“Working” Vacation PROGRESS REPORT

STUDENT: _____Karolyn Sherwood_____________________________

SUBJECT: ______Fiction 101________________________________

STATUS: ______unpublished (for now)_______________________________

Creativity: A+ (Exemplary writing talent. How does she make this stuff up?)

Productivity: B+ (63,000 words in her novel is good, but 3 hours wasted to make a video about a dancing stick? Was that necessary?)

Penmanship: A+ (Every single letter she makes is perfect and precisely the same, even the italics. Uncanny.)

Behavior: B- (She needs to quit laughing so much and learn to focus. Have you considered Ritalin?)(We also think she can work more than 4 hours/day.)

Ability to Focus: B- (see above reference to stick videos, also Post dated 1/27/11.) (Did she have a signed permission slip to go on that field trip? We can’t find it in our records.)

Response from Student:

Dear Critic, oh how I’ve been waiting to defend myself! But first, thank you for noticing my writing is “exemplary.” I believe honest, unique, and confident would also be accurate, but I’ll take “exemplary”.

Second, 63,000 words is nothing to scoff at! That’s over 200 pages. When I arrived in Costa Rica, The King Family was about 45,000 words. That means I’ve written nearly 20,000 words in 5 weeks ~ whew! (I need a coffee break just thinking about that!) As for the field trips, even though my book has nothing to do with crocodiles, iguanas, birds, or bats, field trips are important to fuel my creativity. The same goes for floating in the pool every afternoon. Just because I’m not at my computer does not mean I’m not thinking about my story. I’m kinda like a lawyer that way ~ I could have 14 billable hours/day if I could just find someone to pay me for this stuff.

Last but not least… I have read six books on this vacation (plus two in progress):

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
Bad Dirt by Annie Proulx
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe (200 pages in)
The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld (100 pages in)

AND, dear Critic, I have also written the outline for my next novel. It is percolating on a back burner, and I’m SO excited to get started on it. Plus, I read ABOUT writing every morning, how to improve my skills, like how to create crafty characters, and how to sneak alliterations into my work. Perhaps you could reconsider my Productivity score? I’d hate to lose my Twitter privileges for bad grades!

So, the next time you send me a “Working” Vacation Progress Report, please consider calling it: Working “Vacation” Progress Report.

Best regards, ks

One final question, where does one get this Ritalin stuff?

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