You know you've found the right grad program when you literally leap for joy when you get homework.
We wrapped up last semester in mid-November, and since then I've transitioned - at least activity-wise - to holiday mode. I've gone to Christmas parties with my husband at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum:
I've gone to Christmas concerts with my mom in Williamsburg:
I've spent an incredible weekend in DC with friends, walking around downtown and going to the Army/Navy football game:
I've attended band and choir concerts of my kids:
I've baked dozens and dozens of cookies, two batches of fudge, five batches of Chex Mix. I've decorated and cleaned and shopped and wrapped.
What I have not done is read or write. Which isn't to say I haven't been thinking about those things... and missing them.
So last week, when emails starting flurrying around that the administration had organized our workshop groups for January residency, I was a little more than distracted. I think it's possible I hit "refresh" on my inbox more than when I was waiting for query responses.
And this week it finally came. And I couldn't be more thrilled.
For one, I know almost everyone in my workshop, which is pretty darn cool. It means I'm not so much a newbie anymore. And the writers in my group are phenomenal. Which leads me to hyperventilate and worry about my own submission a bit, but I try to ignore that part. I'm just glad I get to be with such talented people... that can only be good for my own writing.
And the workshop leaders are AMAZING. Pete Fromm, for one... whose book How All This Started blew me away when I read it a little over a year ago, and was one of my top books of the year until I read his next book, As Cool As I Am. I'm not one to fawn over writers, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I get a little speechless around him.
And Katherine Dunn, my other workshop leaders. She wrote Geek Love, a National Book Award finalist that I've been mulling over for a year or two. It's dense and disturbing and utterly unique... a masterpiece. The fact that I get to even sit in the same room as her is astounding to me.
In two weeks I will be winging my way to Oregon again, to my own little oasis of writerly heaven. Before then, I need to read and critique my seven new workshop pieces, finish reading a book, revise a chapter in my novel that's been bugging me. And, oh yeah, celebrate Christmas.
Life is good.