Hello fellow readers!
Thank you for all the love I’ve received in the past week or so. I honestly didn’t think anyone was reading this little blog of mine and am glad folks are responding as strongly as I am about providing more posts!
A few things:
Today marks eight months I have lived in San Francisco and it’s hard to believe. There are still moments that I wonder why I moved out here in the first place and what I’m supposed to learn from living out here. Well, I guess I’ll keep finding out. So far, my experience has been different from my native New York City (city girl ’til I die) but I can’t compare apples and bananas. I’ve also never lived anywhere else but New York City until I moved out here. I am very optimistic of what the future will hold for me and I’ll, of course, let you know how that goes!
I created a guideline for monthly posts and weekly post which will be the following:
Every Thursday (an experiment for April, depending on feedback), I’ll be adding a chapter of a genre novel I’m working on. I’ve never done this before so bear with me and I look forward to your feedback!
Weekly, I will be posting on my writing feelings for the moment (you know we always need a boost even when we know we are in the right place but need a community to remind you there are off and on days at times) and my MFA progress (I got so much to do!).
Monthly, I will be adding a book review of the moment, favorite childhood book, Beatles’ inspiration song (I’m a Beatlemaniac), and a spotlight on a science fiction author I’m currently doting on or just discovering (also very open to suggestions, please!).
These are reminders for me to constantly keep writing in addition to the other awesome activities happening in the blogosphere as well (It’s National Poetry Month! Check back for a post on this real soon).
That’s all for now, folks!
Check back in tomorrow in which you’ll see a chapter of my novel!
Author: Anne Lamott
Publisher: Anchor Books (1994)
Seventeen years ago, Anne Lamott published a book about writing in which she weaved her life experiences (reminiscent of Stephen King’s On Writing but of course, Lamott came first) being published, the aftermath, the reactions to negative and positive reviews, as well as putting pen to paper.
I recently got my copy of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook by Tom Kealey back from a friend who borrowed it (and was accepted to Goddard College) and was transported back to two years ago when I was in the “MFA zone.” All I did was research, revise my story, research some more, talk to people, research some more, and prayed I’d get into an MFA program. When I was rejected by all seven schools, I took a break. But man, it was brutal to try to put yourself on the page, sell yourself, and want to study with other writers. Continue reading
Late last October, I attended Hunter College’s MFA Open House.
The room was buzzing with anticipation, excitement, and frenetic energy. Potential MFA applicants filled the Danny Kaye playhouse as they looked on at the matriculated and alumni students of the MFA program sitting on the stage. Continue reading
New Year, huh? At this moment, MFA programs are being bombarded with applications filled with unseen and unknown writers ready to take the plunge into the world of writing. Well, at least that’s what some think this MFA is about. Continue reading
I didn’t do as much writing as I would have preferred in 2010; 2011 is a new year with new goals. This time, I won’t create lofty goals that won’t be accomplished. It’s about baby steps, as I always say.
1. Read 40 books in 2011. I have an account on 43things in which this was a goal that I tried to accomplish in 2010; only read 28.
2. Read a book written by Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and Kurt Vonnegut.
3. Apply to Graduate School (2nd round!).
4. Write three times a week (even if it’s for twenty minutes).
5. Read literary magazines. I bought a bunch at the literary fair sometime in the summer, I believe, and I have not read them. I need to see what kind of writing the universities churn out. I won’t change my style but at least I’ll know what I’m going up against.
Short, simple, and sweet. Too many goals sometimes get thrown in the mix and then one feels overwhelmed. I’m ready to have another awesomely packed year! 2011 will be the year of many accomplishments.
December is halfway done (and the year is almost gone!) and I have not had many new posts. For any loyal followers, I apologize. Life gets in the way. And working six-day weeks doesn’t help either. I don’t even have the energy to hang out with my friends and I’m going to have the energy to write? If I had a desk job, that’d be easy. But this homegirl stands on her feet about ninety percent of the day with two breaks in between. Yeah, if you had my job, you wouldn’t want to do anything but sleep either.
The remaining posts of this year will most likely be book reviews (I didn’t reach my quota of forty books this year – not even thirty!) and then next year is about writing bootcamp! I don’t know what that even means yet but I’m creating something for myself to gear up for MFA applications and to make writing routine (even when I’m crazy busy).
As for right now, reading the books I’m reading (Scott Westerfeld’s series – Uglies, Pretties, Specials) and other random books on the side.
March of this year, I received a rejection letter from the University of Arizona. The letter went something like this:
This morning, I finished a short story for my writing workshop. I was enchanted and completely involved in my story like I’ve never been before. I was lost in the story, I liked what I was writing, and although I know the tale has many places where it can benefit from some description, the first draft is complete. The only place to go from here is the revision state.
I was in the revision zone last year with a piece I had workshopped in so many places and the result was a polished story lacking emotion. I read the manuscript myself a few days ago and was impressed with how I crafted my tale but as for impact, there was none.
With this story, I can build on it without making my message saccharine but truthful and honest. My goal is to put myself entirely on the page, which I was unable to do with my piece for MFA applications.
I have officially decided to put aside applying for an MFA degree this year; I’m having too much fun writing both creative non-fiction and fiction to worry about application deadlines. The good news is I can attend university open houses and start saving for school when I apply for 2012. Seems so far away but time will fly.
I’m focusing all my energy on my craft and also running, but that’s another entry (when I finish Marukami’s book) so I will be busy this fall.
How’s everyone about to apply this round doing? Psyched? Scared? Who’s taken the GRE? I’m so glad I never have to take that test again!
I’m writing. I’m reading. I’m reading about writing. I’m reading about writing as a writer. I’m writing about writing and reading. I’m doing the work. But I’m not MFA application ready.
I want to be so solid that I’m a shoe in. I want to spend another year thoroughly researching my programs and have a great manuscript ready for the applications. My spirits are lackluster in applying this time around and I’d rather not haphazardly apply in the hopes I’ll get in and then kick myself for not providing myself with more time to hone my work.
I’ve made my decision but am open to suggestions. Should I wait another year to apply or should I apply this year?