Monday, June 21, 2010

Life after deadline / KY / Spalding MFA

There is something completely satisfying about getting a manuscript in on time for its deadline. There is something even more satisfying about receiving an editorial ‘thumbs-up’ and the knowledge that a complete overhaul is not in order. [Insert sigh of relief here!]

Now that I’ve wrapped up what seemed like, on many days, the project-that-would-never-end, and now that I have taken a few days to reacquaint myself with the world [aka – cleaned the office so I can once again see my desk], I am back to business as usual. In the time since I last posted to my blog I have met a few smaller deadlines for magazines, fact-checked this and that, wrote a few poems, drafted some ideas for new projects, and generally allowed myself to detox from the daily ritual of working on a monstrous (but fun!) manuscript. I also caught up on just a little bit of sleep, something that seemed to be at a premium whilst completing said manuscript.

It’s also time I share some of my adventures from visiting Kentucky a couple of weekends ago. I had the pleasure of presenting a session during the Spalding University MFA residency in Louisville. With an audience of students, alumni, faculty, and visiting writers, I shared some tips and tales of using social media and building an online literary community. I have to say, the hospitality in Louisville is spectacular. The lavish accoms at The Brown Hotel were enough to melt away any last-minute manuscript stress, and the food… oh, the food. Not only does Louisville have some very fine restaurants along the 4th Street Live district, but these MFA folks really know how to put out a good spread in between sessions.

And speaking of sessions! I was so pleased to sit in on the lecture right before my own; the speaker was none other than the beloved Molly Peacock, whom I think is absolutely adorable, frank, and funny. Molly gave a remarkably honest account of the writing life as she knows it, urged us to ignore everything but our writing before 10:30am, and encouraged us to draft up some writing development plans. It was encouraging, touching, and down right fun to listen to her.

I must thank the wonderful folks at Spalding for bringing me out to the residency: Kathleen Driskell, Sena Jeter Naslund, Karen Mann, Katy Yocom, Gayle Hanratty, and all the other wonderful faculty, students, alumni, and admin folks who made the visit a wonderful time.

I also want to thank Katerina Stoykova-Klemer for hosting a fantastic reading at Morris Book Shop in Lexington KY. I had the pleasure of joining in on the Accents Publishing reading with wonderful authors such as Barry George, Brian Russel, and Jim Lally. By the way, if you have a poetry chapbook manuscript looking for a home, Accents Publishing is accepting entries for the 2010 chapbook contest. I posted details a while ago here, but you can visit the Accents Publishing website directly for full details.

So, now that I am back on track, I’ll be picking back up with my usual blog schedule. Stay tuned for updates and news, reviews and interviews, and I’ll soon be sharing a Q&A with Gringa author Melissa Hart!

Until next time….

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