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The Riot

ROW80-3 check in 8/22 - more courses

My current course, Fantasy and Science Fiction, is chugging along. We start the Hawthorne/Poe Unit today, a mixed bag apparently. I've enjoyed the readings so far, and some of the forum discussion, as well as the essay writing process. Peer evaluation - not so good. We assess form (how well it's written) and content (how good is the thesis and argument itself) as 1-3, low, medium, or high. The quality of the essays I see is mixed, with most missing the mark with form and/or content. We get info each week showing how our marking relates to the average over the others - several thousand of them. The class average, and the course's target, has 60-65% getting average, rest skewed a little to the low end. Mine so far is similar for form - maybe a few more low marks. Content - most are getting a 1, either because is confusing, or no support, or is plagiarized. This is a non-credit course, and anonymous - why plagiarize?

I do like this concept of free online courses, and the way Coursera is working to make  them interactive. Already signed up for more courses - all intro level. Astronomy in December, Philosophy in January, Sociology in February. Some overlap but the estimated work load on the sites, and reading list, all look OK. I see all these as part of being a writer or fantasy and science fiction - for us to write 'what-if's about different things and peoples, we have to learn about what's around us. 

So - how went the last few days? A bit of editing, caught up somewhat on blogs I follow, and read a fantasy book. A Knight of the Word, by Terry Brooks. Second of three, almost stopped in the middle when Brooks started sermonizing, but glad I hung in. Rest of my time was reading, analyzing, writing, editing, and discussing Frankenstein.

Oh - I also did a Flash Fiction about returning to school. A little sad.  

Next few days? Finish videos for Dracula unit, watch new ones for Frankenstein, and start reading Hawthorne and Poe. Write a Flash Fiction for Friday. And start getting all my short stories reading for submitting! 

Just for reference, my overall objectives for this ROW (which I never expect to meet all at the same time):

  •  Writer (8) - writing for fun, but also working to become a better writer. Writing every day, editing. Reading about writing, books and blogs, as well as networking.
    • Editing (1) - this will be a fixed early task. 2 hrs ?? 10 pages/day 
      • Due North. First pass pencil edit done. Now do online. Approx 315 double-spaced pages, starting at page 81.  
      •  Due North 2 - sequel. About 260 pages. TBD – cleanup scenes synopsis and notes, print, revise, type in.  
    • Writing (1) - Flash Fiction stories. 2/wk, 3 hrs each, so an hour. 
    • Publishing (1/2) -nothing like rejection/acceptance to hone your skills
      • Short Stories (1/4) – Flash fiction. New, or edit existing. Take from blog while submitting. Use market survey from Flash Fiction Chronicles, aim to send in one a week. 
      •  Fairy Tale Folk (1/4)- pull them together into collection. Start with a spreadsheet – story, characters, their traits, their development, good for ongoing stories too. Edit if time. Not a high priority this round. 
  •  Learning/sharing (5 1/2) 
    • Blogs (1) - maybe too many subscriptions. Track them all for a week and rate them.
    • Facebook (1) - ROW80 group, Ottawa Writers, Creative Writing Circle, and NaNoWriMo Ottawa. 
    • Podcasts (.5) - have set up a few, mostly on writing. Can follow these while walking or cooking.
    • Reading (1) - non-fiction, to entertain and learn. 
    • Reading (0) - fiction, to entertain and learn (part of course now). 
    • Course –(2) Fantasy and Science Fiction. Reading, writing, critiques, videos
  • Health (2 1/2) - not a lot of time, but needs to be a main item. 
    • Walking (1) - can be an evening activity too. With podcasts. Will aim for 10,000 steps.
    • Exercise/sports (1/2) -Short morning yoga session. Floor exercises? Bike? 
    • Diet – Better food, less alcohol (healthier and cheaper). 
    • Schedule - hopefully this will be healthy addition too. 
    • Friends and family (1) - just to make sure don't get stuck inside doing all these tasks
  •  Chores (2) - the boring stuff. Cleaning, laundry, shopping. And taxes.
  • TV (1)
  • Total 13.5







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Oh! Poe and Hawthorne--I'm rather jealous of your course readings. I might have to pull out some of my old, tattered copies and re-read a bit. And more courses? Yay! The astronomy one is tempting.

And how exciting to be getting your stories ready for submitting! Good luck, and have fun.

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