(If you haven’t read day 0 and day 1, you might want to check them out first.)

I woke the next morning with butterflies. First up that morning: my first critique group. The last time I was in a face-to-face critique group was 1989, and I don’t remember the experience fondly.

I was extremely nervous during the first critique. I don’t even remember what I said (thank goodness I had notes in front of me!). But the second one was a little better. By the time I’d finished the fourth and last critique that morning, I felt pretty good. Still a little nervous, but very positive about the whole experience. Yay!

After lunch, I took the Marketing SF/F/H and Recent Trends module, taught by Lawrence Connolly. That was really interesting, and contributed to a big decision I made on day 2.

When I started the residency, I had this idea that I needed to start a new book for my thesis. I think I got that in my head because of doing NaNoWriMo, where you have to start a new novel each time, and also from doing the Two-Year Novel class at Forward Motion – where again, I had to start a new novel. But as I talked to different people at the residency, I started to realize that a lot of them were working on books they had started before applying to SHU.

We each had sent in a 10-page piece to be critiqued (in those critique groups) and I had sent the first 10 pages of the novel I’ve been working on, Legacy of Blood. I love this novel, but was planning to put it aside (hopefully temporarily) so I could start this other novel I was saving for just this program. Since I needed to start a new book, right? So I met one of the people who had critiqued my piece, and she told me how much she liked it. (Which really meant a lot, and helped me not feel so nervous about my upcoming critique!)

All of this got me thinking – what if I don’t start that new novel? What if I finished Legacy of Blood as my thesis? I had about 60 pages written, and an outline, and had already spent a lot of time on worldbuilding and background and so forth. So I went back and forth the whole afternoon, and by the time I got to my mentor meeting, I had basically decided: Legacy of Blood.

So getting back to the timeline, I had the module in the afternoon, then dinner, then a couple of hours off, which I spent decompressing in my hotel room. My mentor meeting was at 7pm back in the library. My mentor for this year (I’ll have a different one for the second year) is Tim Waggoner. I was very happy with how the mentor meeting went. He really seemed to know what he was talking about, and came across as fairly laid-back (probably more so than I am, and I’m fairly laid-back myself). I felt comfortable talking with him, which is important.

At the same time – 7 o’clock – the Wine Social was starting in a nearby hotel. I had planned to go after my mentor meeting, but I was just wiped out. I seriously couldn’t believe how tired I was, and it worried me a little since it was only day 2. I think it was largely because of my SAD – especially after I had gone the whole Christmas vacation without my light box, and now I was without it again. So I decided to be kind to myself and skip the Wine Social. Instead, I went back to my hotel and went to bed really early.

Stay tuned for day 3.