Writing Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my writing life. So let’s go!

I recently submitted my second packet work to my mentor. It’s my final semester and I’m writing my thesis now. It’s a lot to think about, and the added pressure that this project is going to define me as I get my MFA is just an extra dollop of stress and anxiety on top of my usual anxiety.

I want to present my best work, I always want to be able to show people what my best work is, but I’ve come to a realization that this project will never be my best work.

I’m falling in and out of love with this piece on a near daily basis. Some days I like it and some days I think it needs to die in a trash fire. But this goes beyond the usual Writer Thing writers do. It’s a urban fantasy/fantasy fiction/paranormal type piece (I used to call it suburban fantasy but paranormal probably fits better). The problem with this piece is that it’s entirely too contemporary for me.

I’m a huge lover of fantasy and my writing voice reflects that. Contemporary is not even close to my favorite. It’s my least favorite genre, to be honest. But the story I’m trying to write goes beyond just the genre, since it’s a story about grief and accepting the loss of a loved one.

But all I want to do is write my queer elven princesses and lesbian mermaids.

It’s a struggle.

But sometimes the things you want to do aren’t the things you need to do. I know this project will be a good thing to have in my pocket, regardless of how I feel about it. Plenty of authors have written books they hated, but the point was that it was a book they wrote.

Something is better than nothing and I’m 50 pages deep into this project and I still have another 100 or so to go. Whether or not I complete this book when my semester is over is a totally different ball game.

Not that I know how to play sports anyway.

Residency Log: Day Seven

I sort of missed yesterday’s log. We spent most of the day after workshop in the library doing some work. I plotted out the new parts of my thesis and I have a lot of things to do, but I have a new motivation for this story now.

I got some great news this morning and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

That, and we got an earlier flight that gets us home a little sooner and just the idea that I can sleep in my own bed a little bit sooner makes me so happy.

This residency is almost over. Soon, my last semester will begin and then I’ll be graduating and then I’ll be a post-graduate writer and that’s just… a whole plethora of emotions, y’all.

Residency Log: Day Four

We’ve mostly had the day to ourselves today. There was the option to go on the Tahoe Excursion to go into the city and do some ice skating and such. We decided to hole up in a classroom in the library and get some work done.

It’s always nice to help other bounce ideas around for their work and getting the chance to work on my own things without the feeling of being rushed because I only have a certain amount of time to do it before I have class again was nice. I’m still incredibly tired and ready to go back to sleeping on my own bed.

We also had meetings with our mentors today. Since my mentor isn’t technically hired by the school yet (paperwork troubles), I met with my “department” head and he lined things out for me and answered basic questions. We’re then going to call my actual mentor on Tuesday to discuss our semester plan.

I’m both ready for this semester and also not. I just can’t believe this is my final semester and I’ll be graduating come August.

Residency Log: Day Three

If the morning starts with freaking out your roommate cause of your meditation, can it really get any better than that?

No, not really.

It’s been a rough one. I hit my wall early today and things have not been going great. There’s so much to do that I run out of spoons by lunch time and I feel terrible for not being able to attend some readings. But I’ve burnt myself out before and I can’t really afford to do that again, not with this being my final semester.

I really do love the community though. The WCYA tribe are some of the coolest, awesome-est people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. They’re all so skilled and awesome in their own ways and I love them. They make the residency worth it.

I can’t wait to see how their careers as writers turns out. I know every single one of them is going to be amazing at whatever they try to do. All of them.

Residency Log: Day Two

While the east coast is being slammed with a crazy snow storm, I’m over here in Lake Tahoe, where it’s sunny and 40 degrees. It’s not necessarily warm, but at least we’re not under two feet of snow, so I call that a lucky break.

I’m still ridiculously exhausted. Last night, I passed out at like 7:30. Out like a light and down for the count until like 4 or 5 the next morning. But I’m still hitting a wall in the mid to late afternoon and all I need is a nap.

My brain is a little fuzzy today, and I haven’t been able to focus on much, especially not writing. My lit crit class might break that a little, since it’s such an intense class, but I’d like to start meditation this week to free up my brain. I’m an incredibly great adult on the west coast, only cause I can wake up at 6 am no problem here. So in that time frame between showering and leaving for breakfast, I might benefit from a twenty minute meditation in the morning during sunrise.

Residency: Day One

It’s the first day of classes at my residency and I’ve only cried twice! (Once was cause I got sweet puppy kisses from Casey, the WCYA service dog)

The piece I had wanted to use as my thesis might not be my thesis. I’m working with my previous mentor’s editor this coming semester, a woman who’s really cool and awesome and I’m only a little intimidated

But it’s been so nice seeing everyone from the tribe and I know this residency is going to be good for me in a lot of different ways. Mental health wise, it’s going to be walking a fine line. But in terms of my writing, I already feel motivated to finish an old draft, despite having been burnt out by this piece a month ago.

I have a lot to rework in the piece that will probably end up being my thesis. It sucks that the story of my heart won’t be the thing I want to present to the world first, but it needs more time. I need to find the best story in this world that means so much to me and right now, I might not have it.

Winter Break

I submitted my final packet of the semester last night and all I need to do is hear back from my mentor and I’ll be good to go.

It’s been a rough semester. Right around the start of October, I went into a deep, downward spiral and my depression just wouldn’t let up. It was a very rough few months. Then I caught some sort of sick about a month ago that hasn’t let up either so things were just not looking great.

But I made it through somehow and here I am on the other side, sniffling and still a little congested, but I’m here.

I’ve sort of come to kind of hate the project I was working on this semester. I know how I tend to write and forcing myself to work on a project I didn’t care for or I knew needed some time on the shelf just sort of made me hate everything I wrote.

My next semester is going to be my editing semester, where I get to work with an editor in the publishing industry who isn’t one of the professors, so I’m a little nervous. I hope that the list of editors is sent out soon and that there’s a dedicated portion for the Writing for Children and Young Adults students.

But, for now, and until residency starts, I’m going to go play some video games, plan my next D&D session, and let myself relax for a little bit. Maybe I’ll get around to my TBR pile…

Free for the Summer!

*sings aggressively*

Spring semester is over! Well, I just need to wait for feedback from my mentor, but I’ve submitted all of my work and I’m ready to relax!

This past semester has been really rough. I went through a lot of lows. I spent a lot of time fighting my depression and it took a toll on my work. I felt like I hadn’t been doing my best work at all, and it felt like I was letting my mentor down. (Despite her saying otherwise!)

Depression isn’t easy, y’all. I spent day after day in bed because that was all I could do; I could barely get the energy to get up to go to the bathroom. And when you have to create, you lose steam fast and I ended up not being able to do the things I needed to do.

But I’m surrounded by positive forces, people who care and understand the things I’m going through, and I’m able to get help. So, I’m a work in progress.

But all my work is in and I’ve got two and a half months before I’ve got to get back into student mode and I’m excited for the summer. I’ve got a lot of reading lined up, and writing plans to follow. Jessi and I have a new bookish blog, bookedallnight.wordpress.com, to work on and I’m looking forward to a lot of things.

This summer, we’ve got BookCon! The Round Robin girls are heading out together in one last hurrah before the site closes, and I can’t wait to spend time with them.

I’m also spending a month abroad this July. I have a few cousins getting married in Poland this summer so we’re spending three weeks in Europe. And immediately after I’m flying out for my summer residency at SNC. So I’ll be dealing with a 9 hour jet lag after two days of weddings.

Now, just to figure out what books I’ll be bringing to read on the plane…