Saturday, August 25, 2007

Introducing Rhonda Lee

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First Packet Blues

The good news: I survived my first month of the MFA program.

The bad news: I have 23 more months to go.

I turned in my first packet a few days ago. And as soon as I hit "send" I was flooded with self-doubt. Would my advisor like it? Did I read enough books? Did my essays make sense? Well, I guess I'll know soon enough--I should be getting feedback any day now.

At least for now, I've chosen to use Righteous as my main creative work for the semester. I really think this will end up being a great manuscript...if I can ever get the damn thing finished.

I think I was most surprised about how much I enjoyed writing my critical essays for my packet. Don't get me wrong--I think I suck at writing critical essays--but at least I enjoyed it. And, just writing the essays made me think about books in a way that I never had before.

I've also found that I really miss my classmates. I live for their daily emails.

And of course, I really miss spending time with Mrs. V. She's been a real trooper so far, taking care of cleaning the house and washing clothes and basically leaving me alone when I have to work.

Now if I could only get her to mow the yard, I'd be set.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Alternative Covers and Life In General

Found this on the Netlibrary website today:

Yep, that's the cover for the downloadable version of A Red Polka Dot in a World Full of Plaid. shows the original cover, but for some reason, Netlibrary is using this one.

I'm not sure if I like this cover better than the old one. However, I do like that there's an "A" at the beginning of the title. If I ever get a high resolution pic of the cover, I'll post in on the website.

And speaking of my website, I've added a few more things on there (including a placeholder for My Life as a Rhombus). I'll still fleshing out a few areas, so don't be surprised if you see a few misspellings (I think I caught all the broken links, however). I'll let you guys know as soon as I have content up for Rhombus.

School is going well. I was worried about all the reading that I was going to have to do, but it's amazing how many books you can read when you turn off the television.

After talking with my advisor, we decided that I'd work on Righteous for at least part of the year. I'm still undecided on what I want to focus on later in the semester--I originally thought it'd be middle grade fiction, but after reading Bridge to Terabithia, I'm not so convinced that I'm a MG author.

But hell, some days, I'm not so convinced that I'm an author at all.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rez Number 1

Life is finally getting back to normal...or, at least as normal as it's going to be for a while. My first residency at Vermont College was great, but it really tired me out (but in a good way). So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on my first residency:

1) I have an awesome class. Really. There are some people (like me) that are writers because they work really, really, really hard at it. There are others (like my classmates) that are writers because they are extremely talented. I'm honored to be starting my MFA with these guys. Some of them are going to be big-time authors one day--I'm sure of it.

2) I have a new man crush: Tim Wynne-Jones. He's really smart and really funny, and his laugh is infectious.

3) There are a lot of freaking hills in Vermont.

4) I finally got a chance to meet Ellen Wittlinger face-to-face. I think she'd be a great addition to the faculty (hint, hint).

5) I had a chance to meet fellow Flux author Micol Ostow (and her crew of Gwenda Bond and Kate Angelella). They're all loads of fun, especially after they've been drinking. FYI--check out Micol's recently redesigned website.

6) Speaking of drinking--I drank a lot of red wine out of plastic cups. I think my class's name should be "Red Teeth".

7) Don't tell Mrs. V, but I had one teeny-tiny cigarette while I was up there.

8) An Na came to the school to hang out one night. Being that she's a Printz Award Winner and National Book Award Finalist, I thought she'd be...I don't know...more standoffish. But she's really down to earth and really easy to talk to.

9) Did I say there were a lot of hills in Vermont?

10) I'll be working with the wonderful Sharon Darrow this semester. I hope she doesn't make me cry.

11) I'm excited. And happy. And I know now, more than ever, that writing is what I'm supposed to be doing.