Back in November 2013 I learned that I'd been included on the longlist for Undiscovered Voices 2014. Last week the S.C.B.W.I. British Isles and Europe announced their list of twelve finalists for their 2014 publication and my novel was not chosen. After the requisite gnashing of teeth, beating of breasts and the teary Why am I always a bridesmaid? speech, punctuated by a glass or two of wine, I found my feet and gave
Plot Plans seem contentious. Some writers love them. Some loathe them. I've reached a new evolution in plot planning this fall. I didn't reach it alone. I've been taking a series of classes with Dutch Writer Mina Witteman (aka Marvellous Mina). I always knew this approach was out there but it seems I needed someone to encourage me to work through the pain of plot-planning.
This essay was written during my first year of my MFA. It's about my process of writing the novel I'd planned to write for my thesis - the concepts I was toying with, the books that informed my process. That novel was shelved in 2009. Not abandoned. Shelved. I may return to it someday after the ideas have fermented a while longer.
I have spent more than half my life living with an engineer. Rather predictable as stories go, it began in the 70’s when I was a young, female engineering student at Queens University. We met. We married. But we are very different people and had I stayed in engineering I would have become a very different sort of engineer.
There are different ways to approach scholarship. The conventional way is a program of study within the academy starting with a canon of works, which has been deemed to ground a student in the basics of their chosen field. For a degree in English Literature for example, it is necessary to tick off certain required boxes before most Universities will grant you a degree.