I had one of those anxiety dreams last night

 

She looks how I feel

She looks how I feel

I hate it when that happens. In this one, I am back at Southern New Hampshire University in the final weeks of my low residency MFA program in creative writing. I realize that I have not done any of the course work needed to graduate in a few weeks. I scramble around, looking for slips of paper with the professors’ assignments on them. My classmates graduate and I am left behind. All of the tuition money I spent is wasted.

I know why I had this dream. I am at a critical stage with my manuscript. I am fine tuning my query letter and plan to begin sending it out next week in search of a literary agent to represent me. I’m taking a leap of faith. Will my manuscript soar or will it sink? The prospect of rejection makes me anxious. I wonder how other authors feel when they get to this stage with their work. I’d love to hear from you.

 

The Ultimate Second Date Tip for Writers

TownieThe evening is concluding. You’ve wined. You’ve dined. You’re interested in a second date. Maybe. But how do you bring up the topic without feeling awkward. How can you find out more about your date beyond the superficial without sounding like a cop conducting an interrogation? Ask your date to read a book with you. Organize a private book club with a membership of two. Pick a book that could generate lots of discussion.  Memoirs and nonfiction can work well, but fiction can also be an option.

When my husband and I were dating, we both agreed to read the memoir, Townie, by Andre Dubus. Townie served as a springboard for my husband and me to talk about all kinds of topics without feeling like we had to be careful of what we said or on our best behavior to try to keep each other impressed. A book club for two will give you an opportunity to get to know your date without the pressure of a date.

An interesting note: I chatted with Dubus this evening at a book event where he did a reading and signing and he told me that when he and his wife were dating they also read a book together.