My MFA program consists of 2 classes every semester, spread out over 2.5 years. I’m a second year.
Workshop is where you bring in your own work or you critique someone else’s weekly. I’ve had a lot of success and failures when debuting work. But I’ve fine-tuned my revising and editing skills because I tend to see the bad things I do in my own writing in my classmates’ work. As they say, all feedback is autobiographical! It’s easier to see your faults in someone else’s stuff.
Seminar is a specific topic every semester of your choosing. It changes every semester. So far I’ve taken “Developments of the Novel” and Humor. I chose “Evolution of the Short Story” this term as I’m studying short fiction and I haven’t taken anything short fiction specific.
Depending on my professor’s whims, we have a weekly writing prompt where we write a 1-3 sentence short story. Try it sometime. It’s a great exercise. This week we had to do a 1 sentence short. Instead of stripping it down, I decided to make it longer. My last 1 sentence short was a basic line of dialogue:
“You just lost the Game.”
I decided to make it meatier this week and this struck me while I was getting new tires for my car. I didn’t have to edit it much so I’m happy with the response it got. 1 of the guys was like “that was good” & my professor was like “you don’t need to do anything more to that!”
I anxiously pounded the leader of the free world between her thighs and made her cum so hard, she temporarily went blind, which she told me later as she fell asleep in my arms that the release reminded her of Citizen Kane’s Rosebud, knocking her back to the calm before the onslaught when life was easy and she didn’t have so much salt in her pepper hair.
I apologize for not keeping up with NaBloPoMo right out of the gate. It’s been quite hectic the past couple of days and I haven’t been able to relax.
I took Jack in to the vet on Wednesday morning. He had been itching up a storm since we got back from Vegas. I thought it was some allergic reaction to the bath I gave him before we left. I didn’t have any oatmeal shampoo handy and I thought he deserved a good bath before we came back. He was licking and bothering his skin all over. When I made the appointment, they said he was due for a rabies shot. Okay, cool, get it all done at the same time.
The vet was concerned about the areas on his body he was licking so furiously. Turns out he has fleas! Unfortunately, we believe he was exposed by the stray cats my landlady feeds in the backyard. Her daughter is a big fan of cats and had been feeding them for her since she left. Of course, you feed a wild animal, they’re gonna bring God know what with them. The daughter adopted one of them before she moved out and let him run around in her room. Well, we moved into her old room when she and her husband moved out. So we believe that in that short time period there were still some live fleas in the room, even though we cleaned before we moved in. If we had known there were fleas we would have specifically cleaned for them.
My first week of school was a great success. It was nice to jump back into the grind of school after the coolest summer I’ve had in awhile. I think my trip to the D23 Expo and back home to Vegas helped reset my batteries at the very end as well. Speaking of which… I need to curate my photos from the trip, so I can provide a proper write-up. It might be awhile though! I’ve got so much on my plate for the next month or so. For the greatest hits, check out my Instagram.
I did have a bit of a weird thing happen during my first workshop. My classes meet in the evenings. I have access to a salad bar at work and I always stop by to get a salad and some snacks and drinks on my way to class. I ate during the break, and didn’t eat during class. I always clean up after myself, AKA leave no trace. Putting to a vote whether we would be OK with other students eating in class felt like I was being called out. It was super awkward. It was nice to see some familiar faces though.
My seminar this year is titled the “Evolution of the Short Story.” After my awesome summer finalizing the pieces that will be in my thesis, I’m energized to see how other writers take on their short stories. I’ve read some of the authors we will be studying, but it’ll be fun to step out of my bubble and see how others do it.
My classmate had the right idea when he said that short stories are one night stands. You can write them and be done with it. You don’t have to be as physically and emotionally invested as if you were writing a novel. You can take a slice of life from a novel and make a short story out of it. I never really thought of it that way but I’m gonna use it if someone asks me why I write short fiction!
I also decided to create my own genre: cinematic absurdism. I made it up the other day. Know it, use it, LOVE IT.
My end of summer mixtape! Something about summer always has me making mixtapes based on the time of year. I’ve begun the first semester of my last year in my graduate program and I’m looking forward to it. However, I haven’t quite shaken the summer doldrums. They’re sticking to me like clingwrap, hence the title. I’ve got work due already, so I made a mixtape to help my procrastination. Yay!
The list after the jump.