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On Ask Baba Yaga: How Do I Find The Strength To Stay Open, Energized, And Authentic?

Hereby declare myself queen of cat fur tumbleweeds, German cockroaches, and dead succulents.

Posted on September 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm 0

On An Important Conversation about Choices and Business

"Oh wait, should we just start a viral Tumblr to book deal about this?"

Oh, I like you two!

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm 0

On Please Welcome Haley Mlotek

Hi Haley, WE ARE SUPER EXCITED TO HAVE YOU!

Posted on August 15, 2014 at 11:17 am 0

On False Dichotomy vs Who Cares

Word, Jia. I have an MFA, which I received in NYC, where I then worked in publishing for a few years, so I should be ready to pounce on this thing... While I admire many of the writers in this anthology, the whole conversation feels unproductive and not actually relevant to why or how people write fiction, or pursue publication. "But then, in the early morning the writering goes away and there's just a blank page and a writer who can only do what that writer can do." Yes, this.

And that Dwight Garner line, oh my god, my brain just shut down to avoid feminist rage overload when I saw that yesterday.

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm 0

On Dating Profiles, Edited for Honesty

Truth: I love Infinite Jest, but its function as trigger or red flag in the realm of online dating has almost completely ruined it for me.

The last guy I dated faded after 3 excellent dates; his favorite book is The Pale King.

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 10:28 am 0

On So Many New Books That We Can Be Like "It's On My List" About in 2014

@PomoFrannyGlass I should add that I don't think an MFA is necessary to be a good writer or get published. It's just one way to go. I think different paths work for different people.

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 9:31 am 0

On So Many New Books That We Can Be Like "It's On My List" About in 2014

@PomoFrannyGlass @rosencrantz oh mostly because I have an MFA (from a program in NYC...where I have also worked in trade publishing, though I currently do not) -- but the arguments I've seen saying MFA programs shouldn't exist at all bug me because it feels like a very privileged POV. This would probably make more sense if I had the time/patience to dig up some links to anti-MFA essays, but here are my responses to those I've read:
1. It is almost impossible to make an actual living, let alone support a family, for most writers of fiction, and MFA programs at the very least provide places where writers can both engage with their "craft" (ugh sorry) and still get paid properly as teachers.
2. I don't buy the arguments that they're somehow "bad" for literature in the first place, or bad for the students who attend them but these programs don't exist to make the world better. We live in a country where as long as there is a market for something, someone is going to sell it. There's clearly a market for MFA degrees and universities are selling them; and I guess I don't see how that impacts the writers who have been fortunate enough to find success without having been students or teachers in such programs (who tend to be the most outspoken and often vitriolic critics of them).
3. This is a relatively new point in my anti-anti-MFA argument, and likely biased by my current professional circumstances, but I think understanding how to tell a story, and how a well-told story affects its audience, is valuable in jobs outside writing and publishing. Advertising and brand strategy, sure, but also advocating for anything--yourself, others, policy, change, etc.

I do think Harbach is in a good position to tease this stuff out, though, since he has an MFA and his novel is one of the more interesting "road to publication" stories of the past few years.

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 9:29 am 0

On So Many New Books That We Can Be Like "It's On My List" About in 2014

I can't read any anti-MFA arguments without falling into a rage blackout, but I am curious to see how MFA vs. NYC will address MFA programs IN NYC.

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm 0

On The Gift of Small Predictions: January Horoscopes from Galactic Rabbit

On par with The Rumpus' Madame Clairvoyant. Brava, Galactic Rabbit!

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm 1

On December 13th Now and Forever to Be Known as Beyday, a Celebration of Excellence, Surprises and Grown-Ass Women

Bey does not need my props (obviously), but I offer to them to Jia for this post. I wish my fangirling was as articulate as this.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 11:39 am 1