“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…)
Late last year, I was chosen as the Stonecoast graduation speaker on behalf of my genre, popular fiction. It was a great honor, one that I stressed out about for days, weeks, even up to the moment when I hiked up the stairs toward the podium. Lemme tell ya: I’m just happy my lobster roll didn’t make a second appearance that evening. (more…)
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…)
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.
At first I was afraid, I was petrified! Sorry, I’m in a musical mood today. Last week, I returned home from a hectic but amazing experience known simply as “residency” amongst the Stonecoast community. It’s an intense 10 day experience where us low-res MFA students attend various readings, lectures, workshops, and more to mark the beginning of a new semester (unless you’re graduating – then there’s probably more insanity to be had than a regular residency). I started with Stonecoast back in January of this year, so this is my second time attending a residency but my first time spending it at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. I learned a lot about the craft of writing during my stay. However, I learned a few things about myself as a person and as a writer, too. In honor of David Letterman, here’s a top 10 list of my self-discoveries during this summer residency: