In Your Write Mind 2019 Review

Awesome is an overused adjective, but it really is the prefect word to describe my recent trip. This past weekend I went back to Seton Hill University for the first time since I graduated from the MFA program four years ago. I was excited to see some of my old friends and mentors, but I didn’t have any great expectations for the writer’s convention itself. It’s a small con by comparison, so I figured it would just be okay.

Boy was I surprised.

guest of honors

Chris Kepner, Mark Oshiro, Nat Kimber, and Sandra Kasturi.  Photo by Gina Anderson

Every single Guest of Honor was fantastic. Seriously. I’m not kidding. They were fun and smart and very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise. Continue reading

How I’m Progressing as a Writer

Timons Teaching

Timons Esaias in his element

I recently finished my 4th residency for my master’s program and I’ve had some time to reflect on my progress as a writer. I’ve enjoyed every residency but each has its own flavor. After the first one, I wasn’t really sure that the Seton Hill Writing Popular Fiction program was going to work out. I’d spent several years prior to starting the program trying to improve my skill and my knowledge-base about writing as a profession and I felt like I wasn’t learning anything new. My opinion on that changed after the second residency, but looking back now, I can see the cumulative effects of the program.

After each semester I’d taken stock of how much my writing skill had increased, if at all. After the semester that ended last winter, I felt I’d reached a new plateau, but after spending a full semester with Timons Esaias as my mentor, my skill seems to have gone up an order of magnitude, instead of incrementally. I more easily recognize patterns in writing that I couldn’t see before. Common mistakes that a lot of writers make, especially on the first draft, stand out like a strobing beacon. Continue reading