53. journaling

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Hi friends. Sorry, it’s been a while so any readership I once had has probably drifted on to more active pastures. As far as a quick update for those of you who care, I’m currently temping at a company in Minnetonka processing mail and customer rebates and for a couple of weeks while their receptionist is out sick. It’s thrilling. But it’s a job.

Let’s see, what else. I’m in the middle of the fall piano teaching semester and being challenged by my more advanced students, and am feeling slightly inadequate. But it’s good, and keeping me honest.

I’m gearing up for this year’s NaNoWriMo, trying to work on a few other short stories before NNWM commences, and kicking around two plot ideas for the Big Write. Got a few leads, but we’ll see what happens come November 1st. 50,000 words in 30 days. If the math is correct (and yes, I can do basic math, friends), if I consistently write about 1,700 words a day I should be able to meet the challenge, with extra time left over for editing. But for sure it’s going to kick my ass. Writing short stories is one thing; being able to hold a reader’s interest for an entire novel is a horse of quite a different colour. If you’d like to add me as a writing buddy, please do! My user page can be found here.

As you might have gathered from my last post, I’m venturing into queer theory and gender studies. Sociology and psychology have always been serious passions of mine, which led to my becoming a storyteller; but given some recent conversations I’ve had over the past couple of months, GLBT studies is (are?) becoming a real area of research interest for me, especially coming at it from a Christian perspective. I want to be able to better understand and articulate my own experience and relate it to my faith, as well as really plumb the depths of my own experience, put it into context, and not take anything for granted; challenge my assumptions—or, as Rumi put it, plow the earth and get moving.

My entry point was suggested by my friend Sand who writes over at his blog, FuckTheory: Judith Butler’s seminal treatise, “Gender Trouble.” I just started it today and haven’t even finished the preface yet, and am already astounded. She writes at the beginning (this is her writing in 1999 on the original 1990 text):

As I wrote it, I understood myself to be in an embattled and oppositional relation to certain forms of feminism, even as I understood the text to be part of feminism itself. I was writing in the tradition of immanent critique that seeks to provoke critical examination of the basic vocabulary of the movement of thought to which it belongs . . . In 1989 I was most concerned to criticize a pervasive heterosexual assumption in feminist literary theory . . . It seemed to me, and continues to see, that feminism ought to be careful not to idealize certain expressions of gender that, in turn, produce new forms of hierarchy and exclusion.

This very much echoes my current sentiments about the gay rights movement right now, that a good part of the movement has a dominant heterosexual framing.

So that’s the start. I’m also getting into Eve Sedgwick’s “Between Men.” This feels like learning to read all over again.

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