Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wishing and Hoping and Thinking....
Well, this fall has been absolutely, mind-bogglingly crazy. With teaching an online Literary Analysis class in American Poetry (and having to grade 200+ essays over three weeks) which overlapped with the online MLA Research Essay class (first drafts are due tomorrow), plus teaching the high school Expository Essay I and II classes at our homeschool group's co-op Class Days (we are part of the largest private homeschool group in the state of California), and homeschooling our two younger boys in grades 8 and 11, I've been buried.
So why in the world am I wanting to try National Novel Writing Month again?
Because it really works. It's an amazing rush to freewrite a 50,000 word novel in a mere thirty days, and I'd love to pick up Only by Moonlight and push through, accompanying the characters on their journey.
But the cold, hard reality is that I have another online Literary Analysis class starting November 4 on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. And Literary Analysis classes are super-duper labor-intensive. We'll be discussing the novel for three weeks, each student submitting responses to three discussion questions per week plus detailed comments on two responses by other students in the class. So that's a total of 27 short essays written per student over three weeks. Then in the final week, the students will be watching a film version of the novel (either the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie or the 1974 Robert Redford one) and then submitting a Final Writing Project: a formal essay written from four choices: a letter from one character to another, a formal movie review, a five-paragraph essay comparing or contrasting two characters, or a less formal exploratory essay focusing on one of the themes of the book. I'll have to track all of the points for the nine discussion question essays, the eighteen comments on other students' discussion essays, and the grade for the Final Writing Project--all within one month.
And I'll still be teaching and grading essays for the Expository Essay I and II courses at Class Day plus teaching my 8th and 11th graders at home.
So I don't know how much (or how little) I will be able to write for NaNoWriMo, but I will try. Since I offer extra credit points for each 1,000 words logged for NaNoWriMo for my Expository Essay class, I need to be writing at least something myself. And I guess writing anything for NaNoWriMo is better than writing nothing at all, right?
We also do NaNoWriMo in our town's little writing workshop which meets on a monthly basis, so I'll need to at least try for them as well.
So we'll see. I am hoping to send Chapter 10 of Only by Moonlight to my amazing pre-reader, ladylibre, later today and then post it by Sunday (despite having first drafts of the MLA research essays to comment on and the first five-paragraph essays for my Expository Essay class to grade this weekend).