A quick note from the States. I’m slowly emerging from the wonderful writerly bubble at Vermont College where I just spent an amazing 10 days attending lectures, readings, and workshops, as well as sinking deep into stimulating and silly, passionate and profound conversations with a variety of gifted folks. What fun! I delivered my talk on James Baldwin’s time in Paris and read from my novel-in-progress before a packed house.
And as of a few days ago, I am now a master! I’m not sure exactly what “rights and privileges” the MFA actually confers (I had to hold back a chuckle at the graduation ceremony when they said this), but I feel incredibly grateful and humbled to have been part of such a vibrant, creative community.
My favorite part about this residency was hearing the work of my fellow classmates; we’re a talented lot, if I do say so myself.
It’s difficult to adequately describe what an incredible experience it’s all been. Time seems almost to stop while I’m at residency. I go offline and plunge completely into the creative world. As writers, we work in solitude. This time to socialize with people who understand what it’s like to carve out a life that gives primacy to this most mysterious of endeavors is precious.
I am happy/sad right now. Another milestone, a sense of accomplishment. But boy will I miss these escapes to Montpelier, where wordsmiths welcome each other with big hugs, fresh inspiration, and affirmation that the worlds we create on the page are every bit as vital and real as the “real” world around us.
The MFA is a terminal degree. While I’m not thinking of teaching – at least, not any time soon – I was thrilled to have a short post over on the blog Teaching Authors recently. In it, I discuss how writing a novel is like stumbling around a dark house. Enjoy!