Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The MFA Blog is on Summer Break

This is a post to let you know that FAU's MFA Creative Writing Blog will be on hiatus until August 2014. If you have any questions about the program, please don't hesitate to contact Mary Sheffield, the English Graduate Advisor, at msheffi3@fau.edu.

And while I have you here, please keep in mind that the summer is a perfect time to catch up on your writing projects, travel-for-writing, reading-for-writing, and all other activities that suffuse and enrich your writing-life.

To that end, here are some suggestions for summer activities that I hope will inspire you.

1) Check out a best-of 2014 books list (like this one from the Huffington Post or this one from Goodreads) and get reading whatever looks interesting to you. I also like NPR's book reviews. Remember: read to feed your writing. (Yes, I just made that up. Yes, I know it's super cheeseball. I'm sorry, okay?).

2) Okay, great! So now I (probably) have the cheesiness out of my system. Go to places in nature! Even if you're unable to travel out of the area, South Florida has so much to offer. Head over to Mounts Botanical Gardens in West Palm Beach, go to the Morikami Museum's Sushi & Stroll every second Friday of the summer (or just go to the gardens - they are breathtaking), visit the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, visit one of Florida's State Parks (I especially love Cayo Costa - you have to take a ferry over to it), or just bike/run/walk the El Rio Trail right over by campus. Oh, yes, and of course there is always the beach...

3) Go out to museums (the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Norton Museum of Art, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale). Go see a play (the Delray Arts Garage, the Wick Theatre, and this Web site has a listing of South Florida theatre companies and shows), go see local music (see Pure Honey for information on upcoming shows), see an independent movie (here at the Living Room Theatre on campus, or you can go to Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale).

4) Number four, but actually numbers one, two, three, and four combined is this - WRITE. Take a small journal out with you even on errands so that you can take notes. That amazing idea you think of will simply dissipate if you don't write it down. If you're having trouble getting moving on new projects, begin with revising something you've already written. Find a book of prompts or a Web site that gives them - look, here's a Tumblr for that.

5) Send your work out. See New Pages or AWP for lists of journals accepting work (here is a link to my blog on navigating the AWP Web site). Find literary journals on Facebook and "like" them (they often post about submission openings and contests). I also recommend reading Khristian's blog about this. 

That's about it, folks. That is all I have. But there is so much more! Just remember to make the most of your summer. Yes, you can simply sit inside an air conditioned room binge-watching your favorite television show, and look - I know this might seem like heaven at first, but listen: now is the time - right now - to find that which sustains you. To write. To explore and experience and contemplate.

Mary Sheffield is your ever-faithful English Graduate Advisor. She is taking her own advice this summer and is working on a novel. Hold her accountable!

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