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January 13, 2012 / Angela Sylvia

MFA Semester 3: Days 7-8

Getting close…

Thursday began with the second part of AJ Verdelle’s seminar, Type “A” Revision. She repeated a number of points that she’d made just the other day, but she managed to remain fascinating. She creates situations that allow (or almost even require) everyone to say something – nice for us quiet ladies – something I wish other professors did more.

Small group workshops continued and it was my turn again. Many of the same issues were brought up again, but I also was made aware of the issues people have with the way I hit my climax. What I did just did not seem to work for anyone, so that’s something I have to think on. Everyone seemed to believe I wrote good actions scenes, which I thought I was horrible at, so there was that as a bonus.

Friday morning started with a thesis meeting with the program head. Mainly he talked some on our craft essays, and gave explanations/suggestions on how the whole process of picking your thesis mentor/reader works and what you should do for your seminar. None of it was stuff we didn’t mostly understand or could find out about ourselves, but it’s nice to have an open discussion about it to clear up any confusion.

After I went to my dear friend Hunter Liguore’s graduating student seminar, Ekphrasis: The Mechanics of World Building. Hunter went into the ways you can focus on little parts of your fictional world to give a really detailed description, and how that can make the world feel real, and like something you can actually see. It was really great. Also we got to color and got free magazines.

I met up with Susan again to hammer down more of my semester study plan. I think we have a good idea going that will let me focus on my big problems as I revise, and then go back through to get all the other mess ups I’ve missed. She’s also willing to look at whatever I can come up with for picture book manuscripts. I will be very happy with this semester.

At the end of both nights were the graduate student readings. While in previous semesters I’ve found myself bored or zoning out during many of the readings, almost everything the past two nights snatched my attention. These are some really talented people graduating this semester, and I really hate to think that I won’t see many of them anymore.

One more day tomorrow, but it’s awfully low-key. I’ll get to say my goodbyes (and get some last-minute book signings) and then back to my home and my bed.

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