2010 in review

It’s been quite a year — one of the strangest and nicest in a while. Alcestis was released in February, an experience that really began for me when I returned from MLA a day or two before the new year and found my box of author’s copies awaiting me. They were so beautiful. I still…

Wrapping up the fiction course

The last two weeks of the fiction class I’m teaching are essentially solid workshop. We’ve had a few breaks to discuss general questions about writing and one very good discussion about “Hills Like White Elephants” (including a bit of a digression re: absinthe, the legality and appeal thereof), but it’s almost all student fiction at…

‘Inception’ redux

I went to see Inception for a second time, in an IMAX theatre. Several things happened: I enjoyed it more this time than the first time. It really is a lovely-looking movie. I got to hear an even larger audience of people sigh frustratedly in unison at the final scene. I still don’t get this,…

Crazy and unlikely and unusual

This week, my students are workshopping their first pieces of fiction (and doing an excellent job of it). After a week and a half of class every day, I think we’re all starting to realize that an intensive summer fiction workshop will, in fact, be intensive. For all of us. But with judicious applications of…

Whew.

My first week of teaching is over! Or sort of over — my students just turned in their first assignments, so I’ll be reading those this weekend. We spent most of this week reading and discussing published short fiction and we begin workshopping their own work on Monday. I am very sleepy this morning, not…

The value of creative writing degrees

Several months ago — sorry, Nadia — a reader emailed to ask me my thoughts about creative writing degrees. Specifically, she wondered whether I thought my master’s in creative writing had been useful. Today, John Scalzi posted a response to Lionel Shriver’s interview about MFA programs (shorter Shriver: I’m glad I got an MFA but…

The beautiful undead

Okay, one more post about Twilight and then I’m done for now, I promise. I wanted to link to the best article about the books I’ve read so far, Jenny Turner’s piece at the London Review of Books, “The Beautiful Undead.” Turner hits many of the same notes that other journalists and bloggers have: there’s…

Twilight girls

Today I was interviewed by a UT broadcasting student about the Twilight phenomenon and the question of how reading romances affects women (particularly young women). The student putting together the story found me through one of the students in my Women’s Popular Genres class, which I know I’ve mentioned before, because it’s been delightful. I…