So, yeah–I’m a Master of the Fine Arts. I don’t have a picture of me with my fancy hood, but believe me, I graduated. Here are a few pics from the residency:

Me and Rita Williams-Garcia. I’m holding the ARC for Rita’s next book, ONE CRAZY SUMMER and Rita’s holding the ARC for SAVING MADDIE.

And if I haven’t said so before, I love, love, love me some Rita Williams-Garcia (and if you haven’t read JUMPED, go and buy it now!!)

Me and my good friend Rachel Wilson. Many of you haven’t heard of Rachel yet (unless you’ve been lucky enough to catch her performing with Barrel of Monkeys) but Rach is a superstar waiting to happen (that is, if she ever finishes that novel…). Unfortunately for her, Rach is one of my best friends from Vermont, which means she knows way too much about my nose hair grooming habits (long story) and affection for meat.

Seriously, Rachel is amazing, and I would happily give her a kidney if she ever needed one (again, another long story).

And speaking of meat…that’s a MEAT tray from the party the 4th semester’s threw for my class. As many people at VCFA know, I have a thing for meat, and the Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines were kind enough to provide a little protein nourishment at the party.

All kidding aside, Vermont College of Fine Arts is a magical place–a place that I’ll miss dearly. I made some lifelong friends there, and I learned so much about the craft of writing. I am a better writer because of this program, and I only hope that any future novels I write will honor the fine VCFA tradition of quality literature.

FYI – While I was in Vermont, I missed all sorts of things concerning Justine Larbalestier‘s cover for her new YA novel, LIAR. I’ll have more to say in this topic at some point, probably closer to the release of SAVING MADDIE, but I do want to say that I’m in awe of how honest and brave Justine has been about this. She is made of awesome.