MFA

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

“I graduated.” This two-word statement carries the weight of two years’ worth of sleepless nights, deadlines, and enough frustration to fill the Mariana Trench (see what I did there). And yet, I have no regrets. My time at Stonecoast has pushed me to achieve writing heights I didn’t think possible. Now that I’ve had ample time to reflect upon my MFA journey, I’m amazed at how much I’ve evolved. The bright-eyed, bushy-tailed firstie who entered Stonecoast isn’t the same writer who graduated last month. So what’s different? What’s changed? (more…)

Fantasy Is A Tool Of The Storyteller

A couple of weeks ago, I ran into someone I’ve known for several years (an acquaintance I’ll refer to as “Boba Fett”), who asked me how my writing was going. This being my fourth semester with Stonecoast, I talked about the collection of stories I’m working on for my master’s thesis. I gave a very brief overview of three stories, just to give a taste of the kind of stuff I like writing: there’s a tale with a talking dragon, another featuring a ghostly girl, and another one about hills made of chocolate. Boba Fett, with one eyebrow arced slightly (I could see through his shady helmet), asked me what the other stories were like. I responded by saying, “Well, most of the stuff I write I’d classify as fantasy, but I like messing about in other genres, too.” Then, with a very serious face, he asked if I had ever considered writing “real stories instead of this fantasy stuff.” (more…)

I Want To Be A Paperback Writer

It’s been a few days since I’ve returned from my fourth residency with the Stonecoast MFA Program in the University of Southern Maine.  I’m still trying to recover from the whirlwind of events.  I’ve gotten into the habit of taking hour-long naps after work, followed by a few hours of wakeful restlessness, then about nine hours of additional sleep.  A few more nights following this pattern, and I think I’ll have caught up on my sleep deficit.  I’m so excited about that.  Got to celebrate the little victories in life, right? Although, you’d think I didn’t have any time to sleep during residency.  That wasn’t the case at all.  I did sleep, but my dorm had a mattress that was about as soft and delicate as a slab of marble.  Oh, and my pillow gave me the impression of sleeping on a cloud made of crinkly newspaper.  I have a strange feeling that sleeping in a coffin would have been more comfortable.  Man, vampires have it good. (more…)

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction (AWP Conference Report)

Last weekend, I attended the AWP Conference.  It was my first time going to a writer centric convention.  I had some odd run-ins at the end of the day (more on that later), but the conference itself was a fantastic experience.  The event ran from Thursday to Saturday, but I was only able to attend the final day’s festivities.  I have to save my vacation time for two more future trips to Maine.  At the very least.  🙂

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Maine Winter

I recently spent 10 full days in the frigid state of Maine for my third residency with the Stonecoast MFA Program.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve already reached the halfway point; I could’ve sworn it was just yesterday when I had first arrived in Freeport as a dazed and anxious firstie.  Now, I’m just dazed and anxious.  I blame the caffeine withdrawal that always hits me like a kick in the nibs a few days after residency.

But hey, I had a fantastic time! I learned so many writerly things, such as the beauty and terror of the sublime, how to read like a boss, how to build a syllabus from scratch, how to outline for fun and profit, and more.  I’m saving all of these amazing jewels of knowledge to be worked into pieces of bling that I shall use to dress up my stories.  They’re going to be prettier than Ms. Havisham on her wedding day! Oh, sorry.  Too soon? Regardless, I’m excited to begin applying what I’ve learned to my own writing.

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