After we turned in our mid-program packets, it felt like the last day of school. I felt giddy. I’d worked intensely the last week and a half, shutting out all else. But then the work was done, the deadline was met, and I felt good about what I would turn in. I was in the mood to celebrate.
My name is Libby Flores, and I am the Program Manager for Emerging Voices and the Mark. The Mark was created for Emerging Voices alumni to complete the projects they began during their fellowships. As a 2008 alumna myself, I recognized a need for continued support beyond Emerging Voices, particularly geared toward the revision process.
Our mid-project review packets were due today. I feel like a wrung-out washcloth, limp and damp, and I’m mentally exhausted. I’ve worked on nothing else for the past six days, literally. (I mean, I fed myself and worked out and did the life stuff that must be done to exist, but nothing else.) I’m empty.
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Here in the Mark program, our mid-project review looms large in the near future. Our revised manuscript is due this Wednesday along with our log line, a synopsis, and a chapter-by-chapter breakdown. These people are serious. My head exploded five days ago so don’t expect too much from this post.
If you’ve followed this blog, you know we’re coming to the midpoint of the program, and a midterm review of our work so far. So next week, we will submit our manuscripts, half-revised, along with supporting materials like we did for the initial defense. If the defense was any indication, I will once again be taken to task. It’s a bit nerve-wracking.
The Mark: Give us a small synopsis of the project you are working on.
Monica Carter: I am working on a novel about a famous and aging closeted lesbian writer living in 1930s Manhattan, who attempts to recapture the passion and honesty of her young days as a writer. Determined to write a truthful novel about two women who love each other, she alienates her longtime lover and her agent while falling in love with a younger woman who wants her success.
Our mid-project reviews are coming up. My fellow Marks have really knocked it out of the park, creating heightened tensions and new depths of story in their work. I… have not. Now I have about a week to wrangle all the bits of writing I’ve done over the past two months into a smooth revision of the first half of my book. It’s been a difficult journey thus far, with several false starts and switchbacks, and umpteen pages of unusable material. I’m terrified.