, and then proceeding to explain the story that resulted from my research. Public speaking is no stranger to me, but I will be timed to an extent, so I will be keeping that in mind when I present everything next week.

I don’t plan on having any sort of script to stick to however. Nothing ever goes as planned in life, but I feel this is one of those times where staying off the script is going to result in a more organic, more honest presentation. Hopefully those 5-10 minutes will be spent on speaking on what I know best, which is my thesis project, and the novel that came from it as a result.

 

I Survived Research Days!!!

Hey~

So, since you’re reading this, I survived my Research Days presentation on my thesis project!

It went off so well! I couldn’t imagine a better outcome, tbh! I had my tables all set up basically the way I wanted. (The only think I wished were different is that the laptop connected to the SmartTV had a longer cord so I could have placed it on the table and let people peruse the site. During the presentation, people had to come around the table and I think that discouraged some people from doing it.) Overall, I was very happy with the experience. I saw my vision realized.

 

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Photo Credit @KareLNavyBluGuy

Photo Credit @ambitiousisshe1

Photo Credit @KareLNavyBluGuy

Photo Credit @ColorfulWriter2

I was so concerned that people would be uninterested in the work or that they wouldn’t be receptive to participating in the project but so many people were very down to do arts & crafts inspired by the internet. More, so many of my friends, loved ones, and supporters were there engaging with my work and ensuring that other people engaged with it as well. Their help and support ensured my project was fully multimodal. I’m so grateful for everyone who came it for the exhibit.

Photo Credit @MiaZamoraPhD

Photo Credit @soto_leighann

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Photo Credit @_teachreadwrite

I loved hearing the different perspectives I got from so many different people in different specializations. Some people were unsure of my work until I got them talking about digital culture or memes or gifs, etc. Then, they were so excited to tell me about their fave memes or sites or [insert internet phenomena here]. It was heartening to see my work resonate with so many different people across disciplines and mindsets. It felt like people were lining up to talk to me about my work.

That said, I do wish I could have jumped in more on the Twitter or in the Google Hangout. I feel like I was moving a million miles a minute and I just didn’t get to spend as much time as I wish I could have. I’d have loved to respond more o tweets and questions from my online supporters. The people in our #netnarr tag are responsible for expanding so much of my own perspective on digital culture and I wish I could have given them more attention during the exhibit. I think the NetNarr class did a good job in my stead though and, again, I’m grateful to have had them by my side (with their tiger masks and all).

Anyway, I’m still collecting my thoughts on the whole experience but I’ll be sure to discuss the whole experience on my thesis blog by this weekend! Please, check out #takemeseriouly for more photos documenting the exhibit and people’s experience of it! Share your own thoughts too, if you’d like! Thank you to everyone who has kept with me on this wild and crazy journey! You made my presentation possible!

****

~Till next time~

memequeen

Almost That Time!

 

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A Different World

 

Let’s Get Started!

Hello everyone! Well, I have been quite busy this week. Before I get started, just a huge “Congratulations” to my fellow classmate, scholar, and colleague Kelli for the amazing showcase of her Thesis during Kean University’s Research Days 2019. I was able to express, create, and learn. I applaud you. I also had the honor of participating in Kean’s Research Days along with my Writing and Theory Practice class from last semester. Integrating various ideas, articles, research, images, blog posts, ideas, and videos, we collectively created a website that touched upon various important topics concerning the up-and-coming issues in the classroom. We called it “Small Bites of Knowledge,” so I’ll be sure to add the link to the site after this blog!

Anyway! So besides all of that fun, I had to get down to business. I took a break from writing the next section of my thesis to focus on the Spring Symposium next week! (Can’t believe it’s here already.) I had a hard time creating a formal proposal and a short idea of what I am going to present next week. Of course, it’s in the first draft phase, and tomorrow I will do some cleanup. I wanted to make sure I get my point across and emphasize the problem I am focusing on. And then, of course, I talked about my chapters. I’m not sure if what I have so much is specific enough, but I am hoping it’s a good start to completing my presentation. I do want to show the idea that I had for possibly making a website that looks like this:

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Then I would also like to show the two sections that I have completed so much. It’s too much information to go through every “puzzle piece” of the document, but I would just scroll through it just to show everyone the work that is going into this thesis. What I don’t want to happen is it becomes a “boring” presentation and not something that will get their attention. Nevertheless, I tried my best. (Did not mean for that to rhyme). 

Before I sign off, I want to discuss something one of my classmates sent to me. Here is the image. Two sections are circled. There was a job posting for a teaching job at a university. The job posted the “Essential Duties and Responsibilities” that are required. The very first bullet point says, “Teach students writing in standard academic English through one-on-one, asynchronous online paper review appointments…”. Now, on the third bullet point, it says, “Commit to treating students, staff, and faculty in our community with empathy and respect, recognizing and valuing diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.” So then my classmate and I started talking, and she pointed out the fact that this job posting is contradictory. The school wants to make sure the students learn “standard academic English” but then also needs to recognize diversity. It’s challenging to tackle both responsibilities without canceling one of them out.

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I realized that in the academic space, it’s acceptable to have diversity in the classroom as long as the students are taught to speak and write [like this] to pass the class and be considered a “good student” or sound professional. Part of my thesis touched upon when it comes to a different dialect of English, in this case, AAVE is only accepted when people want it to be. I was thinking about including this example as part of the Power section of my thesis. Some people have “the upper hand” in society who creates the rules of what is acceptable and what is deemed unacceptable. It happens too often. People in power, such as higher-ups in the university setting, appreciate or merely accept only certain parts of a culture. You can’t love Spanish food but then dismiss their language. You can’t love 90’s R&B but dismiss AAVE. It’s almost as if this job application is saying, “Culture and diversity are good. It’s needed! It’s important! Just not when it comes to academic writing and language in its setting.” Instead, the job posting should have said, “Teach students writing in their best academic sense through one-on-one, asynchronous, online paper review appointments.” By phrasing it like this, the pressure of having to speak [like this] for the student to succeed decreases.

With that being said, I am looking forward to presenting my work for the first time next week. Until next time!

Here is the link to my Spring Symposium Formal Proposal: 

Also, the link to “Small Bites of Knowledge.” 

 

 

 

The Divine Duality

Every once in a while, you get a revolutionary type of presentation in a pre-existing format. Movies have been on the “Part 1 and Part 2” train since Harry Potter first proved it was feasible back in 2010. Most recently, Avengers: Endgame is the “Part 2” to Infinity War’s “Part 1”. But while many stories have told the beginning and end in two parts, what about telling the story simultaneously with two parts?

I have to be careful with this, because it wouldn’t take much to consider it nothing more than a method to cash in on an existing trend. But as I drafted and outlined novels past my first one (Grand Contingency), it soon became clear that I would need to reconsider the way I tell the next story, or I would have an Order of the Phoenix sized doorstop for a book.

Nothing is replacing my Dobby doorstop, anyway.

So, I can’t exactly explain why I feel this would be necessary without elaborating on my story a little bit, so here’s that.

The next story in the Godreign series, set in the modern era 130 years after the events of Grand Contingency. Despite being the second and third installments, these novels take place almost entirely at the same time, chronologically.

Sometime in the 20th century, the Godreign was found, and neither Zach Edwards or Annabelle d’Armientieres were around to prevent the successful summon of the Neutral Weapon, a living being said to rival the Higher Powers in terms of divine energy. This triggered The Fall; an era of calculated attacks that not only left death and destruction in its wake, but left many countries in states of helplessness. This went on for seven years, after which the Neutral Weapon became dormant. Not wanting to waste any time before it returned, the most brilliant minds of the world began planning to rebuild, recover, and prepare a strategy in case the Neutral Weapon ever returned.

Dynatronic Energy Solutions, was at the helm of this recovery effort, and soon became a monopoly on the PowerPotential Energy that proved vital to rebuilding efforts in many countries. When protests of their mistreatment began to grow, a terrorist organization known as the Assembly began staging terorrist acts. Dynatronic formed a private army, known as the Task Force to protect their investments.

Gryphons tells the story of the titicular Gryphons, an international unit of special forces operators who are under contract with the DES Task Force due to unclear circumstances. With their advanced flight suits and mastery of both Tempest and Acquiescent Artes, they lead the fight against the Assembly through various missions that strike at the heart of their operation. But when they are hunted down by the Task Force after discovering the true reason behind The Fall, they set off on a personal campaign to not only prove their innocence, but to ensure a future where the Godreign never returns.

Cairdrys is an android, or at least she thinks she is. She doesn’t remember much of her origins before becoming the latest member of the Gryphons, and the only being ever capable of using both Tempest and Acquiescent Artes. After waking up years after her last mission nearly destroyed her internals, she finds her internal memory being occupied by an unknown set of tasks, leaving her unable to access the set of abilities that defined her. As she slowly recovers her abilities, she also regains memories of the past, and as the Gryphons fight against the Assembly, her past may prove vital to a future without the Neutral Weapon.

Guardians tells the simultaneous story of the Praetorian Guard, a highly disciplined unit of bodyguards who protect the leader of the DES Task Force; the mysterious Imperator Commandalia, and their Praefector second-in-command, Cecelia Silvestre.

When Task Force newcomer “Wolf” Albrecht saves the Praefector’s niece from assassination, he finds himself as the newest member of the Guard. It is a position that he is not interested in accepting, does so to ensure the continued safety of his blind sister Sieglinde, a prodigy in the medical Acquiescent Artes. After accidentally discovering the identity of the Imperator, he becomes thrust into a battle on two fronts; one to stop the terrorist Assembly from activating the Neutral Weapon once more, and to investigate the sudden betrayal of the legendary Gryphon Unit, and if it’s even a defection at all.

So now that I have all of that out of the way, I feel I can explain it a little more.

Gryphons is recommended to be read first by newcomers who have not read Grand Contingency, you’ll learn about the Grand Experiment alongside the Gryphons. I’m writing this story with an action tilt; while both sides have several shares of action as well as exploration into the bigger picture within Grand Contingency, Gryphons focuses on a group of supersoldiers from several different agencies around the world, and therefore will feature a greater emphasis on discovery. The Gryphons are not nearly as well-documented on the Godreign as much as the main characters in Guardians, so they’ll be learning more as they go along. To a potential new reader, I feel this is an organic method of exposing them to the world.

Guardians builds on characters and background story from Grand Contingency, and while it can be read before Gryphons, it is recommended to be read first by those who have read Grand Contingency, in order to fully understand the connections both stories have with the overall lore.

Compared to Gryphons, which introduces the story from the outside looking in, the majority of the characters in Guardians are familiar with both the Godreign and the Grand Experiment. This is to represent the reader who has read Grand Contingency better, and to spend less time on exposition regarding it. It also goes into the history of both the Godreign and the Higher Powers That Be a little more, although that is not the focus for either story…yet.

So what’s the purpose behind this method of storytelling? Why couldn’t I just condense this into a single book, with multiple perspectives? Well, apart from the aforementioned doorstop of a book I’m trying to avoid, I feel like a sequel should only be done if there’s some opportunity to improve on some aspect of the narrative. After all, by the time Grand Contingency is ready to publish, I feel I can would have gone through a lot that had advanced me as a writer. But at the same time, I feel this method is still linear in a sense; both books would end up advancing the plot whether you read only one or both, so there is still a sense of progression despite the extra pages from both.

Most importantly, I’m excited to see the continuity that readers will recognize from reading one book then the other; there will be characters you recognize, references you understood, and reasons for characters doing something that may seem unclear at first, then you read it from their perspective and suddenly it all makes a little more sense. It’s a narrative approach that I wish was explored more, and one I hope to advance in some form with this duality in the storytelling.

How I hope someone feels reading Gryphons /Guardians then reading the other one.

Ready to Rumble…

Hey all~

So… next week is it. Literally next Tuesday night. I’m going to present my work for the first time. I’ve got my thesis done, the research down, the website and flyers up, the word out.

Kean University Research Days 2019

If my research doesn’t take me anywhere, I feel like I could get a job making kinda cool posters at the very least. Don’t you think????

All the pieces are coming together.

The only major thing left is to wrap up my sculptural installation. I got most of the work done last Thursday. It looks like a metal wire sculpture of a head, friends. This week, I’m just going to add some more wire to stabilize the piece and really refine its features and it can be added to the list of accomplishments.

After that, it’s just aesthetics and dressings. I need to get a platter to display my piece because I’m #dramatic. A platter would also go along with the increasingly processed and manufactured nature of self in the digital age so… am I really being dramatic??? I also need to finish decorating some of the mannequin heads for my display as well and collect some other arts and ends for my display. I want people to be able to express themselves and their relation to my work and the ideas in my work in a variety of ways.

Additionally, on thesis night this week, I’m hoping we can walk over and take a look at the STEM atrium just to get a better sense of the space for next Tuesday. I need to send an email to NetNarr too with a link to my website so that everyone can familiarize themselves with the content and get a better sense of exactly what they’ll be promoting that night.

Other than this, I’m not sure if I’ve got much else to say. I’m at the end. It’s been a wild, grueling, and, honestly, life altering journey. So much has come and gone, changed and evolved, wilted and bloomed over the course of this project. In the course of researching the expression of self, I, unsurprising, learned a lot about myself and about my strengths and what I value in this life. I lost some pieces of me that hurt and that I still miss everyday but I also gained so much more. I don’t believe in much (blame the nihilist in me) but I do believe that the universe gives as good as it takes.

I’m looking forward to presenting on my work. Maybe some people will think it’s silly and maybe some people will stump me with questions I never even considered but I’m looking forward to it. I want to be there to experience other people experiencing my work and considering the ideas I’ve proposed. I want to expand the conversation I’ve been having these past couple years.

I’m ready to let my work out into the world.

I hope the world is ready for it and me.

****

~Till next time~

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Trust the Process

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Google Search: POET KWYN TOWNSEND RILEY

Well, I must say that this past week did go the way I expected. (But hey, that’s life!) The process for coming up with the different parts for the next chapter, Education, was harder than the History section. I had a difficult time condensing my notes into just a few sections. There is so much to address when it comes to Mainstream/Standard English versus AAVE in a classroom setting. I was able to add videos and images, which were helpful to the creative side of this thesis. Here are some screenshots from the document:

I didn’t think about the format of this section or where each box should go yet, I just wrote and put down whatever I thought would fit in the Education section. I do see more of my voice and opinion is shown in this section than the previous section. Also, there is more research present. Education and AAVE is such a big and controversial topic that I wanted to make sure I hit every corner. I wanted to make sure my point was being supported enough. Hopefully, I did that successfully without seeming like my thoughts were all over the place.

I wanted to finish two chapters this past week, but I was not able to. I also did not want to force it. So, for next week, I will be tackling the chapter of Community, which will consist of representation, oppression, embrace, culture, beyond words-gestures, hand motions. (The gestures and hand motions are a small part to this chapter). Once again, one of the significant challenges is not sounding redundant and putting information in the “wrong” chapter. For example, I have to make sure what goes in the Community chapter does not go in other sections.

Although there are challenges, I am enjoying the highs and lows of the still early process of my thesis. “Gotta trust the process,” as my father would say.

Until next time! Below is the document link to the chapter Education.

L: Education

Quitting While You’re Ahead

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

-Orson Welles

I always found the concept of long-running TV shows to be fascinating to me. Apart from shows that rely on comedical elements like The Simpsons, these are shows with plots that must accompany the long-running nature of the show. This is more common in anime than anything else; Fairy Tail is in its final season and will finish with 321 episodes. In comparison, the average anime series only has about 26 episodes, or even 12. But even this pales in comparison to One Piece, which currently has roughly 875 episodes and only recently had announced a conclusion in the near future. Sure, these series are immensely popular and therefore can be allowed to last as long as they do…but if popularity wasn’t a factor in the run length….at what point do you decide to stop?
I’ve noticed that over time, a lot of authors either fall out of love with a former project of theirs, or even worse, actively speaking out against the projects. Don’t expect Stephanie Meyer to do another Twilight book, and JK Rowling will change the Harry Potter continuity if it means getting another headline out of it.
I’m having a lot of fun writing this book for my thesis, one that I hope to become a successful series. However, I do recognize that eventually I will have to, and will want to, write something else. Hopefully people will want to see more, and I’d be happy to keep people posted if so. But the last thing I would hope to do, is to write a novel for profit.

It seems to be a trap that even the greatest of authors have found themselves in. Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes, only to bring him back in after a publisher threw a copious amount of money his way. Money talks. And solves crimes.

Holmes is dead and damned! I have had such an overdose of him that I feel towards him as I do towards paté de foie gras, of which I once ate too much, so that the name of it gives me a sickly feeling to this day.

-Arthur Conan Doyle on his feelings on Sherlock Holmes, shortly after killing him off (temporarily) in “The Final Problem”.

I’m having a lot of fun writing this book for my thesis, one that I hope to become a successful series. However, I do recognize that eventually I will have to, and will want to, write something else. Hopefully people will want to see more, and I’d be happy to keep people posted if so. But the last thing I would hope to do, is to write a novel for profit. The one book I’m writing now, is the first in a planned series of 5, maybe 6 if I split the final story into two parts (remember when that was a trend with movies?) . However, I fully intend to complete the story at 4. Why is that? I feel that the best projects don’t pack everything conclusive regarding their plot in the very last book, at least in a coherent fashion. A fifth and final book would give a sense of finality and bridge the gap between the two large time gaps in my story (late 19th/early 20th century and the present day), but it would also answer some lingering questions that may have been overlooked in concluding the story with book 4. With this type of presentation, the tension surrounding the main story would be alleviated, but there would be room to introduce some new tension with the plot. It’s the stress that keeps on stressing!

This all isn’t to say that I don’t have plans beyond the planned books. I even have a forbidden high school setting for all my relatively adult characters to be de-aged and then interact in, and oh boy will that probably be a story that will either completely alienate my reader base or bring in an entirely new set of readers to my stories. But I think that I would like to eventually take a step back, and look at all my projects in retrospect, and leave enough time to think “hmm, am I satisfied with this”? It’s a little more flexible with writing I’d imagine than other arts; da Vinci couldn’t exactly tweak the Mona Lisa once it dried, you know? But I don’t want to be left wondering, or even worse, realize something needed work when it is too late to do anything. Douglas Adams was so irate by his fanbase wanting more Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy books, that he with “Mostly Harmless”, he basically tried ending the series on a final, depressing note. When he regretted this and set upon making another book that was way more pleasant, he kinda passed away before he could finish it. Guess life is also mostly harmless too. Mostly.
I’ll go a deeper into my thought process in having multiple books tell a simultaneously story in another blog post, but to sum up my thoughts on this whole thing; authors should always write what they feel like writing. However, if people tend to enjoy a certain book, I feel an author should think twice before burning the bridge on it, or at least consider engaging readers in active conversation if it is brought up. Some authors have thought they were done with a project only to go right back to it sometime later, or at the very least, have regrets about the way it ended. Others (that includes you, JK Rowling) either don’t know when to give it up, and oversaturate their series as a result, losing some potential value it may have with the reader. There’s a fine balance here when it comes to knowing when a series is complete or not, and it’s one that authors have been struggling to balance for ages now.

Quitting While You’re Ahead

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

-Orson Welles

I always found the concept of long-running TV shows to be fascinating to me. Apart from shows that rely on comedical elements like The Simpsons, these are shows with plots that must accompany the long-running nature of the show. This is more common in anime than anything else; Fairy Tail is in its final season and will finish with 321 episodes. In comparison, the average anime series only has about 26 episodes, or even 12. But even this pales in comparison to One Piece, which currently has roughly 875 episodes and only recently had announced a conclusion in the near future. Sure, these series are immensely popular and therefore can be allowed to last as long as they do…but if popularity wasn’t a factor in the run length….at what point do you decide to stop?
I’ve noticed that over time, a lot of authors either fall out of love with a former project of theirs, or even worse, actively speaking out against the projects. Don’t expect Stephanie Meyer to do another Twilight book, and JK Rowling will change the Harry Potter continuity if it means getting another headline out of it.
I’m having a lot of fun writing this book for my thesis, one that I hope to become a successful series. However, I do recognize that eventually I will have to, and will want to, write something else. Hopefully people will want to see more, and I’d be happy to keep people posted if so. But the last thing I would hope to do, is to write a novel for profit.

It seems to be a trap that even the greatest of authors have found themselves in. Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes, only to bring him back in after a publisher threw a copious amount of money his way. Money talks. And solves crimes.

Holmes is dead and damned! I have had such an overdose of him that I feel towards him as I do towards paté de foie gras, of which I once ate too much, so that the name of it gives me a sickly feeling to this day.

-Arthur Conan Doyle on his feelings on Sherlock Holmes, shortly after killing him off (temporarily) in “The Final Problem”.

I’m having a lot of fun writing this book for my thesis, one that I hope to become a successful series. However, I do recognize that eventually I will have to, and will want to, write something else. Hopefully people will want to see more, and I’d be happy to keep people posted if so. But the last thing I would hope to do, is to write a novel for profit. The one book I’m writing now, is the first in a planned series of 5, maybe 6 if I split the final story into two parts (remember when that was a trend with movies?) . However, I fully intend to complete the story at 4. Why is that? I feel that the best projects don’t pack everything conclusive regarding their plot in the very last book, at least in a coherent fashion. A fifth and final book would give a sense of finality and bridge the gap between the two large time gaps in my story (late 19th/early 20th century and the present day), but it would also answer some lingering questions that may have been overlooked in concluding the story with book 4. With this type of presentation, the tension surrounding the main story would be alleviated, but there would be room to introduce some new tension with the plot. It’s the stress that keeps on stressing!

This all isn’t to say that I don’t have plans beyond the planned books. I even have a forbidden high school setting for all my relatively adult characters to be de-aged and then interact in, and oh boy will that probably be a story that will either completely alienate my reader base or bring in an entirely new set of readers to my stories. But I think that I would like to eventually take a step back, and look at all my projects in retrospect, and leave enough time to think “hmm, am I satisfied with this”? It’s a little more flexible with writing I’d imagine than other arts; da Vinci couldn’t exactly tweak the Mona Lisa once it dried, you know? But I don’t want to be left wondering, or even worse, realize something needed work when it is too late to do anything. Douglas Adams was so irate by his fanbase wanting more Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy books, that he with “Mostly Harmless”, he basically tried ending the series on a final, depressing note. When he regretted this and set upon making another book that was way more pleasant, he kinda passed away before he could finish it. Guess life is also mostly harmless too. Mostly.
I’ll go a deeper into my thought process in having multiple books tell a simultaneously story in another blog post, but to sum up my thoughts on this whole thing; authors should always write what they feel like writing. However, if people tend to enjoy a certain book, I feel an author should think twice before burning the bridge on it, or at least consider engaging readers in active conversation if it is brought up. Some authors have thought they were done with a project only to go right back to it sometime later, or at the very least, have regrets about the way it ended. Others (that includes you, JK Rowling) either don’t know when to give it up, and oversaturate their series as a result, losing some potential value it may have with the reader. There’s a fine balance here when it comes to knowing when a series is complete or not, and it’s one that authors have been struggling to balance for ages now.

Getting Ready for Research Days…

Hey~

I hope everyone had a nice week! I’ve been feeling better since the last time we spoke! Antibiotics are a helluva drug. Since I’ve been feeling better, I’ve gotten a lot of work done. I’ve definitely been working in maximum overdrive to get all of my work done so that I’m presentable for Research Days on the 23rd.

Since last week, I’ve gotten most of the work done on my metals installation (that I was very stressed about). Last Thursday, I spent most of the night assembling the bigger parts of my piece. By some miracle, nothing completely fell apart in the process. I had a few casualties: some of the metal rings I’m using to construct my bust, their solder seams popped while I was trying to solder them to a main support wire. Those were easy fixes though. I just soldered them back together and then reattached them to the support wire, making sure I stayed far away from the seam this time.

Next on my agenda for that is just bending the piece into the shape I want and then free wrapping wire around it to give it more of a facial shape. Hopefully, I can accomplish most of that on this Thursday night. I’m going to bring the piece home with me regardless that night so if I don’t finish working on it in the studio, I’ll definitely finish it at home. I feel much less stressed about it since I was able to get it together last week. Now, I feel like it will be presentable for Research Days. I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything at all so I’m in a much better place now.

As for the rest of my thesis, I’ve finished the writing for it. This weekend, I polished the last few sections and revised. I’m pretty happy with the results. 68 pages and 23, 235 words. 1.5 spacing. I think my thesis says everything I want to say and communicates the messages about new media I want to be associated with. There are definitely a few other papers in this thesis that I could write. But, for now, it’s all I need to say.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to consolidate this work into one website. In a bit of a “manic episode” this week, I have begin creating that site. I have most of the design done and, currently, I’m in the process of moving the information from my thesis to the site. Now, I’m not moving all of the content from my thesis; just a taste of it. I want to protect my intellectual property, of course. But, it is going to represent the “gist” of my research.

On a related note, I have been having a blast creating gifs for my site using Giphy and Lunapic. They’re both free sites one can use to manipulate images, animate them, and create gifs. I mean, on its own, Giphy offers a wide variety of stickers and effects one can combine in their own creative ways to make a new work. Adding Lunapic to the mix just intensifies the effects. So far, I’ve been using gifs as headers for my pages. This is substituting for my inability to actually code a site. It’s providing me with the animation and dynamism I want to bring my work to life. It’s not ideal, for sure, but I think the results are kind of cool.

lit

seriouslyrealme

takedadaseriously.gif

I really want the experience of the site to be like stepping into my own twisted mind. I want it to be in my vision and to represent a certain kind of feeling through design and aesthetic choices. I’m a little afraid that my own perspective will swallow the research but, also, it’s my research project so…. I think it’s fun and engaging and ultimately reveals something about me in its presentation which is kind of meta considering my focus.

Anyway, don’t just take my word for it, though. Check out the site for yourself and let me know what you think:

Degenerates’ Gallery

So, anyway, as you can see, I am getting my shit together. Hopefully, by next week everything will be done and I can finally chill. I have been stressed more than I ever thought I would be stressed in the past few months. Writing a thesis is no joke–even when your thesis is about memes. It is so intense and so overwhelming and consuming. If I did not have the support system I do in my peers and my adviser and family and friends and blog readers, there is no way I would’ve been able to accomplish all of this. At least, there would have been significantly more tears if I were doing this alone. I cannot thank everyone enough for all of their support! I can’t wait to showcase all of my hard work for them!

~Till next time~