who the heck knows anything, anyway

Friday, March 9, 2012

grad schoooooooool, here I come

I've reached a decision. I'd say it's tentative, but considering the necessity of my making an official choice in the next, oh, five days, I have to admit it's not really all that up-in-the-air. So here's what's rollin': I'm going to Pacific next year. Still no idea what city we'll be living in, but there you have it--the perk of a low-residency program: ultimate location flexibility.

So what about the comics thing?

Well, it's not as though I'm going to stop making them. Psh. As if.

Also, Daniel said that, in a couple years (once I'm done with the first MFA), if I still feel like pursuing studies at the CCS, he'll gladly move to Vermont with me. Hooray! So it's still on the table for the future. Fantastically, I imagine that the craft tips I'll get through studying at Pacific will apply directly to comics, as well; a big part of Visual Storytelling is the "storytelling".

There you have it. And I wouldn't be surprised if the comics picked up a little bit of steam with my starting grad school. The more stressed out I am with writing homework, the more I'll want to pour my little, pencil-heart out.

In other news, my enrolling at Pacific means I have to assemble a possible reading list of twenty books/long articles/essays for my first semester (which starts in EARLY JUNE. WHAT.). I guess 20 books* would be a bit intense, but adding some essays and articles in there should even things out. Too bad I don't just happen to know about 20 books/essays/articles offhand that I should read. Sure, I have a To-Read list, but it's mostly poetry right now, and I, friends, am not a poet.

It's a bit unclear, to boot, whether these can be works I'm "revisiting" or if they need to be brand new things I've never read. I'd love to look at a majority of works that are new to me, but how do I find things that are awesome? I've trained myself into this habit (some say bad, some say good) of not finishing terrible books; instead, I throw them on the floor and hiss at them.

If you have any must-read book suggestions, I'm open to hearing them!

A caveat or two:
-Must be fiction, unless it's an article or essay on craft (that craft being some element of fiction writing)
-No YA fiction
-Preference for any one or combination of the following (though not necessary):
---creative, engaging narration/"narrative voice" (I especially like the feel of oral storytelling by way of books. See: Oscar Wao, Lolita, Everything is Illuminated, Busy Monsters, The Housekeeper and the Professor, The Solitaire MysteryKafka on the Shore, etc, etc. Essentially, first person narration--however, not necessarily with the narrator as the main character)
---magic realism or incorporation of folk tales
---authors from under-represented (social/racial/gender/etc) groups

I am not, despite my other bajillion preferences, picky about time periods. From ancient Greece to medieval Byzantium to hella contemporary U.S.of A, I'll take it.

Last, but not least, a big shout-out of thanks to my friends who weighed in on my last post, either by comment or facebook or general conversation. I think I'm making the right choice here (well, who knows what "right" is. It's not like this is a moral decision. But I do think this is the smartest choice for the time being, and one that I will not regret. Am I in love with it? I don't actually know. My feelings have been smeared all over the place, and my ability to identify emotions has been compromised by I-don't-even-know-what--stress? the rearing, roaring head of my depression? No idea! But the non-damaged part of my brain appears to be giving me the green light, so I'm just going to trust my brain bits and go for it).

End note: the band Parenthetical Girls writes the most depressing music in the world, and it is also the sexiest. But I have a thing for dudes who sing with...not pretty voices.

*particularly the types of books I would (ahem, no doubt will) idiotically pick out. "What? You can't just breeze through 1Q84 or My Name is Red in one day? ...I've made a huge mistake."