I just returned from the May Residency week at Queens University of Charlotte. We had another amazing week of reading, writing, laughing, learning, and enjoying the mental stimulation provided by 100 or so writers all in one place, talking about their craft, encouraging each other, and pushing each other on to bigger and better writing.
The week is too short, and too long. It flies by quickly, and it is packed with all sorts of wisdom from established writers (Fred Leebron, Naeem Murr, Pinckney Bennedict, David Christensen and so many others) and my fellow MFA candidates (Julia, Beth, James, Jon, Anna, Carla, Michael, Belinda, Heather, and too many to count). It’s the kind of week that leaves you itching to write, and makes you place an order for eleven more books the day after you get home. It leaves you exhausted and yet energized.
But, as rejuvenating as such a week is, I must admit it is good to be home, in my own bed, with my wife and dogs, and with the time I look forward to…the time to actually work on my writing and dive into the preparations for the next semester.
I’m looking forward to working with Jenny Offill and my small group pod-mates, Belinda and Heather. But before we all come back together to trade work and offer our reader’s eye in August, I have the opportunity to really work on the novel, and that’s what I’ve started to do today, with the goal of having the second 1/3 of the book in a solid, completed draft form no later than August 15th.
(Oh, and did I mention that I had another novel idea? Yes. And it is an intriguing one…technically, novel #5, but it may get moved up in the rotation, after I finish the one I’m currently working on…yes, I think the idea–or the germ of the idea–is THAT good…)
Anyway, all of that to say this: Thanks to all the Queens folks (faculty AND fellow students) for a great week, and now I’m off to honor that greatness by stepping up my own game…so watch out.
Story reviews and highlights of literary journals return soon…I’ve been reading a lot, and just got two new issues today…