No, not for Christmas, like the merry quartet above. (That's Bing, Rosemary, Danny, and Vera in White Christmas.) We'll be in New York for Yuletide for the first time in four years. But in January, after Epiphany and the kids' melancholy return to school, I'll head to Montpelier for my first seminar in the MFA in WCYA Program at VCFA.
I could not be more excited. Ten days of workshopping with peers; sitting in on lectures by writers I adore; plus lots of walking through the SNOW. Heaven! While I will miss Patrick, the kids, and Moneypenny, I will welcome the respite from the Land of Eternal Sunshine. I'm even knitting a new sweater that it will actually be cold enough to WEAR.
I've been preparing in other ways for a while. I turned in my workshop pages weeks ago, and after that, I turned in a draft of next year's book to my fabulous editor at MAG. I wanted to get that done so that my mental decks would be clear for the new stuff I write as part of the MFA.
This new book? I love it. It has been THE most torturous of all my books to write, but I hope that increased opposition = a cracking good tale. I'll tell you more about it as the publication process gets under way.
Next, I'll critique the pages of my future workshop buddies and read some more books written by our august lecturers. (Tim Wynne-Jones and M.T. Anderson, anybody? (Sorry. I don't want to rub your noses in it.)) Then we'll do Christmas--and then it'll be time to go. I hope it's as awesome as my favorite alumna has promised. Wish me luck!