Alrighty! This has been quite an eventful month and quite amazing that the year is halfway finished. Time goes by VERY quickly! Since the semester has ended and just one more semester lies ahead, I am spending this summer working on some projects as best as possible. Much of my reading, I will admit, is being driven by two ideas in mind. First, I am either analyzing or familiarizing myself with the works that we are discussing on Literary Gladiators during the upcoming season. Second, I am analyzing the works I am reading during my free time. The works I will be talking about in this post are those I am reading or plan to read during my free time, but I also want to fill everyone in on some minuscule details about what they should expect during the upcoming season of our web show. Either way, progress on both fronts are going well.
We have had two sessions of filming for Literary Gladiators thus far and have produced twelve episodes. While there are some that are going to not have endings due to technical difficulties, the possibility of having a strong finished product is a positive one for each of these episodes. On good trends, I was able to have Jim and Charlie attend each of the sessions and sit alongside me on the panel. Laney is doing a great job moderator and we have had five rotating guests, two of which are instructors at the colleges we have attended. During the next session, I am going to be splitting the videos by question. This way, we can keep the viewers attention and if they are happy with how the video is going, they can enjoy the next question and do so at their own convenience. I will no longer promise how many episodes will make up the season until we finish up taping in August, but I can promise that there will be at least twelve episodes. They definitely need editing, but the finished product should definitely make for some enjoyable entertainment. In addition, we have taped two of the episodes that were lost from a session back in January. With that being said, Brianna, who was our guest at those sessions, will be sitting on the panel for at least four episodes. We think she is so smart and presents herself so well that she has also been invited to participate in another taping. Preparation for this upcoming season should be quite a thrill! The episodes will be announced after we finish up with taping in August.
As for me and my reading? Much of what I have submitted to my blog covers that material. Since that point in time, I was able to read and complete Jakob von Gunten, a novel written by Swiss author Robert Walser. I will be writing a review, but I will assert my belief that what ever I write the first time around will NOT be my confirmed thoughts. This novel is an enigma onto itself that ponders the way of life and of institutions through the mind of an observant introvert. Walser is quite an underrated author who comes of the absurdist, existential class of Franz Kafka and Albert Camus. I will be exploring this further in an individual review. Right now, when I am not preparing myself for the upcoming session of Literary Gladiators, I am reading Main Street, the novel that brought America's first Nobel Prize in Literature winner Sinclair Lewis to the forefront when it came to producing literature that addressed issues that dealt with that particular era. In addition, I am also reading Joseph Brodsky's poetry and am enjoying a Russian born writer who has America's first amendment flowing through his veins. I definitely plan to discuss more of his work on here and I want to propose having an episode of Literary Gladiators to which we discuss one or more of his poems.
What I choose to read from there remains a mystery. I plan to take a class titled "American Literature Between the Wars" during the fall semester. Technically, this would include literature from 1918 to 1941 and be somewhat of an unofficial prequel to the "World War II Film & Literature" class I took with the same instructor. Our textbook is a Norton anthology of literature that goes up to 1945, but either way, the class should be a thrill. After pushing off for a bit during the last few years, I want to read Stephen King's The Shining. I have owned this novel for seven years and yet so much has been in the way between me and reading this, primarily so many other books and just basic obligations that come with life. Finishing The Shining is very much a goal, especially since it produced a sequel in Doctor Sleep last year. Either way, reading the original novel will come first.
As for my fiction writing, I submitted a short story to a market, which was an ongoing goal of mine that I was finally able to meet. My issue lies in the fact that I am very meticulous with how I submit something, for I want to put the best possible product forward. If you have not bought Speculations From New Jersey, I beseech that you check it out. I read it and with my bias aside, the other works that were featured were very entertaining. The Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers are quite a good cast of entertaining individuals.
That is what is new when all is said and done. I hope to submit some more material to this blog, especially during the next two months. While I have said I wanted to concentrate on submitting material that is about written work, I will definitely release another batch of predictions for the 2014 NFL season. This will be the fourth time I engage in this activity and hold high hope that these predictions stand strong. For now, a summer filled with projects that deal with the written work lie ahead.