First week of classes of graduate school. TA-ship is going well so far. Jazzed about my workshop class – it’s a non-conventional approach I’m really responding to. We’re doing in class writing, out of class experiences to infuse in our work and some fun projects to keep us exploring the way we generate content before putting it down on the page. Continue reading
Posted in MFA, Musings, Updates
Tagged creative writing, fiction, Graduate School, MFA, octavia butler, reading, stories, teaching assistantship, university of san francisco, writers, Writing, writing workshops
As I write this, it’s the middle of the night but I can’t work when the sun is out. I’d rather read, yoga, socialize, or take in some sort of visual media before I generate content on the page. It’s like I need to get out all of the distractions before I get down to work. Continue reading
As I approach the last week of this semester, I’d like to revisit what my life looked like last year around this time.
I was working on my submissions, traveling to the Dominican Republic, reading, visiting with family, researching low residency MFA programs as contingency plans, and trying to send out positivity vibes to expunge my crappy 2014 year.
Posted in MFA, Musings
Tagged blogs, Graduate School, graduation readings, Lit camp, MFA, mfa program, Scholarships, submissions, university of san francisco, VONA, writers
Tuesdays, we discuss the art of crafting long fiction (because we are critiquing the chapters of our novels) so the first part is a lecture and the second half is saved for workshopping classmates’ work. Our instructor discussed the myriad ways an author can choose to start his/her chapters in a novel. While he discussed the possibilities, I wrote down notes for my story, already mixing up my flow for my novel. If anything, every time I walk into class, my brain whirs with information, absorbing and instantly applying those techniques to my work. Can you tell I’m still excited about this experience after my third week? Continue reading
Posted in MFA, Musings, Writing
Tagged brains, invisible cities, italo calvino, learning, long fiction, mfa program, national novel writing month, six memos, university of san francisco, usf, workshop, Writing, writing class, writing workshop
This week challenged my brain. Challenged my sensibilities. Most importantly, challenged my abilities as a writer and thinker.
In my workshop class, we critiqued a short story and discussed the techniques of craft and also, the themes weaved in that fine braid of storytelling and writing. I found myself struggling, but only briefly, because this is what I signed up for. I didn’t sign up to be entertained and/or talked at; I signed up to be pushed so I could think, flex my brain muscles, and dig deeper and further about the work at hand. After our class, I vowed to be focused and present in class instead of taking in information.
In my seminar class, I made the mistake of having a brief drink with classmates prior to class so I was utterly useless. Never doing that again. The first half of class, I kept trying to focus and I had to use the bathroom, so badly. After our break, I was able to concentrate and actually participate. Once the fog of the wine had cleared, I realized I hadn’t ever had the pleasure of discussing works of art at length like this in a classroom setting that demanded my attention this way. I sleptwalked through my Craft of Reading class because I couldn’t see past the writing (my opinion stopped my thinking) therefore, I didn’t participate as much. I have to remember that our instructor is also learning from us as well. He’ll be seeing these works of fiction in different ways based on our discussions in class. The nerdy student in me that wants to do my homework and haphazardly participates in class has to give up that story; she needs to step it the frak up.
Other than lots of inner reflection, I made time for myself and made sure to schedule completion of readings on time. I’m on the right track for now but ya know, life happens. I have to be ready for anything.
Until next week!
8 pm. Returned from class break, tugged the building door handle with no success. “What the frak?” I thought. Perhaps that entrance was closed and the other side would be open. Annoyed at this point, I walked to the other entrance with the same result. I almost gave up until I saw a card reader at the door. “Aha! I shall use my ID for access!” I thought cleverly. I swiped and swiped…and swiped. No dice. Continue reading