An Impossible Task

My thesis finally made it here to New Hampshire, after its rigorous journey through the U.S. Postal System, still a little offended to have been deemed a threat to our “homeland security”. I had been feeling sick all day when I mosied on up to the mailboxes to grab it, but upon opening the thing I felt reinvigorated. I was still sick, but I was determined to get past that and get working. That was how exciting seeing the thing was.

Among my advisor’s many thoughtful comments were these:

I assume you’re working on one or two last chapters…or do you plan to stop here and submit what you have towards the thesis? You certainly could do that, but I don’t think one last push is a bad idea.

Well, he’s mistaken on one thing: I have 8 chapters left to go, not one or two. But, he’s right on when he says that one last push wouldn’t be a bad idea. I’ve actually been craving a chance to finish this novel off, and here he’s provided the impetus to do so.

Many of his overarching comments on the novel seem to presuppose there is very little left to the beast. I think that some of his comments will actually be addressed by the completion of the book. Also, completing the book will give me a better idea of how to go back and revise the earlier sections.

So, I asked for an extension on my third deadline to allow me to get more work in. I now have more like three weeks, instead of the one and a half to two weeks I thought I had. It didn’t take long to get the extension either. By the time I got it, I was already underway with the next chapter. By dinner, I was done with that chapter.

With me, I draft in my head. Many writers say that’s a bad idea, that it’s never worked for them, but it works for me. By the time I get to the computer, I am at a great place where I have a very good idea of where things are going to go, with still just enough willingness to be led astray.

So, I’m doing it. I’m doing what I thought couldn’t be done. Wish me luck.

And, in the meantime, check out a couple of pictures I snapped today. I’m working on integrating the gallery feature that’s built into Expression Engine so that I can output something like what JonMartin has on his site. I’m also just hoping it will encourage me to make better and more frequent use of my camera.

This first one is of the solitary flower blossom that popped up just outside our door this week. Click the image for a larger version.

This second one is of the dirty snowbank outside of our condo. I’ve always been fascinated by that particular brown-gray color that snow turns on the side of the road and towards the beginning of spring, when it’s finally about to go away. Click the image for a larger version.

This final one, in particular, was inspired by the gallery at Preludes.org, where Jon had posted a picture of his workspace. You can see the behemoth of my thesis, and the Excel spreadsheet that charts out the rest of the novel, and beyond that, the latest chapter.