25 Nov

Goodbye is for Sissies

Posted in Blog, DIY MFA, Info, YA Cafe

My Dear Friends,

I call you friends because that’s honestly how I see you all.  Over the past two years or so that I’ve been blogging under the iggi&gabi name I feel like I’ve gotten to know you as writers and readers and I consider myself so very lucky to have such awesome people supporting this blog.  This is why this post is probably one of the hardest I’ve had to write.  Don’t worry.  I won’t get super-sentimental on you, but you’ll have to forgive me if I get a bit misty-eyed.

As many of you already know, I’m expecting a new addition to my little family: Lawyer-hubby and I are having a baby!  Originally, I thought I’d be able to juggle a soon-to-arrive new baby and a new business and this blog, but as I’ve thought about it, I’ve realized that I’ll have to take more than just a two month hiatus from iggi&gabi.

See, Baby Peanut is not the only new addition to my life.  This past September I launched DIY MFA as a business and I have ambitious plans for it in 2012.  I don’t think of this hiatus from iggi&gabi as leaving the blogsphere altogether, but rather, I plan to consolidate everything under the DIY MFA umbrella.  So if you haven’t already done so, check out the DIY MFA blog.  I will continue posting there and have really exciting plans for the new year so stay tuned!

Also, for those of you who periodically need their iggi fix, fear not!  I will be keeping the iggi&gabi site up, I just won’t be posting updates for a while.

As for YA Cafe: Ghenet will continue posting YA-related awesomeness, so follow her blog All About Them Words for more YA Cafe.  The schedule may be a little different so check her blog for more details!


Most importantly, I wanted to say thank you to all of you for being such wonderful and supportive readers.  I’ve been so lucky to have such great people in my corner these past years.  I hope I see you over at DIY MFA so we can keep sharing our obsessions with writing and books!

As always, keep writing!  And keep being awesome!


24 Mar

DIY MFA 2.O: Schedule

Posted in DIY MFA, Info

Yesterday, I talked about the Four Phases of Idea Generation and I mentioned that the Inspiration Phase would play a big role in DIY MFA 2.O.  For all of April, we will focus on different ways of sparking inspiration by using four different elements of writing as our jumping off point.  Week 1 will be all about character.  In week 2, we’ll look at story and week 3 will emphasize mood.  Finally, in week 4 we’ll focus on how words themselves can generate new ideas.

Within each week, we’ll approach each topic using courses from DIY MFA as a framework.  These courses will be: Love of Literature, Brain Boot Camp and Craftivity.

Love of Literature
If you’re doing this DIY MFA, you’re probably a big reading fan.  In fact, I’m guessing you have piles of books hiding under your couch, in the pantry, or even in your freezer.  Who uses a freezer, anyway?  It’s just a big yummy box that will keep your books minty-fresh until you’re ready to gobble them up.  But I digress.  The trouble with reading is that taking a random approach doesn’t always serve us writers best.  In Love of Literature we’ll look at specific pieces of writing and talk about how reading can help us think of new ideas as well as gain a deeper understanding of craft.

Tuesdays & Wednesdays
This course is all about how craft and creativity come together.  We’re talking about that wonderfully exciting kind of craft that’s all about writing and creativity.  in DIY MFA 2.O we’ll look at how to use certain elements of craft to spice up our writing or to spark new ideas.

Brain Boot Camp
Sunday & Thursday
This super-intensive approach to creativity will be all about drawing outside the lines, breaking down mental blocks and living the creative life.  Think of this component as a month-long creative kick in the backside. 

Fridays will still be dedicated to YA Cafe, though I’ll do my best to link the posts to the DIY MFA weekly topic.

On Saturdays, we all do our Writing Sprints.  I’ll do a short post to help you get started if you need a boost, but you don’t have to be limited by that weekly prompt.  The sprint is your time to work on whatever project you like.  Also, I’ll include badges so at the end of the sprint you can post them on your own sites and show off your accomplishment.

DIY MFA 2.O Schedule

Sunday: Brainstorming (Brain Boot Camp, part I)
Monday: Literature Study (Love of Literature)
Tuesday & Wednesday: Craft Study (Craftivity)
Thursday: Warming up for the Sprint (Brain Boot Camp, part II)
Friday: YA Cafe
Saturday: Writing Sprint

Note: While with the first DIY MFA series, you could focus on only the courses of your choice, this time around all the weekly classes build on each other.  While I won’t be doing weekly recaps, I will create page for  DIY MFA 2.O and post links to all the posts so if you miss anything, you can catch up.

Can’t wait to get started.  How about you?


20 Mar

DIY MFA: Writing Sprints and a Marathon

Posted in Blog, DIY MFA, Info, Tips

Today I wanted to give you all an update on DIY MFA.  Over the next two weeks , I’ll be doing a few lead-up “DIY MFA Orientation” posts, explaining some background (especially important if you’re new to DIY MFA and didn’t participate in the fall).  A week from this Monday, I’ll be opening sign-ups for DIY MFA 2.O and I’ll be announcing a sooper-seekrit, sooper-exciting giveaway.

But first off, I wanted to talk about two things that I’m really excited about but are new to DIY MFA this time around.  These are: writing sprints and a writing marathon.

Every Saturday during April, I’ll be doing DIY MFA Writing Sprints.

Here’s how it works:  I’ll be blocking out a chunk of time (between one and three hours) each Saturday in April to make a mega-push on my writing.  Sure, this might mean making some sacrifices–like waking up an hour, or two, or three earlier than usual (ugh)–but we writers need to get used to making sacrifices for our work.  These sprints will be good practice.

I’m telling you about these sprints because I’d love for you to join me!

I’ll be making some iggilicious badges that you can post on your blog to show off your awesome weekend accomplishment.  Also, you can use the twitter hash tag #diymfa to share how long or how much you wrote.  If you don’t tweet, you can also share your results in the comments for that day’s DIY MFA post.  Cheer-leading other DIY MFA tweeps is strongly encouraged.  The idea is to create an online community of DIY MFAers writing together and encouraging each other even if they’re in totally different locations across the globe.

On Sunday May 1st, to celebrate the end of DIY MFA, I’ll be doing a Writing MARATHON.  This idea was inspired by Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones but is a little bit different.  Rather than committing to a specific time/place, writers can commit either to a full marathon (~6 hours) or a half marathon (~3 hours), then write those hours whenever or wherever during that day.

I myself will camp out somewhere in NYC and write ALL DAY.  I’ll post where I’m writing so that folks in NYC can come by and join even if it’s just for a short sprint.  Also, like with the sprints, people are encouraged to tweet their progress and encourage each other to make it through the marathon.  At the end of the day, we’ll have a post-marathon, post-DIY MFA twitter party!

So my question for you is: are you in?


06 Feb

Updates! Exciting! Woot!

Posted in Conferences, Info, SCBWI, Updates

Publishers Weekly Blog: Beyond Her Book

My dear friends!  It’s been too long, no?  I am soooo sorry to leave you in the lurch and not post with my usual somewhat-regularity this past week.  Things have been especially nuts on this small slice of the planet where I reside.  Here’s what’s been going on:

1)  SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC!  OMG, such a fantabulous conference and sooooo much fun.  I have sooooo much to tell you.  Promise I’ll dish all the details real soon, but in the meantime, check out my guest post recap on Barbara Vey’s (of Publishers Weekly) blog: Beyond Her Book

2)  Sooper-seekrit collaborative project shall be unveiled soon!  Actually, Ghenet and I were supposed to unveil it on Friday but an unavoidable incident made it such that I couldn’t access the internet for the latter part of the week so we decided to postpone for a week.  Don’t worry.  It’s coming…

3)  OMG why won’t it stop snowing?  It seems like every week we get more snow dumped on the city.  Or ice.  Or sleet.  And to add insult to injury, it’s almost always on a Tuesday, which is when my writer’s group meets.  While I happen to live and work only a few short blocks from the meeting place–making the snow only a minor inconvenience for me–we have folks coming in from all over the tri-state area and for them it hasn’t been as easy.  Basically, I haven’t gotten to see some of these super-awesome writers in, like, two or three weeks and I seriously need my fix.  Enough with the snow already.  Oh, and did I mention what was in the forecast for Tuesday?

4)  Today’s the Superbowl!  No, I don’t watch football.  No, I don’t have a favorite team.  Actually the only interest I ever have in that sport is watching the Patriots lose and they’re already eliminated so as far as I’m concerned, I don’t much mind who wins.  But after the game, they’re doing a new episode of GLEE, which is the best show EVER.

5)  So what’s in store for iggi&gabi this February?

  •  SCBWI Winter Conference recaps
  • A few last recaps for the Writers Digest Conference
  • Other random iggi-licious things

 Are you excited?  I’m excited.  For those of you who celebrate: have a Happy Superbowl.  For those of you who prefer to watch the post-game GLEE episode… I’ve got your back.

What’s happening in your slice of the planet these days?


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