My Summer, Catching Up

Prairie

What a summer this has been. So much to catch up on, so much to have joy about, and so much to look forward to.

  • Maybe most relevant to my writing interests (and certainly most beneficial) was the Odyssey Writer’s Workshop, which I attended this summer. It was a transformative experience for me as a writer and a reader. I put away the stuffy, pretentious novel I’d been feeling obligated to work on and started writing something I like in both concept and reality. I met incredible writers–smart, kind, gracious people who demanded my best and helped me achieve it. I met Jeanne, the director, who will be in the acknowledgements of my first book as the smartest reader and best teacher I’ve ever had the fortune to know. I made so many new friends and learned so much–I would wish it on every writer.
  • Still on Odyssey: I had the chance to meet and learn from N.K. Jemisin, Patricia Bray, Meg Spooner, Scott Andrews, and, for a whole week, Mary Robinette Kowal. Odyssey would have been incredible if all we did was learn from Jeanne; the guest writers made it extraordinary.
  • This isn’t a summer thing, but it became a tell-able secret this summer: my wife and I are having a baby girl this fall. We just finished painting her room and stripping away the carpet there to reveal beautiful hardwood floors underneath. Look, look! (Incredible paintings by my sister, Katie)

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  • I finished my second summer residency for my MFA program last week. It was a change of pace after the craziness and intensity of Odyssey, but I had a fun time meeting the new students, reconnecting with the second and third years, and seeing lots of good readings and craft talks.
  • I don’t think I’ve updated since this happened: I’m one of the new Articles Editors at Strange Horizons! I’m working with an unbelievably awesome team of other editors within articles, but the whole Strange Horizons crew is pretty amazing. I’m lucky, lucky, lucky to have this opportunity.
  • I’m in a new office, getting ready to teach two new classes this year, and I have one of those L-shaped desks. This whole office move situation (and really the whole work situation) has been pretty depressing and disheartening in recent months, but I’ve been trying to look on the positive side, to be, as one of my friends and colleagues here says, “a soldier of joy.” So I’m being joyful about the future addition to our family, the writing-related opportunities I’ve had, and this cool L-shaped desk. Hopefully I’ll have some happy publication news soon.
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