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I Am a Very Bad Student

I pretended to be carefully taking notes about the implementatin of the new core curriculum, though I suspect that I fooled exactly no one. I was thinking about some of my recent blog posts and some ideas that I have about writing about books. Specifically, I was playing around with the ideas for the Family Tree book. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go to the archives; I’m not going over all that insanity again. I think there were dancing clowns involved.Litlove recently posted on publishing for the non-fiction market, and her information was inspiring. Plus, she, Dorothy, and several other bloggers have helped to create the monster (notice how I am absolving myself of all blame here?) by encouraging me to think more about a book about books. So, as you can probably tell by the overall tone of my post, I really like the idea, but it terrifies me. I would love to take the ideas that I have been tossing around here and turn them into a general-interest (that is, not strictly for the academic market) book about reading, theories of literature, and writing. But.The big but here is that I am dreadfully afraid of starting such a project for a number of reasons. Since my school has fairly lax standards for tenure, it is not a problem if I publish non-academic works; here, publishing is publishing, more or less. But I do worry about making that transition from academic writing to general-interest writing. Can I be generally interesting enough? Can I be intelligent enough? Do I have anything worthwhile to say. I know, I know–these are basically the same questions that all authors ask themselves as they sit down to write, so just indulge me here for a bit. I ask for yet more indulgence (but if you cannot indulge yourself on your blog, where can you indulge yourself?) as I toss out my random jottings from this afternoon. Remember, these are really notes on “curriculum implementation,” okay? Don’t forget that, or I’ll get in trouble. Here are the ideas: an extended meditation on literary criticism. I don’t know what this means, but it sounds good. Next, “passion for reading.” I’m all over that. Then, “chick lit/lad lit/genre fiction.” Sounds ambitious. Not sure where that’s going, either. Finally, “tracing literary DNA.” That at least has the benefit of being hip and current. Then there’s a really confusing drawing that is my attempt to sketch out the family tree of books. It’s a mess.And there you have it. I was not very productive with my “curriculum implementation” notes, but this is still the rough stages. I’ll keep playing with ideas, and we’ll see where they go.

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