Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How did I get so lucky?

It's Residency Eve. Larissa and I are snuggled all warm in our beds at the South Burlington Holiday Inn, and tomorrow we and Sue and Carol take a cab to Montpelier.

How did I get so lucky? My program draws the most lovely, fascinating people. Larissa's been flying for two days from Shanghai, with Hello Kitty in tow.

Carol's a former superintendent and Paris ex-pat, now living in New Orleans, canvassing for Obama, and saving the world one social circle at a time. After dinner with them, I'm so excited to get started with res that I'm having trouble sleeping.

Over the last two semesters, I've studied with pretty fantastic people . . . fabulous workshop leaders: Tim Wynne-Jones, Ellen Yeomans, Uma Krishnaswami, and Leda Schubert. This time, it's Margaret Bechard and Shelley Tanaka.

I should have given her a shout-out here long ago, but my first semester advisor, Kathi Appelt (who was already clearly a rockstar in so many ways) has been getting huge praise for her latest book, The Underneath. Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has one of so many fantastic reviews.

I've learned and received so much support in the past year from both her and my second semester advisor, Sharon Darrow. Kathi asked me big picture questions, encouraged experimentation, invited me to write "like your fingers are on fire," and had an eerie knack for sending me to books that worked on me. Sharon had me slow down, play with diction and syntax, shake up my point of view, get closer to my character. Sharon's a believer in the magic of Vermont College, that you get the advisor you need when you need them. So far for me that's been true. And within the next ten days, I get a third . . . What?

It's seriously better than Christmas.

If anyone stumbles across this blog and wants more info. about the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at The Vermont College of Fine Arts, shoot me an email: storybookg@gmail.com and ask away. Just don't ask me to temper my enthusiasm.

1 comment:

Micol Ostow said...

Also, we know how to throw a damn good party here in Mamet-town.