January 7, 2010

Subject: New Year's Resolutions

Back to work. So nice to spend a few weeks with kids and family, and oh-so-nice to get back to the routine of work.

Wondering where I’ve been and where I am now? To answer the second question, I’m at home, and I will not be heading to Minneapolis for the Hamline MFAC residency that begins tomorrow. I decided to take a semester off. I was feeling burnt out (think I mighta mentioned that in an earlier post or two) heading into my critical thesis semester. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to spend my time on creative writing, testing out all of the great skills I learned while working with last semester's faculty advisor, the wonderful and generous Jane Resh Thomas. Jane’s comment when I told her of my decision was supportive: “The muse hates to be abused.” I therefore resolve to nurture my muse by finding more joy in my writing.

As for my absence from Composition Book, it’s not just due to the holiday crazies. I’ve been blogging over at StorySleuths. Last month we dug into A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck. This month, we’ll be reading short stories from a collection called Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. Please click on over. In addition to posts from StorySleuths Allyson Valentine Schrier and Meg Lippert, we'll feature posts from Alvina Ling, the book's editor at Little, Brown, and Greg Leitich-Smith, who wrote one of the fifteen stories. Even if you haven’t read the book, leave us a comment to let us know what you think.

Speaking of comments, I’ll be joining the Comment Challenge 2010, sponsored by Mother Reader and Lee Wind. The idea is to leave five comments a day on kidlitosphere blogs for the next 21 days. I always feel a little shy about leaving comments, especially for bloggers I don’t know personally, but I LOVE getting feedback on my posts, so I’m going to be brave and reach out. Be encouraging and enthusiastic. That’s another resolution for the year.

Happy New Year to all! I wish you joy, happiness, good health, and success in your endeavors.


  1. I also joined Lee and Pam's Comment Challenge. Already, I feel like I've struck gold. I am so excited to find your blog and then link over to Story Sleuths to see what you all have been saying about A Season of Gifts and When You Reach Me (2 personal favorites!). I'll be following the thoughts about Geektastic as well next month.

    Glad I met you and your blog. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for coming by, Karen, and leaving a comment. I'm so glad you checked out StorySleuths as well. I look forward to reading your blog.

  3. As a new graduate student entering my second semester, I can already understand the need to take a break. Take care and use the time off to your benefit. But don't forget to go back and finish what you started. You'll be so proud of yourself on the other side.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Erika. Hope you have a great semester! Good luck with your studies.

  5. You may not know me personally, but if you're reading Geektastic, then we're friends. I've never heard of it, but it sounds awesome. The comment challenge is a challenge, but I find sometimes just saying "Hi" is cool. Bloggers just like knowing they're being read and a comment is much better than any analytic nonsense. So enjoy some new blogs and just say hey to some folks. Thanks.