Helloooo Summer!

All of my final grades have been posted and my internship ends next week which means that I am just about ready to head out of the city and enjoy the brief freedom of summer. I have many grandiose summer plans: learning at least ten new non-dessert recipes, reading a ton, writing. I will also be so seeing  the remake of Fright Night. You don’t remake a classic from my childhood AND add David Tennant into the cast and not expect me to race out to see it… So it should be, you know, the stuff that summer legends are made of… Last summer I invented a new pizza recipe(with a thick chipotle-laced sauce, corn, and feta cheese among other toppings) and so it will be hard to top that. I, also, of course will still be diligently at work as poetry editor of an online magazine and as Assistant Editor-In-Chief of the awesome Women in REDzine. Speaking of WIRZ (as I always seem to be doing): we had a delightful meeting with the editor of Rosebud, a literary journal that we aspire to be like. He was absolutely a joy to meet and has kindly offered to keep in touch with us and our magazine. The EIC and I also had the chance to do an in-person interview with poet Sean Bishop. It was a lot of fun and made me seriously reconsider why I decided against going into pop-culture journalism if interviews are that awesome….Sigh, me and my need to be a fiction writer…. I also can’t wait to get started on our poetry issue which will be coming out in October. We’re going to a much longer format and a hopefully more “book-like” appearance. For more info, as always please visit our website: http://www.womeninredzine.com
Now, back to my summer plans, which incorporate my very lovely list of must-read books: the new mystery by Kate Atkinson, Valerie Laken’s collection of short stories, and a heap of others. I’m also going to be reading (examining in the case of map books) some research books for the novel I’m currently at work on—I love that I can call a pile of ghost story collections, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mythology, and the Wisconsin Gazetteer, “research books.” It should be good times.
My latest culinary obsession is to create some more filled cupcakes— the current plan is orange butter cupcakes filled with blackberry cream, and drizzled with a dark chocolate and orange zest flecked ganache. I’ll keep everyone updated on this progress as I think these may turn out to be….The Mother of All Cupcakes!!!
I also have the less fun, but important, joy of deciding which MFA programs I’ll be applying to in the fall. The process of applying to MFA programs is mind-bogglingly hideous and starting early should make it a little less hideous (I hope, oh goodness, I hope). As quite a few of my friends are also applying to MFA programs (or to grad schools) I am planning on many a grad school application stress relief party. Food, drinks, and griping will be had by all! The choice of which grad schools to apply to is a tough one: I don’t want to move far away from my home but quite a few of the top schools are far away. There are also so many individual factors to consider beyond a programs ranking: the faculty (are there certain authors I want to work with), the proximity to good bookstores (maybe this is a factor only I consider…Hmmm….), the amount of teaching that one is expected to do as a grad student (most MFA programs require one to teach in order to receive full funding), the location (Austin, Texas has a stellar MFA program with excellent funding, but I can’t stand the heat, and sadly this is something to consider), and other factors which are just as important.
Once I’ve decided where to apply to I have to start work on the agonizing process of drafting personal statements (the hardest 500-1000 words that one can ever possibly write), updating my CV, and securing recommendations. Then comes the absolutely terrifying prospect of picking out which stories to include in my writing sample. I’m not a good judge of my own work and I will be relying heavily on friends and advisors for this…..
So, overall, it looks like a fun and potentially exhausting summer. I’ll be sure to throw in plenty of hiking, a good deal of baking cupcakes and cookies, cooking, reading, and, as always, endlessly working to help turn Women in REDzine into the best possible literary magazine that we can!

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