Well, it's that time again. Time to head back up to Vermont for ten days of learning, and writing, and socializing, and networking. I'm probably more excited now than I was in July, because I'm not nervous about it anymore. I can't wait to see my friends, and dive into my new semester.
From July to December, I completed 2 picture books, 1 non-fiction picture book, a complete novel revision, and I outlined and began 1 mg novel and 2 ya novels (20 pages of each). I read over 80 books (a mix of mg/ya novels, pbs, and craft books), and wrote 10 critical essays on various writing topics. So what have I learned? I'm learning to better inhabit my characters, I'm learning to show not tell (and recognizing when I'm telling not showing), and I've learned to listen not only to the words, but the sound of those words as they roll off the tongue-the rhythm of the words is important, even in a novel. This program is very self-directed; you get out what you put in. I think it's important when starting a program like this to plan ahead and decide exactly what you want to learn and how you will go about learning it.
So what will I do for this semester? I think I want to choose one of the beginnings from last semester and dig in. My goal would be to complete a rough draft of one entire novel. But I want to be more flexible this semester and less structured. Do what excites me at a particular time.
Oh, and keep your fingers crossed for me...I submitted a couple of pieces to 2 contests, and for a scholarship at school (which I will find out about next week!)