Bragging rights.


My school has this great Facebook group, where we all can keep in touch between residencies. That is, most days I think it’s great. Some days, though, reading the accolades of everyone else in the program–awards, successful publications–is a little hard on the ego. Between work, my first novel, and being a newlywed, I haven’t even thought about sending out anything for publication, so I shouldn’t be all envious, but I am. I want something to brag about.

Then, yesterday, I got feedback from my faculty mentor on my final packet of fiction. And I found my bragging rights. 

In well over 20 years of teaching, I’ve rarely scene a re-envisioning as successful as this.


Her description of the lowering ceiling was one of the very best depictions of post-traumatic stress I’ve read in fiction. You made excellent use of her feelings here ([Robert Olen] Butler would be proud).


[The main character] is so painfully familiar and three-dimensional in that scene, that the whole world of the novel then becomes not only convincing for the reader, but inevitable.

As my friend and fellow writer said: “You know it’s been a good semester if you get compared to Robert Olen Butler.”

Needless to say, I’m floored. What an awesome end to the semester.