I just got back from an end-of-the-semester/TA graduation party for the first-year writing faculty. I miss having these kinds of get-togethers --we had a smaller dept at UMass-Dartmouth, thus almost everybody knew each other and often got together. In fact, for awhile I got a gang together and we met at Mirasol's Cafe (formerly known as Uncle Jon's) every other week for venting and fun. (Sigh, I just had a moment of homesickness and longing for those days...) Here, just our writing program alone is big enough that you can always meet someone new at these shindigs, and it's the first one since I've attended since I've been here (the dept gathering last fall was *too* big for me). It was great to not only talk teaching (although, admittedly, we talked *very* little teaching outside of the context of "I'm DONE!"), but also talk writing.
Like me, many of our composition faculty have creative writing interests. Stacey and I talked about next week's panel as well as our own ventures. I also got into a conversation about my current novel w/ two others and they, like my teen writers group, were very interested in the collaborative process. We especially talked stylistics. A note to aspiring writers: if you're going to take any kind of writing course, take a course in Stylistics. It's probably the one graduate course I use every day (along w/ my teaching theory and practice course). One of my good friends is no longer in academia (in fact, she's in parish ministry, and that story is for another blog) also brags about how she applies stylistics in her reading and writing-related work.
I'm looking forward to next week's panel w/ both excitement and a little bit of nervousness. But I know Stacey -- he'll go out of his way to make sure I'm comfortable, and he's not going to ask questions that are going to throw me for a loop. In fact, I'm guessing it's going to be a lot of fun.
Remember, that's May 17th at Quail Ridge Books, folks. And to my out-of-town readers, I hope to be getting you a video of it soon afterwards (or, possibly, a podcast?).