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I sometimes wonder if trying to keep up my blogs is counter-productive to keeping up with the whole full-time mom/full-time editor/full-time MFA student thing. Already I’m seeing things drop away as I hone in on the perfect schedule – an illusion, really, since I’m not actually doing all three things, just the usual two and sort of the third since school doesn’t start for another two weeks.

Two weeks.

Last week I panicked and wrote a post on my other blog called Two Dozen Days which today seems like an enormous amount of time in comparison to the two weeks I have now.

But with the help of my DH, I’m learning to give credit for what I /have/ accomplished toward school:

1) Read 28 books ranging from PBs to YAs, including multi-POV and faculty books;
2) Troubleshot my financial aid (which I didn’t know was broken until last week);
3) Got a few lists done of what I need to bring and what I yet need to get;
4) Learned more about my avoidance and coping techniques (which are not necessarily the same, although some are more detrimental while others are more helpful/necessary);
5) Positioned my department to be able to stay on deadline while I’m gone;
6) Not given up.

I still haven’t read a book by each of the faculty, but I’ve ordered the last few I need to feel like I’ve at least read for the lectures I’ll want to attend for sure.

I also haven’t finished reading/critiquing all the workshop manuscripts, but thanks to a vet of the program, I have a nifty three-ring notebook to hold all the stories and notes.

I’d like to also write down more coherent notes on this Consensus Time idea I have and on the types of stories I’d like to work on this first semester. I know a couple of my cohort have already started looking into their critical reviews for the first packet, but honestly, I’ve hit that point where I need to just go with what the program offers and hope that I’m as prepared as reasonably possible as a first year.

My student mentor Clete contacted me this weekend and I’m looking forward to meeting him and his family next week. He has graciously invited my family to also come so hopefully DL will be able to talk with Clete’s wife about how to cope with an absent writing spouse while still tending two children.

Finally, ZenHabits recently published a guest post by chessmaster Josh Waitzkin who offers the following as a cure for the multitasking virus (which I seem to have an acute case):

1) Do what you love;
2) Do it in a way you love and connect to;
3) Give people a Choice and they become engaged;
4) Release a fear of failure;
5) Build positive routines;
6) Do one thing at a time;
7) Take breaks.

These are the principles I’ll be applying as I continue to learn how to approach and succeed in grad school this time around.

My apologies in advance if this blog gets stale – it falls low on the priority list, unfortunately, despite all my hopes that it would become this incredible journal everyone will want to read while preserving the memory of my experiences in a (hopefully) publishable form in the future. **chuckle**

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Here be a list of authors I’d like to study and emulate. This will be an ongoing list, updated periodically.

Lawrence Yep

Eve Bunting

Jane Yolen

Charles DeLint

Neil Gaiman

Harold and the Purple Crayon series

Moonbear series

Christopher Paul Curtis

Tony Robles

Growing Up Filipino I and II

Kate DeCamillo

Paul Gobel

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Packing List

Been spending the last few days reading the listserve forum for the VC program. Pretty overwhelming at first reading everyone’s posts and trying to figure out what I need to do next. 

First, of course, is getting my manuscript done, which I think will require a bit more thought than I had originally planned… I’m going to take a few risks, I think, and hopefully not fall flat on the first residency out. But the pieces I have finished really are as finished as I think they need to be before sending out queries, so that means drafting new work and that’s a good thing. 

Second ought to be getting my plane tickets and housing arranged, but I haven’t gotten any details on financial aid disbursements yet, and I want to be sure about that before committing my credit card to anything unrefundable. 

So instead, here’s the start of a list of things I know I’ll need to bring (besides the obvious stuff):

Mosquito repellant (because they love me)
Flip Flops
Emergen-C
Manuscripts to read for open mic’s
One good FilAm history book
Laundry Soap
Money for Ben and Jerrys (yay!)
Flash Drive(s)
Cel phone charger
Gal bags for ice packs
Quarters (thanks Dawn!)
Sunscreen (added 4/24)
Hat with wide brim (added 4/24)
Small umbrella (added 4/24)
Walking shoes (added 6/23)
Flashlight & Batteries (added 6/23)
Watch (added 6/23)
Alarm clock (added 6/23)
Dramamine/Sea-bands (added 6/23)
Tylenol/Claritin/Rx (added 6/23)
Small First Aid kit (added 6/23)
Laundry bag (added 6/23)

(check out Travel and Packing Hints, One Bag, and Rick Steves)

That’s the list so far. Digging into details today has helped me with the nervousness. 

Action disperses fear. Another good aphorism. 

 

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