Well, technically there’s some end-o-semester paperwork to deal with, and a bit of reading to do before the next residency in January, but, yeah. Half way through the MFA. It’s a little weird to think I’m only 13 months away from being done.
And then what?
So Suze asked me how it felt and, honestly, this felt a little anticlimactic. I think after October’s triumphant completion of the first draft, and November’s beginning of a new YA story, the revisions and essays didn’t feel all that inspiring. The things on my mind right now are the next residency, picking a topic for my critical thesis, figuring out who would be best as an advisor. Is it wrong to want someone who will let me slide by with a serviceable thesis so I can get back to the “real” work, the manuscript revisions and the new ideas? Should I be thinking about stretching out a bit, checking out poetry (which scares the bejebers out of me), or picture books? How much reading do I want to do right now, and do I want to read with an eye toward a thesis or to get some classics out of the way? Some many questions zooming around, no room to enjoy the moment.
It does feel like I made a leap, or a turn, or some sort of break with my previous writing these past few months. Writing the piece I sent in for the January workshops I wrote at a much slower pace, and with such deliberate steps, that I felt like a kid the first time on the bike without training wheels. I’m wobbly, but under my own steam. The complexity of what I attempted was more than anything I’d ever attempted before, an odd balancing act between a number of characters. And it’s funny. At least I think it is, I hope it is. That’s part of what I’m hoping to find out.
But I could tell, even while writing it, that my brain was synthesizing all these elements I have been learning, and studying, and writing essays about. All these lessons about character, and establishing conflict, and trusting the reader, trusting the narrative, they are started to coalesce. And for the first time, true third-person, not some fake first-person telling the story in third person. As I write there is this pompous voiceover in my head, an unseen character narrating the story as I go. I don’t know who this is, but he seems to know just what to say and how wryly it should be delivered.
Half done, mid-way, a turning point. Deep breath. Onward.