Monday, January 23, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I'm back from Vermont College and ready to start my 2nd semester! Today marks the day I hop back in the saddle! 
Alan Cumyn (who is my advisor this semester) suggested I start out writing short stories - as they are longer than a picture book, but not so long-winded as a novel.
Totally makes sense!...but what's a short story??
Today I read: A&P by John Updike (awesome!)
The Bogman's Wife by Alan Cumyn (great twist and youthful tone!)
And an article from the New Yorker about crafting short stories... it's a start!
...and the ideas in my head are starting to plod along.

*Have you read any AMAZING short stories? Write your recommendations in the comments!!*

Friday, June 10, 2011

Packet 5 - Crossing the Finishline!

I just sent off my packet #5 work - Yay! This semester has been a lot of old fashioned-hard work! The essays - forced me to articulate what I thought I understood. The annotated bibliography sharpened my eye. The creative work forced me to just do it!! Get it down. Write and see what happens.
All in all - very rewarding. I don't know that I've ever looked forward to the pleasure of just reading so much in my life - that is once I finish my powerpt. for the picture book lecture...oh, and send in my end of semester materials... Okay, so it's not really the finishline, but it's a slow in the pace.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Little Time To Bask

Packet 2 has come and gone... And I am grateful.
I am still digesting all Julie's comments - it takes a while for them to sink in and a little longer before they are absorbed across the semi-permeable membrane of my brain.
One thing I will bask in (for a moment) is a comment I've waited three years, many manuscripts and revisions to hear...
"In my opinion, you nailed it!"

This from my advisor Julie about a picture book story I've been working, and reworking...
I am thankful, amazed, and uplifted.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Procrastination 101

So many wonderful and not so wonderful ways to fill one's time when one should be writing...
Hanging out with the Cat in the Hat, running after children, errands, laundry, yoga, email...
Packet 2: T - 11 days

The Slog! Packet 1

This is how I felt as the packet 1 due date approached! So much to do, so little time!

Packet 1: 1 critical essay, 4 picture book manuscripts, annotated bibliography (list of relivant books you have read and brief writer notes for each), online assignments, and a substantiated letter. *keep in mind packet requirements vary by advisor*
I managed to get everything done - not to the standard I would have liked - but done nonetheless.
There was a lot of "Sorry, I have to do my homework..." and sneaking off to my room. I think this is a good thing. For next packet I'm aiming to spread the work out over the 4 weeks rather than live in seclusion the last 2 weeks! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 10 - Graduation

Workshop #5: workshopped Kaden and His Stick - good, honest feedback.

Lecture #1: a brief lecture/discussion on work for hire and other ways to support yourself with your writing.

Graduation of 4th semester students - brief, meaningful, uplifting

All the first semester students had supper together in town. What a wonderful bunch - I love them to pieces! It seems like I've been here for 2 months, not 2 weeks. There is really no other place like VCFA
- I can't wait to get home. I can't wait to start writing.

ps I will blog about - THE SLOG - putting VCFA fab knowledge into practice!!

Day 9 - Hunger Games: Three Perspectives

Grad Lecture #1: The mute character - why cast them in your story? Fascinating look at how a mute character impacts your narrative.
Lecture #1 Amanda Jenkins: Amazing look into the emotional arc in a story with examples of where it fell short in the Hunger Games books.
Lecture #2 Tim Wynne-Jones: How to build tension and surprise into the plot even if your book is not a thriller a-la-Hunger Games.

Lecture #3 Rita Williams-Garcia: Demonstrated the sequel's continueing plot using the Hunger Games as an example (to the tune of James Brown! Get On Down!)
Grad Lecture #2: What does a character need for us to believe he/she is resilient? Turns out only 3 things (and you will have to come to VCFA to find out...)