It’s been a while since I’ve done the whole blogging thing. I could make the expected excuses of all work and no play, but that feels unnecessary. Instead, let’s go with thank you. Thank you for continuing to follow this blog. Thank you for the continued support on this site as well as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and wherever else we have been able to come together. Most importantly, thank you for being you. I value each and every one of my readers, and I know that I couldn’t be who I am as a writer without you all being who you are.
Here are some of the writer-ly (or whatever) things I’ve been up to in 2015:
- I finished my first year and a half of graduate school! This means I’m now officially halfway through my MFA program. That is both an exciting thought as well as a terrifying one. I’m not sure where I’ll be after getting this degree, but I know that I will be a stronger writer for it.
- I started teaching English 101 (and am now prepping to teach ENGH 101 and 201 in the spring). Teaching college students has been an interesting (and usually rewarding) experience. I realize that a lot of students really value the feedback they get and take their inquiries outside of the classroom. Now I can laugh at all of the times that I used to say I never wanted to be a teacher. Well, maybe it’s more of a quick chuckle.
- I started working on my thesis project. It’s a book I’ve tried starting two other times but ended up setting aside again. In many ways, it’s different than what I’ve written before but, in a lot of ways, it is familiar to my writing. This third start really has been the charm. I feel like I have a better understanding of my characters (who are now a lot more interesting than they were before!) and that my relatively complicated story line is becoming clearer. I’m very excited to continue working on this piece and cannot wait to let you all know when my first draft is done! (This will be quite a while. Don’t hold your breath.)
- There has been a lot of tutoring this year. It’s been rewarding to help younger students reach their full potential in English (reading, writing, grammar, etc.). Then there’s the math tutoring that I thought I left in the past but it has actually been a lot of fun to revisit the topics I thought I left behind. It’s all so much easier now. (Having answer keys might be part of the equation there…)
- I also spent some quality time teaching creative writing workshops as part of the Sally Merton Fellowship program. It’s fun to see how excited the kids get about getting to do something creative (and just having a new face in the classroom). Also, I value the collection of drawings and thank you cards that these kids have given me. I could probably do with a little less hair-braiding, but even I can’t really complain about that.
- Fall for the Book 2015 was also a major success (in spite of the impending hurricane that thankfully dissipated so that we could continue the festival as planned). During the festival, I had a chance to talk to Tim O’Brien and get my book signed. Steve Watkins (a former UMW professor whose class I was sooooo close to taking) was there as well and it was nice to get a chance to chat with him. (He gets a double thanks for giving me a signed copy of his book as well!)
- In addition to all of that, I drank obscene amounts of coffee, met new people, went new places, and lived to write about it all. Stay tuned this 2016 for more writing and reflecting on A Dose of Kyle.
Enough about me. What have you accomplished this year? Did you get lots of writing done? Read any good books? Travel to several cool places? Leave a comment below!