Jan 2014 Res: Day 1

Saturday. The day opens with a session discussing the common reading – Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, this time – followed by group specific sessions. As a 3 or 4, the session is a discussion of “theory.”

I was late to the opening discussion session, for the first time in 4 residencies. I had waited at the hotel to make sure someone had a ride to campus. A few texts went unanswered, and I finally couldn’t wait anymore. 20 minutes before the session, I drove to campus. The drive was a quick few minutes (it felt like I spent more time waiting on traffic lights than I did actually driving). Arriving on campus, I discovered the main parking lot full and had to park further out, down a hill past a construction area (I was not the only one). And it was raining. I hiked up the hill and across campus to the main building, to drop off tea for the “common area” snack table. I checked the schedule and realized the session I was supposed to be in was in another wing of the building. I hurried. Down stairs, took a shortcut through the chapel, a few turns. The session was already underway. It’s hard to ease in quietly when the door to the rom is in the front, next to the lectern.

Otherwise, the morning was uneventful. Lunch was quick. The afternoon, however, was interesting.

Starting with the 3rd Residency, there are no assigned modules*, students select their curriculum. The first session I chose for this residency? Plotting the Romance Series.

What? Shut up. The title says Romance, but the one that should be focused on is Series. Fantasy tends to focus on sweeping story arcs, usually trilogies sometimes sweeping multi-volume epics (Game of Thrones or Wheel of Time, anyone?). Some ideas I have, though, are more episodic. Pefect material for a series. I got a good sense of how to think in series terms, and how to prepare proposals for them.

That night was also the first night of thesis readings. Students are required to attend at least two readings during a Residency. I went to four in one night.

Afterward, a few of us went to a late dinner at Smokey Bones, right by the hotel. It was near midnight by the time we finished, after by the time I crawled into bed.

 

* This was true for the program when I started in June 2012. Since then, there has been a shift in the curriculum, and the “Revision” module has been bumped to be required later in the program, not during the 2nd Residency.

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