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Process Letter to My Advisor 4.2

September 11, 2008

Dear XXXXX,

Things are going well here. I’m gearing up for the Teaching Practicum and the great east coast museum tour of 08. It’ll be good to get away for a while. Yes, definitely I’ll make you a scarf. I like knitting. It’s a nice distraction while watching TV in the evening or possibly even road tripping (maybe I’ll get it done then). What colors do you like? Stripes? Solid? I have to admit I have a fondness for hideous colors together, but I like you too much to do that to you. Oh you mentioned Gilmore Girls at the residency and I wanted to give a shout out. How have you been?

Thanks for the feedback about the writing. I like essays about art and it’s something I’d like to pursue, but where do I go from here? Any advice. I flirt with the idea of doing a PhD and have even considered doing it in curatorial and focusing on art writing, but I still feel like there is something missing. Oh, did I tell you a while back that a small museum in the northwest purchased one of my videos? Well now it’s being included in a show they are putting together, so that’s nice. I’ve had my stuff in surveys through museums and art centers, but this was the first time they’ve purchased it specifically for a show they were organizing. That’s always nice. I think I might start volunteering at Albright-Knox for curatorial after I finish my practicum. I’ve curated a fair amount through our old gallery projects and toured work, but it would be nice to see how things work at a big museum and have access to such an extensive collection.

Thanks for the feedback on my last chapter. It’s really helpful. I need to work on an arc and some action (Action? What’s action?). I feel like I got a nice balance of lightness and density there. I also like that a reader is able to track the dialogue from multiple sources.

One of the main aspects for me in these sections is the overlaying and layering of these elements from different sources into the kid’s experience. It’s a sort of engaged stewing and it hopefully puts him in a space where he can change in the near future. In this current chapter I tried to sustain some of the elements from the previous one, but approach it differently. The older woman is now gone and he lives with a movie that he is somewhat ambivalent about (yet he keeps chronicling every step), his dad’s trip, and Telepathic Babysitter. After this chapter the new man on the train becomes his main focus and he starts his journey to opening up and becoming more engaged. There are two short five-ish page chapters that still need to be written, but other than those, this chapter represents the final chapter that needs to be written (as of now) for a rough version of the entire first section (some are obviously more complete than others and some are more sketched-in). The two short chapters are basically stand-alone vignettes documenting a specific episode, short and close, and also parallel a detail from elsewhere in the kid’s main story. There may be a final chapter added for the section, but I won’t be able to write it until after I have a solid first draft. Then I need to go back and elevate all the writing and work some of the newer themes throughout.

This chapter falls solidly in the middle and hopefully connects last chapter to what starts happening next. Three weeks wasn’t enough time to get it where I wanted. This packet represents a lot of trial and error and logged work hours (last chapter was nice because I had the additional time before the semester started). I’ve rewritten it many times over the last couple weeks, sometimes it’s too bald and other times I overwrote and tried to cut back… Telepathic Babysitter needs to be fleshed out more. It could use a denser rewrite after I’ve stepped away from it for a while. I just couldn’t capture that lightness I felt last time and didn’t want to copy what I did last time. The movie aspect is kind of left field. I wanted that and it sets up an element for the future.

For this packet I annotated Branwell. I read Outline of My Lover a while back and liked it, but the prose in Branwell feels more inhabited to me. Maybe I’m just biased by the subject matter, although rock stars, also good. I have to admit it’s different annotating someone that you know.

Thanks again for all your feedback!

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