A Status Update for August 2018

So I’ve been posting here for a year or so, and those posts have been mostly book reviews. However, this is supposed to be my writer site because what I’m really doing is trying to learn to write better and to write romance novels. Reading books and writing reviews are both good for learning the craft, but they’re not the only ways. I started an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in creative writing in July and it’s a lot of work but looks to be great. So I probably am not going to be able to keep up my once-a-week reviews, because I have a lot to do besides reading a romance novel every week. So I’m going to do my best to continue posting weekly, but some of those posts may not be reviews (and if I slip a bit, you’ll know why).

The MFA is a low-residency program through Oklahoma City University. I go to Oklahoma for ten days twice a year, right before each semester starts, to attend workshops and plan out the semester. I’m pretty excited about this semester. For the degree, I’m actually focusing on young adult fiction (though most of it applies to romance, too) and I’m getting to read and study twelve good YA books this semester plus White Oleander by Janet Fitch and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, two books I’ve read and enjoyed before. This semester I’m focusing on two things: plot/structure and short story form. So I’m also reading loads of craft books and several short story collections (I’m currently reading Chekhov and I feel confused most of the time, unfortunately—hopefully the others will go better).  The way the program goes is I work with a specific mentor (this semester, Kerry Cohen—she’s interesting) one-on-one throughout the semester, writing both about the books I’ve read as well as working on several short stories. On top of all that, I’m taking an elective in pedagogy, because teaching writing is my retirement plan.

So, I’ll be busy for the next 2.5 years, but I’ll come out a better writer.