This summer will be the last summer of my MFA program at Hollins University, which brings about mixed emotions. I am excited to take what I've learned and move forward, but I will be sad to miss out on the pure magic that is summertime Hollins. Thankfully I still have two weeks left of the summer!
My friend Rebekah Lowell and I have been walking the Hollins loop in the mornings and we've made some friends! Hollins has a big equestrian program; there is a barn and a few paddocks for the horses on campus. We fed them apples from the apple tree at my house. The apples were only being eaten by deer and ants, so I'm glad the horses got to enjoy them.
I have been mostly busy this summer writing, writing, and writing. I am taking a Picture Book Tutorial class with Ashley Wolff where we have had to come up with four brand new manuscripts and have workshopped them. I am also taking two English classes for fun: Magical Realism with Amanda Cockrell, where I have written the beginning of novel and am working on a short story, and Middle Grade Fiction with Candice Ransom, where we are completely workshopping a novel idea. Candice is taking us step by step through her process - the genesis of the idea, writing a scene, focusing on the setting, creating the characters, and also keeping ourselves organized with a three-ring binder. What about plot?! You ask. Plot is coming ... next week! I am excited to get started on thinking about that, but I am happy she had us start with characters and setting first.
While my workload is quite intense, I am completely in love with each assignment and so it doesn't feel too overwhelming.