Thursday, November 10, 2011

She's Aliiiiive! (AKA My Return to Blogging)

Greetings Blogosphere! I took an accidental hiatus when I started grad school this July. Oops. I kind of knew this would happen because I'm a huge nerd who happily lets school take over her life. (BTW, if there is one school worth giving two years of my life to, it is definitely VCFA.) I've been busy reading and writing, which is nothing new for me, but now it's all very structured and with deadlines. I could gush about my amazing school forever, but I don't have the time, so instead I'll just say that going here was the best decision I've made in my entire life.

Now it's time to play a quick round of catch-up. I'm going to try to avoid a long babble-y post by just using a bullet list of things that are exciting in my life. And then I plan to make a better effort at updating. I certainly read enough to write regular reviews, but after doing short write-ups on everything I read for school, I don't think I'll want to review everything. (I think I may shy away from actual reviews and stick to more random drive-by this-is-awesome! type posts.)

And it's list time! (PS: I love lists!)

  • I made the greatest friends at my first grad school residency. I didn't expect to bond instantly with everyone and to keep in touch so frequently during the semester. I love everyone in my class, but I just have to say that my e-mail posse has kept me motivated during all the difficult writing times. (Lauren, Stacey, Courtney, Megan, Claire, Ashlee, and Brittany, I heart you!)
  • My advisor, Jane Kurtz, is brilliant. I thought she'd be an easy, cuddly advisor. But she's kicked my ass all semester! And I couldn't be more grateful. There were times when I read her responses and wanted to cry, but the huge amount of improvement I already see in my work thanks to her is incredible.I can't believe I only have a month left with her. But I'm guessing my next advisor will be just as incredible and right for me. (I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for Coe Booth.)Which leads me to...
  • "Trust the Process" (VCFA motto. You will get the advisor you need.)
  • Proof that my school kicks ass: This year's National Book Awards finalists for YA include one alum, Debby Dahl Edwardson for My Name is Not Easy, and one faculty member, Franny Billingsley for Chime.(Plus Lauren Myracle who was mistakenly announced as a finalist is also an alum.)
  • More proof: A girl that was graduating at this July's residency got an agent for the incredibly funny MG novel she wrote at VCFA just a few months later. And then.... TWO WEEKS LATER her agent got her a THREE BOOK DEAL! And the amount of the deal... Oh Em Gee. Now, I know this does not happen to everyone after graduating, but still. My school is made of awesomeness!
  • Lauren Myracle should have been a finalist for the award, IMO, because Shine was one of the best books I've read in I can't even remember how long. It blew my the F away. Seriously. Everyone, go read it. Right now.
  • In not so spectacular news, I moved from Connecticut to Florida. Eh. One thing I'll say is that I hate snow. So I am definitely loving the fact that I can still wear shorts and tank tops in November here. It's pretty spectacular. Other than that... I don't know. I left my life. Luckily, school has kept me way too busy to think about it much.
  • When I got here I found a tutoring job at Huntington Learning Center. I help teens study for the ACT and SAT and write their college app essays. And I love it! I didn't know I could love a job so much. Unfortunately it pays practically nothing. And I've hard a hard time finding a serving job. At first I was excited for the break from slinging food (because as anyone who knows me knows, I despise the idea of being a server), but then after a few months... I realized this is the longest I've gone in the last 6 years without a serving job. And huh. I kinda missed it. What is wrong with me? Haha. So anyway, I just got hired at a cool Greek Diner. And I'm actually looking forward to it. (Maybe I was really just missing the part where I come home with a wad of cash in my pocket each night.)
  • I've discovered (thanks to my friend Lauren) that John Green is the shit. After reading like 5 pages of Looking for Alaska, he soared to the top of my favorite YA authors list. Let me just tell you, he's close to knocking Sarah Dessen out of the Number 1 spot. Paper Towns was perhaps even more fabulous. And I'm now getting ready to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson. NERDY BOY MC'S RULE!
  • Since I don't think I'll go back and do any reviews on books I've read over the last few months, I'll just mention some of the others I loved. You Against Me, Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks, The Sky is Everywhere, Moonglass, If I Tell, The Half-Life of Planets, The Day Before, Small Town Sinners.
  • New TV show obsessions (as if I don't have enough already): 2 Broke Girls, Suburgatory, Hart of Dixie, The Lying Game, The Secret Circle, The New Girl. Also totally loved Switched at Birth. Not that new, but I don't think I've mentioned it here. Oh and that's three comedies, btw, which is new for me. I'm usually way more interested in drama. (PS: Getting to see Rachel Bilson of OC fame again in Hart of Dixie is fab-u-lous!)
  • I've discovered my love of pineapple salsa.
  • One more good thing about Florida... ice cream places open year round. I am not living less than ten minutes away from shaved ice. Heaven.
Finally, I'll leave you with something that makes me go squeee. Pretty Little Liars Spencer/Toby adorable fluffiness.

And that's all folks. My return to the world of blogging. Will resume normal updates now. Off to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson for the next few hours before I have to go to work. Ciao!

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