Author: Tiffany Grimes

Alumni Voices with Beth Spencewood: Finding Quiet in the Chaos

When I asked my doctor if I might have anxiety, I’d imagined she would go through some sort of complex series of diagnostic tests that only someone with a PhD could decipher. Instead, she handed me a single piece of paper listing questions, each some variation of Do you excessively worry? I wanted to ask the test to define excessively. Has the test read the news lately? Does the test have children? Isn’t there a point where reality is concerning enough that it’s a condition not to worry excessively? I digress. All of this worrying has been a challenge to my writing process. While I have always been anxious to some degree, I found the “will I ever be a good enough writer?” anxiety to be hard enough to push through without adding in the “will there even be books anymore by the time I finish writing this thing?” anxiety. On top of it all, my brain was focusing all of its creative energy on thinking up terrifying scenarios for the future of the real world. I had no creative energy left for my story. I was told to try therapy. My therapist told me to slow down. She said my brain was working too fast. She said I should try to breath through it. I wondered how that would help anything. She asked if I might consider meditation....

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Alumni Voices with Lily LaMotte: A Piece of the NaNoWriMo Puzzle

The clock is about to strike midnight. Your fingers hover above the keyboard. Ready, set, go! It is Nanowrimo time. This year the first scene practically writes itself. This year you’ve plotted out the whole story. This year will be different. This is the year you will win. You feel the rush as your fingers fly, words spill, scenes and pages form. Oh, the thrill of it all. But then the fingers slow. It takes longer for the words, the dialogues, the scenes to form. And then the dreaded feeling that despite having an outline, you have no idea...

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Alumni Voices with Sarah Ahiers: Tell Me How Your People Die

I spend a lot of time thinking about world building. Which, duh, I’m a fantasy writer. But also, thinking about world building is fun. It’s the fun part of writing, better known as “daydreaming.” As opposed to the not fun part of writing which is known as “actually writing.” Anyway. I also spend a lot of time thinking of death. (Doesn’t everybody, she asks?) And the more I build worlds, the more important I think death is. Everyone dies, right? Unless you’re writing some immortal person or species. But even then, death is important. I would argue probably especially...

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Alumni Voices with Andrew Steeves: Surrounded by Sound

I listen to most of my books these days. Between the demands of a high school theatre program, 150ish students in various states of learning, two children who occasionally enjoy being fed, a house determined to thwart me in unexpected ways, and a wife who is very supportive and helpful but has her own shit to square; it can be difficult to find time to sit down for the most necessary sort of literary respite. Oh, shit, also I write occasionally. So I listen to books. I have an Audible membership which affords me two credits a month, but...

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Alumni Voices With Tasslyn Magnusson

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend a writing conference/retreat up in the North Woods of Minnesota. I went to hear Nikki Grimes speak on novels in verse. Storytelling through verse is my passion. Just like when I discovered graphic novels in the first semester of the MFAC program, I was amazed to see you could tell stories in this fashion. Unlike graphic novels, I feel like I have a fighting chance to write a verse novel. (For graphic novels I think I’ll just remain a passionate reader!) I brought some pages of my own verse novel....

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