Sometimes, I have this kind of day. I wish every day were like this day. I wish everyone everywhere could, for all the days, have this exact type of day forever and ever hallelujah. Technically, this was yesterday, but so what? It was a glorious, good and golden day.
What happened? Three things happened.
1) I have a dissertation director and one of my committee members set, and they both gave me excellent ideas for filling out the other three slots (including a dream scenario for my outside reader), and they both are completely supportive of my project. This is huge. I’m going to have the kind of dissertation experience I’d always hoped for, wherein smart people who read what I read and do what I do pick apart my project and help me make it stronger faster moar. It’s going to be awesome, and I can’t wait to get started. Finally.
2) I won a thing, very unexpectedly. A department award. And not for my creative work — for my CRITICISM. Yeah, that’s right. I’ve spent three years feeling inept, under-read, and inadequate, but I put my head down and kept fighting to understand the arguments, and apparently it paid off. This was for the exam paper I’ve spent the past few months agonizing over (while loving it more than I should). I still love it. I’m glad it won a thing. Now, to revise and submit for publication. Seriously, though, this was much-needed reinforcement that I can and should be working on criticism alongside my creative work. I love doing it far too much to give it up just because I’m done with exams. And I’m thrilled and grateful my department’s proved to be so supportive of “creatives” switch-hitting.
3) Headed up north to a meetup of local Clarion grads (two folks from 2010) and genre writer-types for an informal workshop, then went out for food, beers and chatter afterward. This is the perfect group to have workshopping my first few stabs at dissertating over the summer — familiar with genre conventions, open to weird material, and willing to read large chunks of work at a go. Plus, I loved all of their stuff immensely; for a second, it was like being back at Clarion. The after-workshop bar had craft beers and lobster macaroni and cheese. A wonderful end to a perfect day.
This was the first day since exams that actually felt like “oh hey. This is the first day of the rest of my life. Let’s make something beautiful.” Everything is glowy.