Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buried....and Quotation for the Week

On Friday the students in my online MLA Research Essay class at Brave Writer submitted their rough drafts. And I've been buried ever since.

Using Open Office's editing function and margin text notes, I marked everything in all the essays regarding content, MLA formatting, and language usage. Each essay took between four and six hours to comment upon.

Yep. Four to six hours. Each.

So, I spent all day Saturday, all day Sunday (missing church), all day Monday when I wasn't homeschooling, and until five in the morning this morning, commenting on rough drafts.

So no blogging, Tweeting, or Facebooking this week, along with no writing of my stories. I didn't even have time to do more than text "Happy Birthday" wishes to two dear friends.  It's been a stressful few days to be sure.

At least when the final essays are submitted on Friday, grading them will not be nearly as much work since I've already commented on the major issues in the essays. (Thank goodness!) Plus, I have ten days to turn around the essays, rather than three days. (Thank goodness, again!)

So as my students write and I dream of writing, I thought that a writing quotation might be appropriate for this week:

"Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish."
--John Jakes

Even though I'm not much of a John Jakes fan, this wise advice is a guiding force behind our teaching at Brave Writer:

--write what you know
--write from the heart
--write with passion

And as I continue to experiment with fiction writing, I'm learning the same lessons. I'm not much of a creative writer--never have been, except for poetry. So I'm pushing myself in new directions as I work on a couple of stories that are becoming quite popular on a publication website. The comments are very encouraging, but I know that I have a long way to go before I am writing truly good fiction. But this site is a good place to experiment, to "cut my teeth" before attempting greater things.

As my students will continue writing, I'll continue grading, and when I finish the grading, I will continue writing my own little stories, learning as I go....

Always, always with pen in hand,

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