So, it’s July, and I have the great pleasure of being (for the third time) at the Extending Teacher Creativity Workshop at Indiana State University in Terre Haute for the next three days!
One of the many benefits of winning a Lily Teacher Creativity Fellowship (besides the humungous grant – $10k when I won in 2015, and $14k now) is an annual invitation to what I think of as Teacher Camp – previous recipients gather in the ISU student union to do one Workshop and one Mini-Workshop, and they feed us generously and gift us lavishly and try to freeze us to death (whoops, no, that’s just the a/c).
Spent a week in the northernmost state, and BOY was it amazing. Expect more on that later, since school starts tomorrow. (!!!) But I definitely had a lot of Thoughts and gathered a lot of Creative Energy (and explored lots of great settings for a series of murder mysteries, I think, not that I have time for that). I’m not a master photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but even a sucker like me with a busted-up phone can take a breathtaking pic in such a gorgeous setting.
So, I know I promised a deep and meaningful post about race & diversity in literature, but let’s just say that I didn’t have the mental or emotional energy for that today. I did, however, write 1498 words of a totally new opening to the old novel I’m working on with my OG writing partner!
Today is a wonderful day, and a terrible one: I’m headed to Hawaii for the first time ever! I’m going for my cousin’s wedding, with my husband and without our son (which is both awesome and terrible, of course). And, being a well-organized person, I obviously was up packing until almost 2am, up with the baby at 3:30, up for the flight at 6, patted down and bag-searched thanks to my breastfeeding supplies… and about to spend the next 14 hours on planes/in airports (if I’m lucky… if anything gets delayed, it’ll be longer!).
But, as I sat in the waiting area with Cameron, we were joking about trying to find a way to write off this trip on our taxes as a writing expense. Sadly, I’m not working on anything set in Hawaii… and none of my cousins are getting married in post-apocalyptic Siberia this year.
So, dear readers, where in the world would you go to research a novel if you could go anywhere in the world? Continue reading Aloha!→
*No, not that Nicholas Sparks novel. Or the movie version.
When I attended Bob Mayer’sWrite on the River last spring, I took a lot of notes. In a notebook that I had grabbed at random on the way out of my classroom. Because I was driving from school to Tennessee while seven months pregnant. Because I am a genius.
Anyway, if you’re impressed by how ill-prepared I was then (at least I remembered clothes? I did forget a toothbrush, but Bob gave me one.), guess what happened next? Continue reading The Notebook*→
The third and final of my Lilly-grant-funded adventures this year was the Midwest Writers Workshop (#42, certainly an auspicious sign!).
This workshop was AMAZING! I got a ton out of it and it really had the most breadth in terms of a writing conference that could meet the needs of people at all levels, from novices just starting their novels to published authors looking for networking opportunities. Continue reading Midwest Writers Workshop 2015→
As you may have guessed, I got busy and failed to come update this any more. My writing group was fabulous and I got a lot out of it–I really loved reading what they wrote, and found their critique helpful too! I definitely hope the rest of them will finish their books so that I can read them.
I also got to do my first public reading (!!!) at the Thursday-night “celebratory reading of works in progress,” invited by instructor Nancy to share what I came up with in our pastiche exercise. And one of my group members taped it!
So, feeling much like Michael Bluth is in the image above, I am trying to keep a lot of balls in the air right now. I’m currently hanging out in Muncie for the Midwest Writers Workshop, which is awesome. I’m working on a post about the last 2/3 of Bart IWT. I’m trying to ignore the fact that school starts next week. I’m excited that Sarge has just been upgraded from “my two-month-old” to “my three-month-old” and amused that I’m not the only person pumping milk in between conference sessions.
I’ve taken tons of notes, and I’ll have lots to say later, but right now I’m going to keep processing what I’ve learned.
In the meantime, I’ve also been twittering my heart out; I think I’m finally getting the hang of Twitter! If you’re interested, you can watch me twit or follow my twitterings here!