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and the circus in my head

maura @ 1:06 pm

I’ve done pretty well w/writing this week, despite coming down with a cold on Wednesday. Word count’s at a respectable 4003 this morning not including this post and whatever else I manage to write today. We’re all sick now, Gus with a fever, so leaving the house probably isn’t going to happen. Right now Gus (who is crazed for cephalopods) convinced us to let him watch a truly stinky straight to netflix-watch-instantly movie about a giant shark + octopus starring Debbie Gibson. O internets, whatever did we do before you existed?

I’m working on an article about using games in my library instruction sessions so I decided to use some of those gamey tricks on myself to help keep me motivated. I’m recording my word count in a spreadsheet — watch my score rise! — and printed out a calendar sheet so I can add checkmarks to the days I get a chunk of writing done. So far it’s helping, though maybe not as spectacularly as I’d like. I find myself resisting the urge to categorize my writing: bloggy, academic, research-related, work-related, etc. I think that’s ultimately dangerous though — I have a tendency to hold research-related writing up as the most valuable thing I could be doing at any point, and I’m not certain that’s a good thing.

One thing this writing hasn’t done yet is make it any easier to write the literature review for this article. Oh literature reviews, how I hate to write you, with your endless struggles of synthesis. Sometimes I wish I could just present a list of everything I read: here’s some good research on the effectiveness of games-based learning, here are examples of games used in library and information literacy instruction, etc. I keep trying to remember how valuable a good literature review can be, but that’s cold comfort when I’m deep in the trenches of paraphrasing and summarizing, sigh.

You probably noticed that I haven’t stuck to my “what’s my current earworm?” writing prompt. For about the past week and a half it’s been “Bright Yellow Gun” by Throwing Muses. Over vacation I finally read “Rat Girl,” Kristin Hersh’s memoir of the year Throwing Muses got signed to 4AD, she was diagnosed as bipolar and also got pregnant with her first kid. As expected it was fun to read about the early history of the band, but the descriptions of her bipolar experiences were fascinating. As someone who wishes I needed less sleep it was interesting to read about how it feels to not need much sleep at all.

This earworm is much less mysterious than the last: there were lyrics sprinkled throughout, so that’s why the song’s been stuck in my head.

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