Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Happy New Year! Off to Graduate!

A page from my plannerHappy 2015 my dear readers! May it bring you love and joy and beauty (not to mention, lots and lots of writing, of course)!

The year 2014 has been pretty exciting. I completed the second half of my studies at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Learned up to my ears. Wrote a critical thesis delving into novels in verse. Finished a draft of a manuscript I’d been trying to figure out for years. Then finished it all over again.

Through all this, I reconnected with New York, the city of my American beginnings, happily commuting, blending right in with the the crowd as I walked the streets and the avenues with my bright orange briefcase (sometimes writing on the go!). As agency intern at Serendipity Literary and assistant to the amazing Regina Brooks, I worked with authors from “the other side of the desk.” The internship concluded just yesterday, but all the learning I have done will stay with me for a long time, as will all the wonderful new friends I’ve made, Regina included. She has been the best mentor anyone could wish for, and she, along with her colleagues, always made me feel positively brilliant!

What will 2015 bring?

Graduation, for one thing!

Tomorrow I am flying to Vermont for my final residency, during which I will present a lecture of my own (!) The following weekend my family will come to town, braving the crazy cold to watch me perform a reading of my own work. And of course through it all I will watch my classmates,  my brothers and sisters-in-writing, my Darling Assassins, the class of January 2015, graduate with me. I am still in disbelief that this is happening. Two years just whizzed by, in one great big whirlwind of learning, reading and writing (and laughing and crying, and friendship and fear and love).

Do you make resolutions? Wishes? Goals? I do a combination of all three.

For 2015, my biggest aim will be to channel all my passion and education and knowledge into a start of a wonderful career. When I return from the final residency, I plan to network and job-hunt my head off.

As for the writing, this year will mark an important beginning (that’s how I prefer to think of graduation, anyway). After two years of working under the guidance of powerful advisors, I am going to be on my own again. My writing life this year will answer an important question: with all that you’ve learned, what can you do, Katia Raina? A few months ago, this question terrified me. Now, it seems more like a friendly taunt from the Universe, a challenge I am excited to embrace.

My writing plans for this year include concluding a revision of the novel that is my creative thesis, getting it off to beta readers, finally, then polishing it into submit-able shape. But also, I already have three new-ish story ideas I am excited about. This year I hope to get started on at least one of those. I am not going to worry about finishing it, of course. With these new projects, I only aim  to play, play, play, to try things, and to write bravely and honestly and with joy. Another page from my planner

Finally, in 2015, I want to continue to be there for my family. To make time for love and goofiness. To treat time like it’s no big deal. Occasionally, at least. To take some grown-up time, too, once in a while. But also, to be a good listening ear to my two kids who are growing up way too fast. I want to give them support and understanding, always, while having the courage to tell them the truth, too, even when they might not want always to hear it. Oh, and I want to remember to call my mom every week with some good stories 😉

So, how about you? What’s your biggest goal for this year?

May your 2015 be a great and shiny one! See you on the other side of graduation! [gulp]

xoxo

KR

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January 8, 2015 - Posted by | From the Other Side of the Desk: Adventures in Publishing, Personal Mirror, Updates, VCFA Adventures, Writing Mirror | , ,

13 Comments »

  1. Sure seems to me that the time has flown by. I am so pleased for you! My goal for this year – hmmmm – would another book contract be too much to ask for?

    Comment by joycemoyerhostetter | January 9, 2015 | Reply

    • Is this a goal or a wish? 🙂 Either way, I hope it becomes reality!

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 9, 2015 | Reply

      • I know I didn’t state it very definitively! It’s a goal. But sometimes life can feel so overwhelming that it’s hard to believe that there will be energy for the goals. But yes, I am aiming for a contract! And I could do a whole post on the topic of 2015. I want to act out of deep compassion. While doing so, I want to keep balance in my family life. I want to attend at least one writing retreat that ministers to me deeply.

        Comment by joycemoyerhostetter | January 9, 2015

  2. Congratulations on such a successful year. My goal for this year? More butt-in-chair time.

    Comment by Rosi Hollinbeck | January 9, 2015 | Reply

    • Thank you, Rosi. That is a perfect goal. I’ll be cheering you on!

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 9, 2015 | Reply

  3. I wish you a happy and healthy and fabulously successful 2015, Katia. I’ve loved reading about your journey.

    Karen

    Comment by Karen Calloway | January 9, 2015 | Reply

    • Thank you, Karen! The journey continues though. I will make sure there is more to read in 2015 and beyond!

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 9, 2015 | Reply

  4. Congratulations. What a fantastic start to the year! I’ve enjoyed reading about your time in the program and all you’ve learned.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | January 9, 2015 | Reply

    • Thanks, Medeia! I know, right? A pretty great way to kick off the year! I am there now, settling in the dorms 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 10, 2015 | Reply

  5. Enjoy and savor every minute of this residency…and yes, have lots of Kleenex ready. 😉 But just keep remembering, too, that this is the beginning. Congratulations!

    Comment by Ellar Cooper | January 10, 2015 | Reply

  6. Will do, Laura! ❤ Wish you were here! But you are right: it's a beginning.

    Comment by Katia Raina | January 11, 2015 | Reply

  7. CONGRATULATIONS, KATIA!!!!!!!! Wow, what a huge accomplishment! And yes, I wish you luck finding a job in the industry. I think you will! You’ve got such wonderful goals and a great mind set with things, it seems you’re on a great path 🙂 I, myself, don’t mark my goals by the year in that way, but continue, perpetually, to push on. I just want to get things more under control and somehow simplified. I feel like I’m running a race, but barely make any progress, like the way you run in a dream in which you never move! I’ll get there though lol For sure—YOU will! 😀 😀 😀

    Comment by writersideup | January 17, 2015 | Reply

  8. Thanks so much and good luck to you, too!

    Comment by Katia Raina | January 17, 2015 | Reply


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