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There's a reason I haven't blogged/updated in a while. It has (almost) nothing to do with the fact that I haven't been writing and (almost) everything to do with the fact that I've been recalibrating my process due to some huge news that I'm finally allowed to share:

I've been chosen as the 2017-2018 Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence! <-- that's a link, check it out!

Let that sink in. I'm a freaking Writer-in-Residence! It's been weeks since I got the news and I'm only now starting to process it. I will:

  • have an office (described by previous fellowship recipients as "Hogwarts-like") at the Boston Public Library, my favorite place in the whole city,

  • spend a minimum of 19 hours per week writing at the BPL,

  • give public readings at a welcome reception (September) and an exit reception (May),

  • receive a $20K stipend,

  • meet tons of amazing, creative, connected people who inspire and push me,

  • likely not have too much trouble finding an agent (assuming the final manuscript is good)... in fact, I'm already in touch with some.

As a result of this new development, you'll notice some changes to my website, some increased activity on social media, and, less visibly, a shit-ton of hunkering down and secluding myself to write the best book I'm capable of.

So what's next? Here's a new breakdown of my deadlines (word count spreadsheets to come):

July 31 - finish shitty first draft

Mid-August - submit first half of Sunset Sultan to thesis director

September - begin fellowship

Mid-October - submit second half of Sunset Sultan to thesis director

November - February - write drafts 2, 3, 4, etc.

February 29 - submit final draft of Sunset Sultan to thesis director

May - fellowship ends, Sunset Sultan final revisions finished

Also note that, come September, in addition to the fellowship and thesis (which includes a 25-page academic paper) I'll be working part time and taking my final graduate class. You'll likely find me most active on Twitter as I can't imagine having the bandwidth to share more than 140 characters at a time!

Here's a pic of me and my partner at the BPL a couple days after I found out I received the fellowship. I couldn't resist wandering around the palace-like building and daydreaming about what the next year of my life holds. I can't thank the Associates of the Boston Public Library enough for this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am SO grateful. Also thank you to my writer friends and colleagues who critiqued my application. You guys rock.

So what HAVE I been doing the last couple weeks? Drinking a lot of wine, researching therapists who specialize in performance anxiety, and taking time off for a much-needed Colorado vacation with some of my oldest, dearest friends. I'll sign off with a few pics that are too good not to share. Until next time!

#BostonPublicLibrary #Fellowship #WriterinResidence #SunsetSultan