cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “goals”

Shakespeare Goals


Although I’m known as a Bardinator, I confess I’m a bit of a poser in actuality.

I  truly know a handful of his plays, primarily the ones I teach, the usual: Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, Othello, Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet. I do have a working knowledge of other plays: King Lear, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing , The Tempest, Merchant of Venice,Twelfth Night. And I have a nodding acquaintance with the Henrys and Richards. I tend to shudder and ignore the more violent plays where body parts and pies and such are a featured plot focus.

As for William’s sonnets–let’s just say while I’m not adverse to his verse, I prefer to revel in his plays.

So, my goal is to become more than a dabbler and get cracking at becoming better in my Bard. This will involve some serious study since Shakespeare is not for sissies. He provides stout meat and drink once at the table of literature feasting. I will *sigh* set aside some (not all) of my leisurely summer reading forays and bite off, rather than nibble, sizable portions of Shakespeare works.

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Here is a beginning goal list:

  • Select at least five-ten sonnets, mainly the ones we refer to in our current curriculum, and really study them beyond the quick note referring I usually do. Study what other critics have come up with in their analysis.
  • Move beyond my comfort zone and learn at least one play of William’s that I’m not familiar with. I’m still squeamish about reading about revenge pie, so perhaps I will look into a comedy not well known to me–maybe The Merry Wives of Windsor or As You Like It.

My basic Bard facts are decent: birth, death, family life, supposition of lost years. I even have Renaissance and Elizabethan knowledge down pretty well as it relates to Shakespeare. I could start committing more to memory and really dazzle the crowds.

Why take on Shakespeare this summer? I could just lounge and read for fun and drift and not work so hard. Didn’t I just get out of school?

One reason to push myself in this endeavor is that Shakespeare is so fascinating. I knew relatively nothing about him until I began teaching his works. For the past fifteen years I’ve learned so much more about the Bard and it makes me realize I have so much more to go. But, I’m in no real hurry.

Another reason is that if want to really become a Bardintor, not just pretend I know my Bard stuff. Please don’t expect me to spout off reams of memorized quotes and speeches. Memorizing, is unfortunately, a real problem. Short term gaps and all that.

One other reason is that I want to be THAT teacher, the one whose enthusiasm for Shakespeare overflowed into the curriculum and into the hearts and minds of my students. I still treasure that moment when one of my struggling students came up to me after class and said, “I will will studying Hamlet.” He got involved in our study of the melancholy Prince of Denmark, and that’s why I will learn more about Shakespeare.

Anyone out there desire a bit more Bard in your life?

1/50: Bonhoeffer Abridged


It’s January and the month for resolutions, except I’m more for goals than resolutions. They just seem more positive in purpose (“I will get an agent in 2015”). Resolving to do something sounds like I really don’t want to do it, but might as well give it a try (“I resolve to go through the long, painful process of sending out manuscripts and query letters in my search for representation”). Maybe it’s just semantics.

So–one goal I have this year is to keep track of how many books I actually read in a year. Blogger Bud Valerie Lawson got me looking into it on my Good Reads account and I set up my challenge of 50 books. I roughly hit that last year after going through and counting my GR reviews.

image: amazon.com

 

 

 

As I attempt this challenge I’ll keep track of my numbers as I periodically share some of my reads. Most of my reviews are on my Good Reads account found on the right hand side of the blog. For instance, my first read of the year is by Eric Metaxas. His Bonhoeffer Abridged provides a fascinating overview about the man who did not back down from his beliefs and openly challenged Hitler and the Nazi regime. A more detailed review is found amongst my GR review collection.

Anyone out there up for taking on the Good Reads challenge? How many books do you think you can take on this year?

Writing Goals *lol*


  1. Trying to create and stick to the writing goals I created earlier this year is like trying to  free throw a basketball into a Dixie cup 300 feet away. Or if you substitute “goals” for “deadlines” in this choice quote, it’s the same idea.
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. Douglas Adams English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 – 2001)
    Actually there is no subsequent number of reasons of why I Laugh Out Loud when it comes to setting writing goals. It’s ridiculous that I even try. Every June once school is out I say, “Wow! I’ve got all this time to get some serious writing done now. Hah! and double Hah!! It’s summer, baby–time to play in the sun, get those house projects done, squeeze out some fun. Oh yeah, writing goals…
    I started out well. My basic goal was to get at least two projects sent out to an editor/agent/publisher every week.  It lasted about two weeks.  I tried this goal because I did manage to do so at one point in life.  I had about 20 projects floating out there in publishingland limbo at one point.  I was playing the odds that at least one project would make it.  Kind of like Charlie and the Golden Ticket syndrome (all I need is one to get me in!) Unlike Charlie who had to eat chocolate to obtain his ticket, I had to either paste on stamps or hit sent. Neither option proved tasty, but as I recall I did have a couple of projects get greenlit for publication which resulted in some greenbacks. I probably bought a chocolate bar to celebrate.
    After Labor Day weekend I return to teaching, which means not so much time for writing.  The two-project-a-week writing goal went to the wayside. I did get two projects published (with payment), so it looks like the results were the same. Even though I’m resuming my day job maybe I can squeeze in the goal of one project submitted somewhere to somebody once every other week.
    Hmm, that whoosing sound seems to becoming louder.
    I’m going for the chocolate. Golden ticket or not.

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