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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Monday, June 20, 2011

365 days of being a writer: day 306

I can't seem to pick between writing about cats or writing about my girlhood of scientific embarrassments. So, today I researched big cats and women in science.

This part of my process needs work: I think and think and think and take notes or make lists and sometimes even outline--but I don't write until I have some direction. That can't be ideal. So far, for the cats I grabbed an article on the psychology of cat people (I am SO glad to have uni access to research papers already), I'm reading Matthieson's Snow Leopard and I ordered Alan Rabinowitz's Jaguar. I want to write about giving away my cat and how we coexist uneasily with them at times. Maybe.

In the sexy ladies of science department, I grabbed a piece on Title IX as it affects women in the STEM fields (I just learned that one today: Science, Tech, Engineering, and Maths), one on the glass ceiling for women in science, and a wild little booklet on a few lady scientists you've probably never heard of, including an ichthyologist and the women who discovered the first Ichthyosaurus. My mind is inexorably drawn to visions of fish on bicycles with these revelations. But what does that have to do with me looking at scabs under my microscope or holding a variety of creatures in grade school when others recoiled, including but not limited to: a tarantula, a fire-bellied salamander, and a python? Something, but I'm not sure what just yet.

This, this process of chewing vignettes and facts like a slurry of cud--this isn't a process, is it? It feels like something duct-taped into performance, rather than crafted. I wonder if I will be able to sit and write every single day, once I have the time and focus to do so. Or if it will be more of this read-amass-pupate (I like the visual of this, better than digest) produce. Maybe it could be a process if I were able to work on multiple things in a variety of stages. As it is, I feel like I only wrote one essay last year, the starlings, and so far only one this year, the hummingbirds. Coney Island was tweaked, the blackbirds have been picked at... And I did have to write two academic essays last year for my apps: the bees and the one about Diane Ackerman's science poetry.

I guess it boils down to my worrying about my ability to produce once I'm in school. Not just writing, but reading. And lesson plans. And Environmental homework. I need to write a book about something! Can I? And what in the world will it be about?

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