Monday, July 27, 2009

Wayward No More

Bless me father, for I have sinned. It has been way too long since my last post. I have a couple of good excuses...I think. First, without my husband, I spent the latter half of June in Germany picking up my kids. They were going to school there with the children of friends of ours. They got a real taste of German elementary school, and loved it! When school was over, we toured Germany. We went to Bremen to see the Stadtmusikanten (pictured left), then to Kiel for the huge regatta held there every year, and finally to Berlin where a friend of mine lives. We even made it to Frederick the Great's Sans Souci. Awesome awesome trip.

Only to be followed by a 10-day residency in Montpelier at Vermont College. I decided to take the plunge and applied to their MFA in Writing for Children. Even more amazing, I was accepted. It is a two year program. Each semester begins with an on-campus residency during the summer months.

How can I describe that experience? Eye-opening. Elevating. Chocolate-craving stressful. Enriching. Writer's mecca. Those days were packed with more kernels of ideas and thought on craft than the last six months of my life. I'll need another six months to process it all.

If you are thinking about honing your writing skills, man, Vermont College is the place to go. I learned so much, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'll be spending the next two years writing critical papers, reading way more than I already do, and rolling up my sleeves and learning how to use a few more tools of the trade. POV, metaphor, prologues here I come!

Seriously, Vermont College is a writer's dream. I got to talk shop with people as interested in writing as me. A writer can really let her hair down and wax on about the finer points of writing in this program (or the stuff you just hate, can't understand, want to change!). It's awesome.

If that wasn't enough, I got to revisit dorm living. Not that I was missing it. Still, it turned out to be pretty fun. I lucked out and got an amazingly wonderful dorm roommate. We bemoaned and celebrated together. And hey, this time, I was old enough to buy my own beer. What's more, I could afford the good kind.

I'm psyched to get going on my first packet. Can't wait to dive in and try my hand at critical papers on craft.

Of course, after I get that first packet back, I may be groaning a little more than usual because I'll probably have loads of revisions to do, but growth is painful, any kind of growth, right?


Bee said...

I tend to think that foreign travel is a good excuse for not blogging! (At least I always use it.)

But the MFA program!! How exciting! I don't understand, though: Will you live in Vermont for the next two years, or can you just do it in periodic residencies? It sounds like great fun.

beth said...

WOW! You make me really wish I could sign up for that MFA program! It sounds brilliant!

adrienne said...

That sounds so exciting.
I still have recurring dreams (nightmares?) about going back to dorm life. :)

Christina Farley said...

What an amazing time you've had. And it is neat that you're kids got to see it all with you, even the school!

The MFA program sounds like a dream. I'm so jealous! You'll learn heaps I'm sure.

Kelly H-Y said...

WOW ... what wonderful experiences you have been having!!!! All good excuses for not blogging!!! And, I'm sure you've got lots of great blogging and writing material now!

Sarah Laurence said...

Welcome back! What a great opportunity for your kids and for you. VT sounds stimulating too. Good to hear that your MFA is off to a strong start.

Stacy Nyikos said...

Bee, There is only a ten-day residency period at the beginning of each semester when students have to be on campus. Otherwise, work is done via email with the advisor's. We've got people in the program who are living in China and Germany. You should come! Represent the Texas-England connection :-)