I went back to New York!
I went to my first Writer's Conference, put on by Slice Magazine. I took workshops in character development, dialogue and revision, and watched a panel on the importance of literary magazines. I had a great time! Even though I've heard again and again about all of those subjects, it's always helpful to hear about them again. See, the thing is, every time I learn about, say, character development, I'm able to relate it to a new piece I'm working on. In this case, one of the exercises we did gave me a great new opening to a story that I liked, but whose opening was lacking. My favorite part was probably the panel, because it was so nice to hear about people who had submitted their work upwards of one hundred times only to go on to have a bestseller. I just recently started submitted my work, and actually just got my first rejection from that round! (For the record: first rejection ever was from Fiction magazine about ten years ago, this latest was from The Atlantic. What can I say? I start at the top!) I don't exactly feel pressure to publish before I graduate, but it would be pretty great.
In addition to the conference, I spent time with my friend Erin who stayed with me. She's very familiar with New York, so it was great to see her favorite places. We did a lot of walking around and exploring. This trip more than ever made me want to move to the city. I can so totally see myself living there! Fingers crossed that I find an amazing publishing job right after graduation!
Work has slowed on Cobblestone. I'm almost to the arms now, but as it turns out both of my classes this semester are very challenging. My literature class has NINE books assigned, and my writing workshop requires one or two new stories every week. They're short-shorts (250-1000 words), but still! It takes time to come up with an idea, and then to see if it will work. We are given specific prompts (this week is to write a three page story that chains through four points of view), which adds to the challenge. Here's hoping I finish by Christmas!