What I’ve Been Up To Since Last August

Holy bananas, I haven’t posted since, what, August? Yup, August, when I announced I was a New School Teaching Fellow and would be teaching a class on how to exist on the internet for creative types of all stripes. Then the school year hit and I had time for literally nothing else, not even for updating my own blog—and I was teaching my undergraduates the importance of updating their own projects regularly! Mea culpa; life happened. Or really, school happened. Teaching was really difficult and rewarding! I did a lot of crying: after my first class ever, I stress ate a burrito and cried; once I cried on the floor of the writing office, sitting between two of my stunned classmates. That was Fall.

Spring, as in right now, is all about thesis. Our theses, as MFA candidates, are long fiction projects. My entire thesis group are working on novels, myself included. Well I’m just about done with my thesis—I just have to go over it for typos, print, bind it, have my advisor sign it once and for all and then BAM! I am done. So I’m working toward becoming a better, more stable human again. I used to be a stable human who got up early in the morning and actually answered emails. On Laneia’s recommendation, Abby and I both bought passion planners. I don’t know how I functioned without one. I’m making time for things outside of writing, which has greatly increased my sanity—I play boardgames and D&D weekly, and I’m practicing pie crust right now! But mostly, I want to make sure I keep y’all updated on the general goings on in my world: the pieces I’m proudest of, what I’m noodling around in my head, that kind of thing. I miss y’all. I miss putting a tiny piece of my brain out there without editing or larger points or things like that. So here I sit, in my local public library with my headphones in (for some reason, the whole world is here today and they’re all talking full volume WHY IS THIS HAPPENING) and I’m going to give you all a list of what I’ve been doing since August while trying not to eavesdrop on the people clearly having a FULL VOLUME meeting behind me.

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  1. Most of my published writing lives on Autostraddle, but some things don’t! I was especially proud of The Pen Thing, an essay on my only truly obsessive compulsive behavior. It lives on Handwritten, a place in space for pen and paper. I love writing things out by hand—sometimes if I’m stuck on a post, I even write that out by hand—and if you love it too, you need to be reading Handwritten. And! They organized an event, so my essay was actually exhibited in an art gallery, which was a thing I never thought would happen. I was super pumped about it.
  2. I got interviewed over on My Remove Office about my work-from-home (or really, work-from-anywhere) setup. I didn’t realize I had a lot to share about working remotely, but it turns out, I do! Working remotely in a situation where I can set my own hours is legit the best thing for me, personally. I’m so glad there’s a growing culture of work-from-home-ers—so much so that there needs to be a website just for them.
  3. I interviewed Valeria Luiselli because her book, The Story of My Teeth, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction. Because The New School hosts the awards, MFA candidates are offered the opportunity to interview nominees. This author is wonderful and her process for this book is so unique—please please please check her out.
  4. One of the things I’m proudest of that I’ve written on Autostraddle ever is this advice piece. I feel like I reached peak advice with it and worry that my advice-giving is all downhill from there.
  5. And lastly, I’ve been invited back next Fall to teach Personas: Cultivating a Creative Internet Presence again! I’m so thrilled—being a professor is a career goal of mine, and adjuncting is where that starts.

I Had A Lot of Feelings About Fun Home

I’m really proud of this one.

In the days leading up to seeing Fun Home at Circle in the Square, I tried to think of Broadway roles for masculine-of-center women in musicals. I’m no theatre historian, but I’ve taken so many Theatre History classes that knowledge has fallen on me like so many watermelon seeds, spit from the mouths of those who know better than I; they took root and planted jazz-hands in my heart forever.

And I could think of only one role: Shirley, from The Producers. She sings one phrase (“keep it gay”); she is fat, speaks in a humping voice with her thumbs in her tool belt; she’s a punch line, held up against the glamorous (feminine) gay men.

Read the rest on Autostraddle.

I Get To Interview Vikram Chandra for The New School Website!

The New School partners with the National Book Critics Circle, and as a result the graduate students get to interview the finalists for each year’s awards. I get to interview Vikram Chandra, a finalist in Criticism for Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty (published by Graywolf Press). It is by far and away the nerdiest* thing I’ve ever done/read, and considering I’m the Geekery Editor for Autostraddle, that’s saying something.

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The book is blowing me away so far—such eloquence, much computers, wow. Highly recommend. And if you’re looking to see some quality conversations with some awesome authors, check out the interviews with last year’s finalists.

* yes, nerdiest is a compliment. The highest of compliments.