Everything I did at Quirk

Today is a most joyous of days. As you read this-I am walking up to receive my diploma. Well–my mock diploma–the real one will come in the mail in like a month or so. Actually, I might already be on the train. Depends on when you read this. And I might not have walked if the ceremony was taking too long but I digress.

Getting my MA has been such an exhausting journey but here I am at the end. During my time at Rowan, I helped to charter three clubs: Gaming Club, Archery Team, and Writing Arts Club; I helped my friends and fellow students with their undergraduate portfolios; I worked hard and graduated Magna Cum Laude for both Undergrad and Grad; I came out alive on the other end of a lot of drama; I got engaged (for which I had the easiest part in); I wrote and fixed roughly 30,000 words for my thesis and then I wrote more and fixed it all over again; I interned at Quirk Books and I’m still going!

I did a lot for my internship at Quirk and even blogged about it all, which you can read here. Below are links to the blog posts which I created images for and even some that I drafted myself.

I am so thankful for the opportunity I had with Julie and Nicole and I’m going to miss everyone at Quirk and Rowan a whole bunch.

Symposium

I am literally days away from presenting my work to an audience. My manuscript is printed, my Writing for Children and YA portfolio is done and just needs to get printed, and my presentation has two things that need to get fixed (a typo and a call out to my second reading). I’m ready to go and do this!

I just don’t want to.

I don’t think we read our own work enough as students. In workshops, someone else reads your work while you sit and listen. I think you should always have to read your work. It forces you to be more comfortable with it.

In the mean time. I don’t want to do this presentation and I’m trying to think of any possible way to stall the process.

USA by Way of Train

20151208_135156.jpgMy good friend Magdalyn Ann and I are going on a super long road trip across the USA and the best part?

IT’S VIA TRAIN!

You heard me. Train. We’re going to be going for two weeks for this trip and most of our time is going to be on the train, ha ha, but we’ll have plenty of time for reading and writing so it’ll be just fine!

We are going to NYC, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco (where I’m going to get to see my Aunt and Uncle), New Orleans, and then home. And it’ll be right after I graduate from Rowan!

No, really.

Right after.

graduation_caps_throw_a_hbLike, I’m going to toss my cap in the air, or move my tassle over, or whatever and then sprint to the car because I have a train to catch. Same day. I might just wear my gown on the train. Wouldn’t that be a site?

I’m leaving from a local station to head up to NYC and then over to Chicago! For BookCon! Which really prompted this whole trip.

A year or so ago Maggie and I read an article about a trip from NYC to San Francisco and doing it for about $250 using the Amtrak train passes. But when we looked into the passes we realized we had to buy 8 of them.

So I said, “If we have to get 8 of them–let’s use 8 of them.” Which is why we’re traveling the perimeter of the United States.

I’m so excited for BookCon, to meet author and other readers, but I’m also really excited to spend all this time with Maggie and to have this experience. I can’t think of a better time to do it. Well… maybe the day after I graduate… you get my point though.

So if anyone lives in those cities, or has visited those cities, PLEASE suggest things for us to try! But also keep in mind that we’re walking–like–everywhere.

A Fond Farewell

I wrote this to say goodbye to all the great members of the Writing Arts Club at Rowan University. I’m graduating in the Spring and the club is now officially in its first generation. 

20151201_224345.jpgWhen Drew Kopp first sent out an email blast asking students to come to the first Writing Arts Club, I was excited. I had transferred to Rowan University not too long before and desperately missed the sense of community I’d had within my major before hand.

There were ten or so of us at that first meeting and we all agreed to keep in touch over break–which of course we did not.

When I was voted in as President and Maggie as Vice President, there were only five members at the meeting. And then even less at the next meeting. Until, eventually, it was just me and Maggie in a reserved room working on homework–with special guest guest stars Colleen Nester, our secretary at the time, and Brian Wright.

20151208_135156.jpgIt was disheartening, to say the least.

But this semester, Maggie’s last semester and my second to last semester, the club picked up. And I am so happy to have met each and every person who came through the door.
It was so great to teach people how to blog and getting people more comfortable with workshopping.

And as much as I complained, I am genuinely going to miss it all.

20151201_225528.jpgThe power I mean.

Not you people.

Just kidding.

Well, I guess it’s time to wrap this up: bottom line–the community should come first. Writing is social. You need to talk to people to write believable dialogue. Your best writing will come from something that you share. And the more you get workshopped–the more you will be comfortable with it. Not only with talking about your work and having it critiqued but also with workshopping someone else’s work.

I hope I can come back to visit and find this club thriving and full of new and interesting members who are eager to explore themselves and their art.

Finally:

Make good art. – Neil Gaiman20151201_224333.jpg

 

The Year in Recap

It’s been a pretty big year for me. I’m in a loving, committed relationship, I graduated college, my dog died, we have two furry additions to the family, I was accepted to grad school…

I graduated with my BA this summer and I am seriously just amazed at myself. Growing up, I wasn’t what anyone would call an Honor Student. Yet, here I am, in a national honor society, with Magna Cum Laude on my degree. Man, if all those teachers could see me now. And you know what the weirdest part is? It wasn’t hard, it was just hard work. I just woke up one day and cared.

It hasn’t all been fun this year, though. Back in February we had to put my Belgian Shepherd, Precious, down. She was 14 years old, a month away from being 15, and couldn’t walk anymore. She suffered a stroke on a Saturday and we took her to the vet that Monday. It was so hard to put her into a box and wrap her up with a blanket that last time.

More Red Tape

Since my very first semester of college I have always had a problem with red tape. I am very angry confused this time since the error is within the same electronic system. It’s one thing when I transfer and the system has no idea what to make of courses-it’s another when I have my degree on my transcripts but cannot register for my next semester of Grad school because…

I

don’t

have

a

degree.

Think on that for a moment. My BA was awarded to me on August 30, 2014 and yet on September 15, 2014 and a hold was put on my account preventing me from registering for class. How does that even work?

And the best part, as a friend pointed out to me earlier, is that the hold lasts until December 31, 2099. I could wait 99 years for the hold to go away and then register. I will be 126 years old in 2099 and most likely dead.

So now I’m waiting for someone to return my phone call or my email about this problem so that I can register. If nothing else, I will remember this when I write my memoirs.