4th and final semester
In the few hours before I learned which advisor I'd be working with in my last semester, I was having second thoughts about one of the people I'd put down. Please let me get Ellen, I thought. For whatever reason (certainly not because I've been good), the Universe listened and granted my request. I'll be working with Ellen Howard, author of historical picture books and novels.
Ellen knows Margaret Bechard, my 3rd-semester advisor, well. They've been in a critique group together for something like 20 years. Maybe I'll get lucky and Margaret won't tell Ellen how obnoxious I am. Ellen also worked with my friend Phyllis, a Vermont College alumna, so the stars are aligned. A fabulous semester lies ahead.
One of the best things about this last semester is that we students don't have to write any more critical essays. Instead, our primary goal is completing a publishable quality creative thesis, which has to be at least 75 pages long. This could be difficult if Ellen thinks what I've got so far is total crap and I have to start completely over. I'll know in a couple of weeks. My first packet deadline is Aug. 17. Ellen has asked to see everything I'm considering including in my creative thesis, so I'm sending her a YA short story and my whole messy YA mystery/detective novel.
Ellen works by snail mail rather than email, so the break between sending a packet and receiving her feedback will be longer than it was with lickety-split Margaret. That will be a nice change of pace. Also, I've heard that Ellen actually writes on a typewriter, and I presume she hand writes notes on the manuscript. How cool!
My goal for this semester, beyond getting those 75 approved pages done, is to finish (finally) a respectable draft of my mystery.