So something a little different today than the regular ol' humdrum of the blog.
We've got a blog train!
So somewhere in our cluttered heads, we students thought we actually had time to do something more than what we were doing. So today is our first entry of a Stonecoast blog train, where not only can you read the blogs you usually read from Stonecoast students, but maybe find another blog that provides useful information and prettier faces.
Onto the fun!
WHAT IS A BLOG TRAIN?
Good question, title header. A blog train is when a bunch of people with a common something-or-other all write a common blog entry and then attach it to the other people's common blog entries. So it's like a train ... of blogs. Get it?
WHO ARE YOU? WHAT IS THIS BLOG?
If you haven't been here before, I should probably tell you what's going on and why there's a day count in my blog title. I am currently taking a year to write while I finish my MFA at Stonecoast (Popular Fiction), and so I gave myself the challenge to write every day and blog every day. Do I always succeed in this challenge? No, sometimes I'm too busy planning my wedding or losing internet at my hotel in Edinburgh. But there's usually a good excuse. So far, we've had the summer with the challenge, and I've finished a really strong draft of my YA alt history steampunk novel, traveled Europe, planned a wedding, and this Saturday, I'll be turning 28.
I also write on the blog The MFA Years and keep up a sporadic twitter presence at @j_r_dawson.
I like long walks on the beach and Harry Potter trivia. Which brings us to the really important factoid of the day: did you know that James S. Potter left King's Cross this morning at 11 AM London time? He's currently about an hour away from pulling into Hogsmeade.
SO WHY STONECOAST?
I've only been at Stonecoast a year (it's a two-year program), but already I've had to answer this question for a lot of people who are interested in coming. My own writing partner, Kate, has applied for the upcoming semester.
I chose Stonecoast over other schools because it focused on what I wanted to write. I'd tried for far too long to be a traditional literary writer, and I really thought that if I went to some place like the Writer's Workshop or Colorado that I would learn the trade of good, solid writing and then I could move it over to my stories about airships and zombies and dragons and knights and space robots on rocket ships. But then I somehow came to my senses when I heard Mur Lafferty's podcast, and I realized there was a place for people like me where I wouldn't have to pass for two to three years before being able to come out of the sci-fi/fantasy closet.
Nancy Holder was also a huge deciding factor. She called me personally and talked to me for a good hour about all of my worries. What I found in Nancy was someone who believed in me and the sort of writer I wanted to be. And honestly, what more could you ask for in a program?
I have not yet met anyone who writes sff who was happy in a literary-bent school. I have personally played Pictionary with my cohort, who couldn't be happier with their decisions.
SO IF I KEEP READING YOUR BLOG, WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
Well, you should expect awesomeness, duh. No, you should expect a blog entry every day (although sometimes again, I gotta double up), progress on my own personal writing journey, but also questions and tips and worries that everyone can relate to. I know that when I read blogs from real writers, I don't feel so alone in this isolated activity that we've all chosen for ourselves.
WHO'S NEXT ON THE BLOG TRAIN?
Good thing you ask. The next Stonecoast student you can visit is Marian Rosarum, newly graduated from the program. Marian is a fantasy writer who is literally brilliant. I remember the first time I read her manuscript in workshop, I was absolutely blown away. The detail that she puts in the world, the language she uses, and the deep thought that goes behind every single thing she writes is enough for you to settle into a big comfy chair and say, "I am following this author through this whole story, because she's got our backs."
Here is the link to her blog. Please check her out:
What is this?
Dawson is an editor and writer and MFA student at Stonecoast. She writes stuff.