Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Love Knowing Smart People

Okay, folks.  Remember how I've been trying to find balance and order between all of the many haphazard parts of my life?  Well, I found part of the answer yesterday on the blog of a very smart woman.

Jemi (Just Jemi) described how she's ordered her blog reading with folders in Google Reader.  Totally copying from Jemi, I not only set up folders for each day of the week, but I added a Daily folder (mainly for agents' blogs), and a "Whenever" folder (e.g., for the gluten-free food blogs I follow).  I know this is going to make my life so much more manageable.

Thanks, Jemi!

So, for those of you who I've missed recently, fear not.  I shall return.  I just might not return every day.  But at least this way I get to see you sometimes! :)


In writing-related occurrences, if you didn't see yesterday's post, I'm excited about my new photo acquisition for a character in my WiP.  I'm still working toward finishing my latest draft of WiP#1 by the end of September.  My current word count holds at about 36K.  I didn't get any time to work on it on Monday, but hopefully I'll find some time on Tuesday.


Here's a school update after day 1, for those of you who might be interested.  I've gone to my first fiction writing class already, and it was awesome.  The instructor's cool, excited, and adorable.  The other students are a wide mix from campus: seniors and freshman; creative writing majors, grad-me, and psychology majors; an even balance of men and women.

It looks like it's going to be a good class.  For the first few weeks, we'll be focusing on characterization one week, story arcs another, dialogue another, etc.  And at the end of each class she'll give us 5-10 minutes and a writing prompt to get the ol' brain cells activated.  We'll see what comes out of yesterday's prompt over the weekend...

I also had my German for reading class.  It was more or less what I expected.  The instructor said from the get-go that this would be a boring class—monotonous and tedious—but I so sincerely appreciated his honesty about it.  A few years ago I took the equivalent French class, and it was torture for many, many, many, MANY reasons (are you getting how torturous it was??), but the fact that the instructor RESENTED our boredom was ridiculous.  You translate sentences, go around in a circle to talk about your translation, you get a little bit of grammar instruction, go home, prepare, and do it again the next day.  What's exciting about that?  So, kuddos for the German guy for his honesty and bluntness.  And he doesn't care that I bought the e-book, which is good since it was 1/2 the price!

For said German class, I was dreading my hike to the library in the hopes that one more German-English dictionary could be acquired from the shelves, but I didn't have to go :)  My adviser loaned me his German-English dictionary from when he took the class XX years ago.  I'm smiling at it right now.  I love when things are easier than they should be.

In that vein, I get to pick up my books tomorrow, prepackaged and waiting for me at a pick up window in the Union.  How cool is that?

Oh, and finally, after German I went for wine with my awesome friend from the Spanish department—who, coincidentally, suffered with me through the French class.  This woman is so funny that, by the end of my third glass of wine, I was laughing so loudly I was probably irritating the wait staff (who were trying to go home... we were the last folks there...).  It was a great way to end the long first day.

And, today, the gym.  Duh duh dunnnnnnnn....

So, I stink and have no good question for you, my lovely readers, today.  My excuse: I'm writing this Monday night and am an alcoholic lightweight.  Sorry!  I promise for my interesting and writing-related insights throughout the rest of the week.

Happy Tuesday, y'all :)


Rayna M. Iyer said...

Google Reader is awesome, after you figure out how to use it.
I never learnt a foreign language, so can empathise how boring French lessons must have been....

Jules said...

I still use my dashboard, lazy I guess. :)

Foreign language..I tried french in high school. Walk in they spoke french and I walked out. I'm still trying to break the hillbilly in me :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

RosieC said...

You know, if it had been *real* French, it wouldn't have been so bad, but it was French for translation/reading knowledge, with the wagon-wheel method of checking students' homework and the same nonsense every day. The difference was the instructors' perceptions of what was happening. My guess is that my French instructor hadn't taken these classes before teaching it, whereas the German instructor has.

Ah, anyway, ramble ramble...

RosieC said...

I don't think dashboard is lazy at all. The fact that I'm following around 300 blogs makes it impossible to visit all of my lovely bloggy friends. Using the Google Reader makes it easier to keep up with everyone, even if it's on a schedule.

And, I'm a total geek. I like the emersion method of language teaching/learning. It happens to be the hot new method so everyone's doing it. It's not for everyone, though, that's for sure. There needs to be balance in the language instruction, which none of the past or present methods take into account :(

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Google reader folders? What? How does that work? Isn't it drab reading people's blogs without their pretty layouts, though?

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Call me old fashioned...I'm still reading blogs via my sidebar or my dashboard....But that's just me. If they came in the mail, I'd read them that way. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks for the kind words - you're such a sweetie!

In answer to Jessica - I click through to the actual blog because I like the pretty pictures too! Plus you can comment that way.

I open up a bunch at a time then read them that way. Like you Rosie, I've got too many blogs I'm following to use my dashboard any more. So far it's working!

Summer Ross said...

I'm a 3rd year french student, I loved it, I don't think I'd ever be able to put a handle on German. I took a fiction writing class back during my associates. Sounds like you have a good round solid semester and I hope you enjoy it. :)

Cruella Collett said...

Sounds like you're a busy butterfly (so much nicer than a bee, don't you think? Though, come to think of it, a bee is better than a wasp, which is what I am truly annoyed with at the moment. Autumn wasps are making me nuts - today I had one stalk me for ten minutes!)

Anyway - I too think Jemi was being very clever with her folder system. I must get more organized sometime - I envision this is something I will do late November when my thesis is done and I have NOTHING to do (at least that is my idea of what a life after thesis will be).

Aaaand I had one more thing to say, what was that..? Oh, yes. French! I am a language person, really, I am (I just skip the grammar part - it's the etymology and communication aspects that fascinates me), but after having learnt French for *counts* SEVEN years, and STILL not being able to speak squat, I vowed to myself NEVER to learn another language unless I also went to a place where they speak the language in question. I pretty much learnt English through osmosis - sure, I had it in school for a million years, but it was through television, movies, books, music I learnt it. I never got the chance to do that with French. I almost learnt Japanese that way too, but then I left before I got very far (but I understood quite a bit, actually, though sadly it is all forgotten now).

So yes. I understand the frustration.

RosieC said...

AA, it's so true! I will frequently open them just to see the lovely layouts.

It took me a long time to figure out, unfortunately, how to do the folders, but it's pretty easy after that. I'd be happy to share if you're interested :)

Sharon, I don't blame you. I really like how the dashboard does it. I would just have too many to go over and would get overwhelmed and stop reading :(

Jemi, I'm so glad you posted about it. It's made a world of difference.

Summer, I took four years of French and one of German in HS, and then moved into Russian and Polish, so, bleh, I have too much language experience. But since it's not a real language class--there's no speaking, listening, or writing, just reading--it's pretty dull. At least I have the writing class to make it all better :)

Cruella, I guess I am busy. I haven't gotten much writing time in over the past 48 hours :( but there's still time. If you want to save the folder as *ehem* "reward" thing after you finish writing, that's cool, but it didn't really take that long. Of course, as I recall, you follow 6,837,492 (or something like that) blogs, no? I suppose that would take longer.

After 4 years of HS French I couldn't speak a word, and I'm okay with that. I have difficult with languages that don't look like what they sound like (isn't that funny, since I'm a native English speaker? HA!). But reading French is fine for me. I just don't know about the German, yet.

Hannah Mariska said...

i never knew you could use google reader...but then again even my dashboard confuses me! will definitely see if i can have a go at it.

i hope your classes go well!


RosieC said...

Hannah, yeah, Google Reader is pretty cool, though it's impersonal since you do miss the awesome layouts that each person has put lots of thought into. But it's a lot more organized :)

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