It’s really hard to believe that I’ve been in New York City for over six weeks now. Sometimes I still feel very new to the city, but I’m definitely feeling more at home in other ways. I don’t feel awkward on the subway anymore (unless I’m lost) and I don’t have the impulse to smile at everyone on the street. I have places I go and routines: a coffee shop by school I like to study in, a specific walk around Prospect Park I like to take, etc. And, not to burry the lead, overall I’m just so happy and grateful to be here right now. I thought I pass on some of that joy in an update to you all. Especially, since many of you participated in my decision anxiety last spring when I was making this decision.
Going back to school has been everything I wanted it to be and more. It is so crazy to me that I get to spend a huge chunk of my time studying the thing I want to do most in the world (the thing I used to only get to do in my leisure time). Reading and writing young adult books. Even crazier, is being surrounded by people that feel the exact same way.
My cohort consists of nine other women (the two men in our group dropped out before week one, proving that the universe feels strongly that single-sex education is the best route for me) and I like all of them. We are all trying to write very different things- picture books, suspense, fantasy- so that makes it really easy to be supportive and not competitive with each other. I knew I would like school, but I didn’t know how easy it would be to make friends, both inside and outside of the children’s writers.
What I’m in love with most about New York, though, is the unending list of things to do. There are so many bookstores, readings, literary events that I often have to chose between seeing different favorites. I’ve already met a lot of my favorite authors, which seems like such a crazy dream. My class with David Levithan, who’s written and edited so many of my favorite books, is probably the best class I’ve ever taken. I’ve also met Siobhan Vivian, Jenny Han, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, Corey Ann Haydu, and many other writers. One thing I try to work into my routine as much as possible is heading to a children’s bookstore called Books of Wonder and seeing their author panels and events.
I’m not saying everything is sunshine and roses all the time. It is almost never quiet. The city still feels super expensive. There are rats in the subway and a mouse in my house (errr…appartment). But overall, I have this feeling like I made a great decision and that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now. I’m working on a new novel in class, and while I miss Dreamers, I have this feeling that what I’m working on now is the best writing I’ve done so far in my life. And that’s what this whole thing is really supposed to be about.