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:
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!