Monday, November 19, 2012

Thesis... Done.

This, my friends, is the rather unpretentious, unimpressive first page of the culmination of two years' work. I am unabashedly thrilled.

Yes, the thesis is done. Yes, I can stop using words like "thesis" and "grad school" and get back to normal conversational words. If I can remember them.

Can you believe it's been two years? Me either. On the other hand, I can't remember what it was like not to be in school. Which is what my kids think when I say, "That two years went fast," and they reply, "Was it just two years??"

The last five months writing this thesis have been crazy. Head in laptop, eyes blurred, four-hour-a-night sleep kind of crazy. Non-stop writing and revising and crying and despairing and tiny leaps of hope followed by roller-coaster freefalls of doubt kind of crazy. But here it is... five short stories I've become mightily attached to.

I don't know what will happen from here. We're into the holiday season, so I suspect there will have to be some non-laptop time that involves cleaning and shopping and decorating, but I don't know how to function without a laptop calling me constantly. I keep wandering back to it, opening it, staring as though something important will leap out at me.

I have two novels rolling around in my head that I suspect I'll get knee-deep into before I return to Oregon in January. One is an old one I think I finally have a good direction for, and another is a new one that's more a seed still growing roots in my brain.

I feel both huge relief... and a little lost. Glad to say goodbye to stress of school, but depressed at saying goodbye to the promise of residencies, friends, letters from advisors, and that learning high that makes my brain feel like it's exploding.

Now to figure out what life will be from here on out...

8 comments:

  1. Congrats, Heidi!! Party time!!

    I know what you mean about feeling a little lost after a huge push like that. I finished my comprehensive exams for my masters just a few months after getting married. Once my marks were in, I was done with a program that took me five years to complete part time (while working full time and publishing a semiannual literary magazine). It was strange not having a thousand tasks to juggle at once. Don't be surprised if you're a little blue now and then for a few weeks. That's normal in transitions like this.

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  2. Thank you, Laurel! I remember that lost feeling after graduating college two decades ago, but I guess I figured life would still be packed with writing and reading and my family, so maybe not that different. But it is!! It's so good to know someone understands those post-grad blues! I'm sure you'll hear more about that in February when the last residency is over.

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  3. Congratulations, Heidi! I'm so proud of you. Now go and write that award-winning novel so I can say, "Oh yeah, Heidi Willis and I are tight. I can totally get you a signed copy of her book." Now that you are pretty much done with you program you can re-enter the blogging world.

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  4. This is HUGE!!! Congratulations! So happy for you. Hope you took some time to celebrate!!!

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  5. Such a great accomplishment. I'd revel it and have a celebratory anything (clothes, shopping, chocolate, wine). Congratulations.

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