Monday, March 16, 2009


Got my Passages North contributor copies in the mail on Saturday. Not surprisingly, the issue's already impressed me. I've been trying to get into an issue since I first started sending out, so I'm lucky to be in their 30th Anniversary Issue.

Lots of good writers, including: Emma Bolden, Jesse Lee Kercheval, David Dodd Lee, Jonathan Rice (my friend and seemingly endless journal friend also, as this is maybe the sixth issue of a journal we've been in together), Chad Sweeney, and many others.

And since it's the Anniversary Issue, it's over 250 pages, so there's plenty to keep you busy for a while. It's going to take me a while to get through it.


Also received the specifics from Nebraska on Saturday. The official acceptance letter was a weird one for many reasons. Needless to say, however, after seemingly getting in with a TA, they basically let me know that the better and more worthy candidates got theirs first, and that they'd love me to attend without funding.

Then at the end of the letter they said something about how competitive the job market is, and that basically a degree doesn't mean shit at this point.

Again, a very weird letter.

So I'm on the waitlist, and we'll see if I ever get an offer. If not, though, Nebraska's certainly out.

Binghamton's yet to get back to me about how much tuition I would have to pay if I accepted their TA offer, so hopefully soon I'll get an idea of how seriously I need to consider them. They're certainly in the running with Oklahoma State now, but without specifics I can't say how much in the running they actually are.

As a disclaimer, though, I don't want to sound like I'm not grateful to Nebraska for granting me admission. Because I am. Especially after hearing about so many others who were granted admission without funding.

But I don't know if anyone who isn't affluent enough to throw money around would actually pay for tuition at this level, especially for a degree that tends to be blood in the water full of sharks.


Saw two movies worth noting over the last week: The Secret Life of Bees and Fireflies in the Garden.

And when I say worth noting I mean because they were both pretty terrible. The Secret Life of Bees, which I did not read before seeing the movie, has to be one of the most boring movies I've ever seen. Hardly anything actually happened. At all. The race issues were glossed over except for about ten minutes near the end, and the story didn't seem unbelievable, just not very interesting. It was a chore to get through.

David Gordon Green was slated to direct it years ago, and I wonder what he could've done with the look, the feel, the pace, the script, and everything else, not to mention casting essentially not a whole cast of professional singers.

Fireflies in the Garden is what MFA screenwriters should watch, mostly for what-not-to-do-when-you're-writing-and-making-a-movie. There was a ton of potential there, and again, speaking of David Gordon Green, I think he could've done wonders with the script. Ryan Reynolds was actually decent, but there was some miscasting, especially Willem Dafoe, whose character I completely didn't believe. And Julia Roberts, who I never really liked anyway. Plus the emotional crux of the movie seemed vacuous and anything but believable, which perpetuated the rest of the 120 minute downward spiral.

I'm not sure who Dennis Lee is, but he has some things to learn. Or he didn't have enough people saying, "You need a ton of re-writes before you can actually shoot this thing." The film's pretty striking visually, but that's about all it has going for it. Skip it when it's finally released.