Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My MFA Journey Has Begun

Home a week or so since I began my MFA at UBC. My summer began with a 10-day workshop, the first course en route to getting my MFA in creative writing. Was a wonderful and intensive week. I chose to stick with writing for children for this first course, except that I've started working on a novel, something I vowed I would never do. But...since part of this journey is to challenge myself and try new things, this pushed me along that road. And -- surprise, surprise -- I really enjoyed it! I'd like to keep working on the draft of this novel this fall, so will probably stick with children's writing for my first year. Then, onto new things -- poetry, playwriting, short fiction? Who knows.

Above is a photo of my classmates, with our wonderful instructor, Glen Huser. One of the best things I gained from this workshop is how to read and critique carefully. I learned a lot about my own writing as I did this, but also hope that I made comments useful to others.

Although I read a lot of children's fiction, I also came home with a long list of books, many "current classics", to read. The book that affected/impressed me most, was Karen Hesse's Out of the Dust. It is a verse novel, a form which has intrigued me since I read The Crazy Man by Pamela Porter (another book I enjoyed very much). Glen also had a copy of Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, another verse novel, which became a class favourite. Loved that book! Such a charming narrator, and if you haven't read it, do. It will take you 20 minutes or less and leave you with a smile.