And so, the quest for graduate school begins…

General Geekiness

I never thought I’d have to think about graduate school now. At least not for a couple of months. Actually, I figured that I could start this summer after returning from Italy.

I had a meeting about various fellowships and scholarships this evening.

“Is anyone interested in the big scholarships?” asked the professor in charge of the evening.

I raised my hand. I then discovered that I probably should have given this more thought–such as starting freshman year. Prepare for many meetings with various professors and scurrying about writing personal statements.

Ah, the challenges. This is something that I’ve wanted since visiting Oxford University nearly eight years ago—to do my graduate work in the UK. It’ll be long and stressful–the prof warned us we’d probably burst into tears at random moments–but ultimately it’ll be worth it. Even if I don’t get the scholarship, the process will teach me a lot about myself.

Mostly, I haven’t given much consideration to what I want to study. I know that I’m not going to study creative writing or another English-major type  subject. I’m considering science writing/media/communication or public health.

And I need to figure out if I’m a memorable person or not…”Hi! I’m Beth, and I’m writing a WWII novel about RAF pilots!”

NaNo nearly upon us…

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

National Novel Writing Month is nearly upon us!

Continuing with my renewed love for short stories, I’m “rebelling” this year and producing a collection. No, its not PAaA. This collection will follow a character I’ve been developing since this August, a fellow named Pryce. The stories will be adventure fantasy tales set around the world and through this guy’s life. Woohoo!

My goal for NaNo is to write at least ten shorts. I haven’t completed short stories in a while, and I’m hoping to come up with a few salvageable pieces to submit to magazines and boost up visibility. Plus, it’d be pretty swell to have my work in print!

Pryce is a fun character to write about. He could be a villain if twisted in the right direction, or if he went through certain situations. It could be fun, writing about the progression of a person to villainy. Hmm…perhaps I have my overarching theme.

Experiments are fun!

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

Work on PAaA has slowed for the time being; however, I’ve been thinking about the structure of the novel. I’ve had a renewed interest in writing short stories; also, a few interesting characters revealed themselves.  They all have different perspectives that would be very fun to explore as main characters.

So, I’ve decided to experiment a bit.

The book will be written as a series of interconnected short stories, featuring many of the same characters, like “Claude’s Dog” by Roald Dahl. CD is a novella comprised of four or five short stories with interconnecting subplots. That’s how PAaA will run.

Part of the reason why I’m attempting this is because I want to follow EP, a female character, around her job. And as a snippet writer, this may help me from jumping around too much. 🙂

I’m a train book creeper.

General Geekiness

While riding the subway, seeing what other people are reading is half the fun. I’m the sort of person who can’t read on subways, preferring to people watch, talk with friends, annoy the car with dramatic readings of the backs of Agatha Christie novels, etc.

But I love to see what others are reading. You get a wide variety on trains. The college kids finishing their homework. People reading foreign language newspapers. The current New York Times bestseller (I was surprised to see only one reader of The Lost Symbol on the train last Saturday) or other popular works. It made me happy to see someone reading Proust.

But the most popular train book I’ve seen? Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s everywhere. I haven’t read it (and don’t plan to) but I like the cover, and that’s probably why I notice it. Conceptual typography is brilliant.

AW Blogroll: Memories of The Halloween Tree

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters
The Halloween Tree, Salem 2008. By Beth

The Halloween Tree, Salem 2008. By Beth

This month, the Absolute Write blog roll decided to follow the prompt of “anything related to autumn or Halloween.” I was preceded by Angyl78 and will be followed by Trulyana!

October. The one month of the year to inspire such varying images. The innocence of childhood and the deep dark of the world lock horns, struggling to gain importance. So, which is it? A holiday for the children or for the adults?

Growing up, I made a Halloween tradition for myself. I would read Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree every October. This story, about a group of friends who rescue their friend Pip, is more than just a book. It’s about realizing childhood must come to an end.

I haven’t read The Halloween Tree in some time, not since my freshman year of high school. As I look back, I’ve discovered just how much that book meant.

I first read it in early middle school (or perhaps the fifth grade) after viewing the movie version one fateful Saturday. I didn’t know who Bradbury was. The histories and traditions described in the book drew in the budding amateur mythologist. I enjoyed it, intrigued by the worlds explored. So it continued until high school, when I no longer took part in this ritual.

I wish to read it once again. To experience the story I knew then and the story of deep friendship, maturation, and sacrifice I recognize the book to truly contain. The friends mature, they band together, they lose their innocence, they discover their own mortality. To the characters and me, Halloween is now more than costumes and candy. It’s life, death, everything tied up in one night.


1. Lost Wanderer –
2. Claire Crossdale –
3. Angela 785 –
4. Ravencorinncarluk –
5. Angyl78 –
6. shethinkstoomuch –
7. trulyana –
8. Bsolah –
9. freshhell –
10. Ralph Pines –
11. aimeelaine –
12. HigherEdUnderground –
13. Cath –
14. DavidZahir –