Exam news, nonfiction sadface, fiction happyface.

Yesterday I had my final meeting with the first reader on my paper.  Promptly went home, put in all necessary revisions, and emailed that sucker off to my second reader.  A giant boulder has been lifted off my shoulders, and I can (briefly) breathe.

The details:  I met with my first reader nine times between Dec. 13 and Feb. 19, with one week off for the holidays and one week postponed due to illness.  I typically submitted in 3-7 pg. chunks.  The final draft is 25 pages long (with four charts), not including five pages of citations (nearly 100 sources).  I generally managed to salvage from two paragraphs to around a page and a half every time I generated new material; the rest was often reworked, rewritten, or cut in such a way as to be unrecognizable from its original state.   My conclusion is still “lame,” but it’s a response to a hypothetical, so I can’t conceive of an answer that wouldn’t have been lame.

Also, dear John D’Agata: please stop critic-baiting so I can write about you?  I thought About A Mountain came as close to an anti-memoir as anyone’s managed, and I had fun analyzing it in that context, but what made the book interesting has been completely obscured beneath a truckload of criticism of its truth claims.  Ugh.  Some days, the state of nonfiction makes me sadface.

And now, some happy news:  Again with the basking in reflected glory, but another Clarionaut friend has been kicking ass and taking names.  I adored these stories when we got advance-sneak-previews of them at Clarion; I’m thrilled that Bo’s babyfoxes are out in the world (and adopted into such excellent homes)!  Many, many bearhugs, Brooke the Red.    [Note: This pic was snapped the last day of Clarion, hence our tragic expressions.]

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