The rest of the MFA residency was really good. It was a bit of a shock to the system to return to Seattle. I got home after 10pm and to work the next day at 7:30am. Apparently I needed some kind of break because I was dragging until I took a day off Thursday.
While I was at the residency, I finalized my semester plan and the list of 20 books I’m supposed to read this semester. As far as craft goes, I’m focusing on plot and structure, which is good because I struggle with that. I also decided to do a pedagogy elective so I’ll be learning to teach composition (a retirement plan). I’ll share the book list with you in case you’re curious:
- Chekhov, Anton, Pevear, Richard, translator, and Volokhonsky, Larissa, translator. Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov (2000).
- Gaitskill, Mary. Bad Behavior: Stories (1988).
- Munro, Alice. The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose (1978).
- Paley, Grace. The Collected Stories (1994).
- Fitch, Janet. White Oleander (1999).
- Ishiguro, Kazuo. The Remains of the Day (1989).
- Angel, Ann, editor. Things I’ll Never Say (2015).
- Bauman, Beth Ann. Jersey Angel (2012).
- Blume, Judy. Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret (1970).
- Blume, Judy. Forever… (1975).
- Blume, Judy. Tiger Eyes (1981).
- Dessen, Sarah. Just Listen (2008).
- Downham, Jenny. You Against Me (2011).
- Green, John. Looking for Alaska (2006).
- Hoffmann, Kerry Cohen. Easy (2007).
- Lockhart, E. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (2009).
- Lockhart, E. Dramarama (2007).
- Niven, Jennifer. All the Bright Places (2015).
- O’Neill, Louise. The Surface Breaks: a reimagining of The Little Mermaid (2018).
- Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park (2013).
About half of them I’ve already read, though I’ll still have to reread those to get some thoughts on craft out of them. I’ve already reread Eleanor & Park because it’s awesome and it had to be the one I went to first. I wrote my first short paper on the first scene of that book, discussing how it works as a strong opening. Now I just need to come up with a topic for the second one…
This is going to be a long 2.5 years for me. But it will be good, I’m sure of it. The only thing is I’m worried I may not be able to keep up the weekly blog posts. So if it gets a little quieter here, you’ll know why.