VSC tally: 25,000 words, a new novel, a new short story, three revisions and 8 pounds


I’m back! Did you miss me?

As you may recall, I spent the month of May in the tiny town of Johnson, Vermont at the Vermont Studio Center, where I was one of about 60 artists in residence. This was my first residency, and I wasn’t sure how much I’d get done; in a month with almost no distractions except the ones in my head, would I manage to be productive?

The answer: hell yes, I would.

I managed to write 25,000 words on the sequel to The Unwanted, and while I was working on that, I was brainstorming about the third/last book in the series, and brainstorming led quickly to several thousand words in that. At the same time, a craft lecture on revision by Matt Bell (he’s awesome, by the way; his new novel Scrapper comes out in September) got me thinking about the novel I wrote in grad school, and before I knew it [note to self: clichéd phrasing, revise] I was revising that. I’ve gone through the first fifty pages and cut about ten pages in all. So, that’s progress. I also started revising two short stories, started writing a new one, and made five submissions to literary magazines. (Because how am I going to keep up my collection of rejection letters otherwise? Right?)

To say the month in Vermont was more productive than the rest of the year to date wouldn’t be overstating things, really.

I also gained eight pounds. They fed us well.

Even better, I gained a lot of new friends, fellow writers and artists and who get it. It felt like my tribe. Well, one of my tribes, anyway.

I made time for fun, too, and there are a lot of pictures over on Flickr from my month there. If you see me in person, remind me to tell you about my adventures in karaoke. Madonna and Taylor Swift were involved….