My Reading Schedule Just Blew Up in My Face

I'm trying not to hyperventilate. I just got an email from the University of Toronto about the Dark Fantasy course I'll be taking with Kelley Armstrong. As of July 1, the school will be emailing me the other student's 20-page submissions. This itself has my nerves tangled up-- my work is going out to 12 people I've never met before. But this also means I'll have two weeks to familiarize myself with 12 other students' work. I can do that. I guess. Maybe.

But I'm also currently judging entries for The Catherine-- the Toronto RWA's contest. I have six entries to judge. Each entry contains three chapters and a synopsis, no more than 30 pages each. BUT, I have to provide detailed comments on the form, and if possible on the submitted pages. The good news is I'm sort of half-way through, and they're not due until Aug. 5, but I was hoping to have more time to go over them again before I send them in. Looks like I might not be able to do that.

This isn't going to leave much room to read what I want to read, never mind write blog entries.

*feeling a little thin*

Okay. Deep breath. I just have to figure out how to critically read faster, and be quicker with the positive comments. That's the tricky part for me. If something is working for me in a story, I tend to not worry about mentioning it, solely mentioning what's not working for me. I often need to write out all the negative stuff, leave it for a few days, then go back and read again with the purpose of highlighting the positives. I'm running out of time to do this. I really don't want to end up being overly negative and hurting someone's feelings. This is my worry.

Oh the drama! Oh the conflict! My life has become a story question: Will Sara succeed in providing helpful, critical feedback for all 18 stories before the deadlines?

Stay tuned, dear readers.