VCFA: No Voldemort Here

I’m trying to wrap my brain around the residency before it all fades away, but frankly I’m still exhausted from the whole experience (plus a mostly unrelated health issue on my first day back to work :P) so I’d better write down what I remember, now, before it’s gone.

VCFA is magical. They call it “Brigadoon” because it feels like a place that only exists while you’re there (once a semester) and maybe vanishes when you go home. It’s a place out of place, for a time out of time, full of words and stories and craft. But really, it’s basically Hogwarts: there is a magical sorting process for finding your advisor for the semester, an advisor that, much like a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, changes every term (that observation credit goes to my classmate, Adam Vandergac). During your hours off, you may take a trip down the hill into “downtown” Montpelier/Hogsmeade, where you can get beer (though not butter beer) at the Three Penny Taproom, or used books signed by their authors at the Bear Pond Book Store. You can get gelato in crazy flavors, though nothing like ear wax (chevre and fig was my personal favorite), and if you’re lucky, some chocolate frogs.

But the magic in the halls of the VCFA buildings, in the chapels and galleries where lectures are held, and in the classrooms where workshops take place, is pure and bright and palpable. The traditions make you feel like a part of a family–larger than some, but small enough to feel real, to feel close, to feel true. And as one poet said during the reading of one of those traditions, “VCFA is better than Hogwarts, because Voldemort is not here.”

But there is real magic, and there is dancing, and naming ceremonies, and welcoming ceremonies, and sorting, and laughing, and supporting, and brilliance–everywhere, brilliant words and thoughts and humanity.

Never have I felt so much like I belonged. That’s the thing. That’s the biggest thing of all. I feel certain these are my people. I feel certain this is where I am meant to be in my life right now. And that alone is worth the price of admission.

My advisor for this semester is Tim Wynne-Jones, author of many, many books (and good friends with Philip Pullman!!!!). I don’t know what to expect from the months ahead besides hard work and a lot of reading, but I am so excited to be a part of this school of storycraft, honing my skills as a writer and finding my community in something that is generally such a solitaire art.

(Also, did I mention I have access to the WorldCat library?! :D)

That’s it for now…I have a lot of work to do!

The Timing of Things

84Hello all! It’s been a while!

Life has been life, shall we say? And let it go at that.

But some exciting things have happened while I’ve been absent from this blog! I finally decided to take the plunge and apply for a few low-residence MFA programs in creative writing, specifically programs geared towards writing for children and young adults. And you know what? I GOT IN! I got in to my top choice, even!!! And this July I will be starting my MFA journey with the Vermont College of Fine Arts. *swoons*

What does this mean for my writing, other than my dream-come-true of working one-on-one with established authors to hone my skills? I’m not sure! And I feel bad about that. I know I promised the third book in the Arcana Series by fall of ’16, but now I’m not so certain. What I can promise is that I am working on it. Seriously. And I will not give up on it! I am a Taurus, so when I commit to something I am determined as HELL to get it done (see also: stubborn, bull-headed, etc.). But I also want to do the story justice, so it might take a bit longer to get it right.

Or, who knows?! Maybe I’ll be so revitalized by my MFA experience that I’ll be more inspired and energized than ever before and I’ll get it done even sooner than I thought! Maybe?

But speaking of Arcana Series news, two things! One: we are *this close* to wrapping on the audiobook for The Hierophant! Once again, Maria Marquis has narrated her way into my heart and shattered it into a thousand pieces (in the good way, like some stories are supposed to). I’m absolutely thrilled with it, and downright giddy about starting production on The Tower (omg Pax and his poetry! omg Nikolai’s storytime dinner hour [that’s what I call those scenes in my head…]! yass queen yaaaass!!!). And two: both books are now available in Kindle Unlimited! The Hierophant has been in the KU catalogue for a while now, so if that’s where you first read it and you’ve been waiting patiently for The Tower to join its predecessor, today is the day! Enjoy! :D

That’s all I have for now. I will be trying to update here more often (she says for the kajillionth time along with all the other absentee bloggers who pop in every few months to apologize for their radio silence :p :p :p)! But if you’d like to connect elsewhere in a more reliable and regular fashion, check out my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page :) (I’m especially fond of Instagram these days.)

<3!