Writing a thesis? 5 quick tips that might keep your brain from going KABOOM.

apblog-mwahahahaI just finished my thesis.

I graduated.

But it was an undertaking.

And the scope is hard to realize until you’re in the midst of it, floating amongst the wreckage of countless articles, books, theories and half-realized dreams…but once I was safely ashore, I realized that there were a few things that made it very much bearable. And maybe it’ll help some other poor, cross-eyed soul in the aether.

Good luck, friends.

    Thesis Tips to Keep your Brain in One Piece

1. Choose a topic that you’re not only passionate about, but will be able to spend months of time on. It will be a topic that you will be in the thick of for a long time, so you better be able to come back to it again. And again. And again.
2. When you choose a thesis director, ask a professor who knows at least some of your body of work, someone who has challenged you to improve. It also needs to be someone you’re comfortable with.
3. Make yourself a schedule and share it with your director, so they can help keep you on track. Otherwise, you will find yourself with a lot less time than you thought and 3x the work. It’s easy to put things off. It’s hard as hell to get caught up.
4. Regardless of whether you’re an outliner or pantser, write an outline. Write many outlines–pre-drafting, during drafting, post-drafting. Keep your thesis (your whole point) in mind during every chapter, or you will find yourself adrift.
5. You won’t be able to fit everything in this sucker. Save the stuff that won’t fit for later. It’s OK. If you’re like me, you’re a glutton for punishment and you’ll go back for more. And you’ll have the material for the more already in a Word document. Which you have saved in many, many places, because you’re a good little researcher.

And breathe. A lot. Don’t cut out the fun stuff in your life, because you’re going to need that release now more than ever.

D.C. Politicians VS America’s Children = Apples VS Oranges

apples-and-orangesWhen I saw this article, I started laughing. But out of anger. The fact that people want to draw attention from the real issues to pick at a valid, relevant & much needed initiative in America.

Our children have unhealthy eating habits. I see it on a daily basis. The things we have had to change at my school have saddened the students, but it is one of the best things I’ve seen. They can’t slushies at lunch anymore. Our snacks in the vending machine only have a certain caloric count. They only have so many options for junk food, but please believe they still have that junk food.

At the very least, we can TRY to influence their habits & hope they maintain some form of it throughout their adult life. That is NOT the same as addressing the eating habits of adults in D.C. Apples and oranges.

“Obesity is a “big” problem in the United States. But when politicians pick a moral crusade on behalf of America’s children, maybe they should set a strong example and start with themselves. A look in the mirror can go a long way.”

-Kyle Becker, “Michelle Obama Lectures Kids on What to Eat for Lunch, But Maybe She Should Start with D.C. Politicians”

A look in the mirror is certainly a good idea, but it has very little to do with what Michelle Obama is trying to do with how we treat/raise our children. It is an entirely separate issue, and we have got to stop letting unrelated FLUFF detract from the issues at hand. And believe me–what senior politicians are eating in D.C vs what our kids are eating at school IS fluff.

powerful words

snippet – miles and miles of wintry sky

dsc_0305I’m often hesitant to post my writing. I’m not sure why. I guess I’m a little shy, which people who knew me wouldn’t believe, but it’s true.

I was looking over something I wrote years ago, though. Just randomly opened it and slid the sidebar a few dozen times. I landed on something I liked. I thought I’d share it. The way the main character feels upon rescue…I feel that way/this way all of the time with Jon. Like, there’s no one in the world I’d rather see & thank God it’s him.


“Captain, we’re being hailed,” a voice called.

The Captain spun about. “What? By who?”

“The Archduke, sir,” the same voice answered.

The Captain went still, and then turned to look at Zoe. “What are they saying?”

“Turn over the girl.”

The Captain roared and grabbed Zoe by her jacket, dragging her to the side of the airship where Zoe saw another, smaller but better fortified ship drawing close. Wolfen glittered along the side of the ship in golden paint. As the ship moved closer, Zoe made out the shape of a man, leaning against the high ledge that lined the deck. It was Grey Richter, his face bored.

“You want her?” the Captain barked. “Take her.”

He lifted Zoe above his head and threw her toward the other ship. It was clear he meant for her not to make it. As air rushed past her, Zoe did her best to reach out, praying she at least hit the other airship. If she could at least hit it—but then a hand seized her outstretched arm and impossibly, she was pulled to the deck of the Wolfen. She stood on shaking legs, shivering from the cold as much as from terror. Her body was jittery, her chest near exploding.

“This is the second time I’ve saved your life,” Grey said, amused. “How will you ever pay me back, Ms. Soul?” Zoe turned to him and threw her arms around his neck, unable to keep tears from rolling down her cheeks. “This is…acceptable,” he murmured, holding her carefully. She clutched his shirt, pressing her face tight to his chest.

She realized that he was supposed to be the enemy.

She realized he could very easily turn her in.

But in that moment, she recognized him as her only friend for miles and miles of dark, wintry sky.