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So I went over my Major Project with my Major Project Advisor, sure that she would agree that close to half the collection of fifteen essays really wasn’t up to snuff, which would leave me with a slim volume of fairly well advanced essays to quickly buff up this summer, perhaps while I reclined on the living room couch watching Law and Order reruns and sipping mojitos. Summer time, and the writin’ is easy–yeah, baby!

That was a great fantasy. She liked all but one, and enthusiastically gave me guidance for revision for the rest. (She was right about the one she ix-nayed; it is execrable. I will pull it out and read it to myself every Lent.)

As I had anticipated, some in the collection require very little revision, at least for the MFA project. As for the rest, they desperately need elbow grease, hard labor, toting a barge, lifting a bail, sweat equity, humping, breakin’ rock, and doggin’ it. I’m talking marathon evenings and weekends in the office, in front of the big monitor, cup of tea cooling to my left, manuscripts to the right, my face and hands streaked with red from the Flair pens I use for markup because my eyes are too tired from anything less prominent.

And you know what… it’s a gift, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s probably the last time in my life that I’ll have a really good reason to focus so much time and effort on my writing in one sustained period, at least until I retire, which the way Social Security is going will be in, hmmm, 2036. I’ll keep writing for the rest of my life, every day if possible, but this is my Summer of Writing.

I also feel suddenly protective of those essays I had wanted to consign to the silence. They may never get any farther than the Gleeson Library, but they are part of my education, part of my writing history, and part of a really wonderful time in what has already been my really great life.

Just remind me that I said all this when it’s mid-July, my face is broken out from stress, my hands are numb from keyboarding, and revising those damn essays yet one more time brings on great waves of revulsion and nausea…

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