Monday, August 19, 2013

Pre-Semester Post: Fall 2013

Last semester! I actually find myself somewhat sad. A part of me wishes that this thing we call the MFA program would last a lifetime because, really, learning to write takes a lifetime. Cliched, I know, but true. And it will be a while before I get to teach creative writing!

I'm taking three classes.

Past, Present, and Future

Really cool because this is the first time the professor is teaching the course. This experimental course is a critical practice, essentially part lit class and part workshop. We'll read two "historical" books and two science fiction books and some steampunk stories (see reading list below). The course, like steampunk, examines how we look at time from our own temporal (or present day) lenses.

We'll read five books and write one short story or novel excerpt and critique those of others.

Here's the reading list:

- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
- Middle Passage by Charles Johnson
- The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin
- A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
- The Mammoth Book of Steampunk edited by Sean Wallace

Fiction Workshop

I took a fiction workshop my first semester and I thought it would be fit to take one my last semester and gauge how much I've improved. I already know I've learned a lot because I've looked at my bad writing from when I came into the program. People were being really nice when critiquing me!

Unfortunately, I didn't get to finish some pieces I planned to write during the summer. I wished to have more newer stories. I only finished one new story, I think - due to a new novel in progress. Luckily, I have a lot of stories, though.

Thesis Tutorial

So the requirement is basically 150 pages of a substantial work of fiction. I unfortunately chose to write something that is a bit short, so I'll have to write another short novel and combine the two to meet the requirement.

All this is a lot of work! I'm scared and excited, as always, before the start of the semester.

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