Thesis Thursday: First Complete Draft is … Complete

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

13094374_10209689763425465_2413078371465464007_nYou heard that right, folks. Since the last time I made one of these posts … I did it. I wrote the first draft of my third chapter. It lives and breathes in the world, bringing my page total for the first draft up to 75 pages altogether.

The fight is far from over. In fact, I really should be editing right now. However, all of the initial hard work is … done. On top of that, my defense was just scheduled for next Wednesday, so time is really running out on this whole thing. I can see the finish line–for this, as well as school in general.

I think there are only going to be one more of these posts, considering that there will be a Thursday right after my defense. Wow. What am I going to do with my Thursdays now?

Well. Hang on. Back up. Let’s talk about this third chapter that just, as far as these posts are concerned, appeared out of nowhere. The working title is all over the place, because I don’t like it and it’s really long, but here’s the gist: big, traditional publishers exploit teen online engagement for their own marketing gains, but focus on what their research says will make the next bestseller and NOT the next good book. While authors can make use of these new media outlets these days, publishers ten to ignore them and instead create these debilitating feedback loops with their own marketing departments that keep us trapped within really bad trends.

Out of all three chapters, this is the first one that really made me … angry. Like, really tumblr_mkqimsivr61ruw1vso1_500angry. And all the stuff I researched and talked about, it’s nothing that I didn’t at least subconsciously know about YA publishing. But seeing it, reading it, understanding the depth of the madness–it’s just terrifying.

I write posts like In Defense of YA: We need a Rebellion of Our Own because I genuinely love YA, and I believe that the genre has a powerful role to play in literature if only we can rescue it from its dependence on tropeism and “what sells.” However, writing an essay like this and seeing how far the traditional publishers go to keep producing the next new megahit … it’s sad. I start to wonder if the whole idea of a rebellion isn’t just some cute idea. I start to wonder if YA is eventually going to implode on itself, and if I’ll have to watch the whole genre fall apart.

200_sNot to be a total Debbie Downer, I guess that’s why I do this kind of research: because I think I can say something that someone can here. And my research did turn up a bunch of publishers doing really important and innovative things because they believe as I do. So, the battle isn’t lost. But, still.

I’ll probably come out with a From the Notebook video on Monday talking about how this paper literally made me consider deleting my blog and throwing in the towel on my participation in these schemes. Obviously, I only considered that for about 0.1 seconds before I threw the idea out entirely, because I love you guys and this community and I get excited about books and what we do. I could never leave.

But this paper did make me think about it. And other things.

Really wish I had time to process those things, but it is not this day. I have chapters to edit 5dfa891ff25b2dcdd6fdbba908cf9130and other papers to write and graduation to get through. There will only be one more Thesis Thursday post, I think, and then I’ll try to figure out something new to do with the day. I’ll tell you guys all about my defense, and maybe wrap all this work up a but more thoroughly. For now, though, this post is the honest truth.

I hate YA. I love YA. I really, really want to fix it. Who’s with me?

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Responsibility

Responsibility

Buildup of burning frustration
Right between my eyes
Like a sharpshooter’s imbedded bullet
Spilling out from my eyes
Like a crack in a dike
But no little Danish boy can save me
By poking them out
A fist of terror
Halts the beating of my heart
And all I can do is shatter the painful silence
With a sob
Is this in anger?
No
Is this in sadness?
No
This is in reaction
To me being crushed
By the suffocating load of responsibility
You were stupid enough to think I could hold up

Perfect Poet Award & “Pain”

Perfect Poet Award Acceptance!!

Thanks to all the amazing people over at Jingle’s Poetry Rally, I have received the Perfect Poet Award for week 30 of the Poet’s Rally! Thanks so much everyone!

http://thursdaypoetsrallypoetry.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/the-perfect-poet-award-4-poets-rally-week-30/

Now, this is NOT AT ALL the kind of poem I wanted to exactly post with this award acceptance, but … it’s what I’ve got. Sorry Ji–I wrote this before I knew I had to accept the award!

Pain

Palms curled tightly
Leaving half-moons on my palms
I focus on the pain
Wait for it to fade
It’s like my count-to-ten
Sometimes it works
But other times it just makes me angrier
At you
At the world
At life
My heart constricts in pulse-stopping pain
I feel the heat burn my checks
All of the sudden
My hand wants to break your face
The horror of that
Is a numbing agent
That works for around two seconds
By then I’m yelling my voice hoarse
Even if it makes no sense because
My GOD
It feels so good to let it out
Even if I can see the whiplash
Slashing all over your face
It’s not about you right now
It’s about me
My pain
My frustration
My life
And hurting you is like a salve
I could go on for hours
Not because I want to but
Because it makes me think
You can begin to understand how I feel
Even though
When it’s all over
All I do is hate myself more

July 5th – Denial

All right, all right–I really am trying to keep up over here! I’m always writing, but I’m just not posting. Life and stuff has been busying and otherwise in the way. I suppose I can let my poetry be a testament to that.

Denial

When did this change?
When did it go from fun
To horrid?
From easy
To hard?
I don’t know
But I want to
Because I can’t take the tears

I don’t want to think
That I know why she walked out
The thoughts hurt my head
And blur my vision
With red
I’ll live in denial
Just to make this stop

Because I don’t want to understand
Her why
And I know want to understand
Her feelings
Because if I admit I know
All her reasoning
Then I’ll know my blackest dream
Can be achieved
And I could survive it
So I’ll leave too