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But now that you’re here, I guess you have no choice but to read about my struggles so far in writing my novella for capstone. Darn!

My first struggle is that the middle of my manuscript has no plot. That’s because I had such a clear idea of what I wanted in the beginning and end of the novella. And now, I’m stuck in the middle.

Literally.

I’m too ashamed to workshop what I have so far, mainly because I think it’s so cheesy that it’s not yet worthy of your minor-in-writing eyes. I know we’ve all felt that, so feel free to mentally snap in commiseration.

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What I realized would be helpful is if I wrote out a summary of my novella so far. That way, everyone in class will at least know what’s happening each time I bring in my 35-page draft, and I will no longer be forced into an awkward state of dishing out vague, unhelpful descriptions.

Zach got me thinking more about what kind of character I want Death to be, which is awesome, because I’m not sure yet myself. Also, Sydney got me thinking about what illustration I’ll have on the cover, which is also awesome, because I’m also not sure yet. Note to self: think about these things later.

I’m going to be honest; I’m struggling to make this blog post longer. I think it’s because I always hated blogging, so I’m trying to get better at it. So I’m going to tell you about my Halloween costume.

I’m going to be Princess Jasmine, because the live-action for Aladdin is coming out this summer (which, if you haven’t seen the trailer, what are you doing still reading this?!
Go watch it-bye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g5knnlF7Zo).

My boyfriend is going to be Aladdin, but we’re struggling to find him a stuffed animal monkey to borrow for his costume. Every Aladdin needs an Abu, so if you have an Abu you would like to donate to me for a day, I promise I’ll take good care of it (seriously, my email is fshaidar@umich.edu, help a girl out):

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So many things to think about, so much more to write. Even though the draft was due yesterday.

Good luck everyone!

History Paper Struggles

So I’m in the midst of writing my final paper for my History 202 class.  To give you a little background on the class, its called “Doing History” and it is required for all History Majors.  First of all, I don’t even know why I’m a history major, it just sort of happened.  Secondly, this class has probably been the busiest  I’ve taken at Michigan.  Its not that the content doesn’t interest me, in fact, that is the best part about it.  Its just that there is way too much work required for a 200 level course.  While the blogging for this class is all about reflection, the blogging for that class pretty much consists of writing mini-essays every night.  Nonetheless, I am now tasked with writing an 8-page paper on the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and how President George H.W. Bush managed to keep the U.S.-China diplomatic relationship strong despite strong opposition from Congress.  I’ve been searching through old primary documents for hours and to be honest, I’m sick of it.  My rough draft is due tomorrow, and I’ve already written five pages.  The biggest issue I’m having is that I think my thesis may be too broad for what the prompt is asking for.  I know no one reading this can actually help me with that, but I’ve been crammed in this 3rd floor stack for hours and I just needed to vent about this somehow without annoying everyone else crammed in the stacks next to me.  I’m probably going to submit what I have pretty soon so that I can get feedback as soon as possible.  Hopefully my professor is happy with what I have and tells me to just keep going.  If not, I’m not really sure what I’m gonna do but I don’t know how much longer I can stare at the same paper.

E-Portfolio Struggles

In beginning to think about my eportfolio, its design, its purpose, its audience, and everything related to this project, I am struggling. At first, I wanted to create an eportfolio that was centered on the idea of telling a story about my life. I planned to find a theme on WordPress that looked almost like a journal or even a notebook or looseleaf paper. I wanted to use my pieces about my childhood and how my passion for writing emerged at a very young age to tell a chronological story about my life and my identity as a writer. The more I surfed around on WordPress, and thought about this project, the more difficult I realized this wold be. Although my “Why I Write” essay is centered on a more chronological-based story of my life as a developing writer, my other pieces for this class are completely unrelated (they actually have to do with salsa, the food!). How was I going to tell a story about myself and my life as a writer through just one piece?

I then considered completely shifting the focus of my eportfolio, and giving it a more professional look. I realized I could use this portfolio as a basis for when I graduate college, and could keep adding my writing pieces to it to ultimately show to employers. This would be a good use of my time in the minor, wouldn’t it? After speaking with a friend in the minor who has completed the gateway course, however, she reassured me that her portfolio was not professionally-based. She said hers was personal, which made the assignment special and meaningful for her. She told me that creating a professional portfolio did not fit her writing pieces, as they were more so creative, which is how I feel about my pieces as well.

This then gave me the confidence to reconsider all of my options. I think I might scratch the “notebook/journal/story” idea, and try to find a happy-medium. I may choose a more general idea to center my portfolio on, such as my passion for writing on the whole, and title my portfolio “A girl with a passion” (or something along those lines). I have come to the conclusion that I definitely want to express my personal side through my blog. I guess I will worry about the professional aspect of my portfolio later in life!

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