Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Monday, March 23, 2015

This week in #DevilDiss news 23 March 2015


There's a Patron Demon of Scribes, Titivillus. 
I find this interesting on multiple levels. First as a Catholic, the fact there's a patron demon is cool. As a writer, this makes perfect sense as the reason for ALL writer's block. As the future Dr. Devil, it's just one more cool research thing.

The next couple of weeks are a little bonkers with conferences and travel and such but I'm dedicated to regularly writing about my writing process for #DevilDiss, so here's the progress since last Wednesday's prospectus defense:
  • Friday I went through a clean copy of Paradise Lost and color coded flagged instances of physical descriptions, actions and personality, dramatic examples, and English national identity. I did this for several reasons. My director and I had talked earlier about reframing the dissertation so that the Milton didn't feel like an after thought. This concern came up again during my defense so I wanted to reread Paradise Lost with fresh eyes, knowing what I know about all the devil research.

  • I then pulled all these textual examples and organized them into the proper chapter headings.
  • Then came the daunting part yesterday. I had to throw out the 30+ page versions I had of chapter one of the #DevilDiss that I've spent months working on. This was scary, but liberating. Scary for obvious reasons, but liberating because it proved to myself just how well I know this topic now. I printed it today, and while traveling will edit/revise but I feel really good about sending it to committee members later this week. I feel like I've gotten it as good as I can without fresh eyes on it.
  • Today I looked at chapter two and realized what a disaster it was. Hot mess was the technical term I used. There was too much historicism, there were too many half mentioned notes. So I threw that out too and just spent today rewriting it, using my dipity timeline from comps as a reference. I spent the morning finding guiding images to focus the subtopics and then spent the afternoon writing. It needs another pass, adding back in specific textual evidence but the big ideas/broad strokes are there so I'm feeling really good about that. Another day on that, another day of revision and that can go out into the world too.
The next couple of weeks are older commitments, my popular culture work that is in  no way connected to my dissertation, although the Twin Peaks/Folkloric Forest and Teen Wolf paper certainly gesture towards my folklore/popular culture work. I think this mental break will be nice. I'll get to see friends, put faces to Twitter friends I haven't met. Once I'm back it'll be time to expand my Old English and Milton conference papers into full articles/chapters and I think 1)the hard work on those is done and 2) that expansion will work better/go faster with fresh, rested eyes.

I'm also going to TRY and remember that I initially decided to do PCA/ACA in New Orleans as my treat to myself for comps (and now the prospectus defense). It's been a rough and busy couple of months, and the break will be welcome.

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