Thesis reading follow-up

My Creative Writing MFA thesis reading was on Friday night and it was a proud evening for me. Jon Surdo read from his thriller-horror screenplay, Rat Trap, first and I went second reading from my science fiction adventure-comedy screenplay, Earthlings.

Jon and I each presented our work in our own way. Both of us displayed our pages on a document camera, and Jon had seven readers sit to either side of the projector screen and read the characters as he read the scene direction. As for me, I went ahead with my solo read, putting the pages on the document camera while also displaying eight illustrations on the computer. I’ve been a reader for three of my peers this semester and enjoy the ensemble process, but ultimately I decided to challenge myself to the solo experience and it went well. I provided voices for all of the different characters and when I ran out of voices I stole voices (thank you, Peter Lorre). I read it with as much enthusiasm and excitement as I felt the material was supposed to convey on-screen, speeding through space battles with intensity. As for the illustrations, they were done in pencil, then inked with my trusty Zebra Zeb-Roller 2000 0.7mm Liquid Black Ink Pen with the Rubberized Grip, then colored in grayscale on the computer. Those illustrations make up the very end of my thesis and will be bound along with the writing.

We had a crowd of approximately fifty in attendance and they were an excellent audience. They asked good questions, listened intently, laughed at all the right spots and a few more that surprised me, plus were genuinely interested to know what happened in my script beyond the portion I read, act one. The fiancée made the drive down and my parents surprised me by my mother driving up for the event. I knew my father was coming (he’s a few hours closer right now, having taken a new job in a new city while mom prepares their house to sell), but she completely surprised me. After the reading we went to Blue Bricks and had a fun time with friends. My ride home saw me with a pretty big smirk on my face.

Earlier that afternoon, I printed four copies of my thesis on fancy-schmancy (that should really be a brand name) 100% cotton paper with a watermark, got final adviser signatures, and turned them in to the office of graduate studies. I came close to crying. An emotional weight has been lifted, one which has consumed so much of my time and energy over the last three years, especially in these last few months but especiaspecially (that should be a new adjective) in the last few weeks. That’s already started, with funding approved tonight for my promotion at work (perhaps tomorrow’s blog, dear reader) and a new outlook on how / what / when to write. Things are looking up. 🙂

Except for my taxes. I’m getting enough back to go to the movies. By myself.


[tags]thesis reading, creative writing mfa, document camera, screenplay thesis, trading places movie quote[/tags]

4 thoughts on “Thesis reading follow-up”

    • Phillip’s comment is a spam comment and I removed “his” email and link (sorry if you really wanted to learn about the effects of Adderall on the heart). However, I find it fascinating that of all of the posts I’ve made, “Phillip” chose to make the comment on my thesis reading, a culminating achievement of three years of grad school. I feel compelled to answer.

      No, Phillip, I do not consider my life a fulfilled one. I don’t know what it would take to get to that point but something tells me I will always, always, always be striving to make my life and the life of others more fulfilling throughout my entire life so it’s possible I’ll never have a life which is a fulfilled one.

      And I’m quite okay with that. 🙂


Leave a Comment