"Keep working on a plan. Make no little plans. Make the biggest you can think of, and spend the rest of your life carrying it out." Harry S. Truman

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thank you, Uma Krishnaswami

Ever since I stumbled upon her website, Uma Krishnaswami has been a major influence in my writing life. I sent her Ifeanyi Amadi's manuscript for a private critique, and she helped me get closer to my character, made me realize how important it was for me to follow his journey, his train of thoughts, and render that on paper in a way that made sense for the reader, that made them "care." After that critique, Uma suggested that I join her Manuscript Workshop at writers.com, and I did. That was about four years ago, and since then, I've attended four classes, and each time, it's been an incredible experience.

Uma's teaching style is what all teaching should be like : a combination of knowledge, passion for the subject/craft, wisdom, gentle firmness and humor, and last but not least, generosity. Uma truly brings all of these qualities into her teaching, and I can easily say that being "around" her, being exposed to her energy and vibrations have made me not only a better writer, but also somehow a better person (not that the work is completely done.)

We just concluded another workshop, and Uma announced that she's now stepping back from this online teaching, after 12 years. Even the way she organized her departure shows how much she cares. She had Sarah Aronson, a graduate from the Vermont College, join in as a teaching assistant, and after two workshops, Sarah will now take over the class.

We were all saddened to hear that Uma is leaving, but we all wish her only the best, and can easily understand how juggling her teaching position at Vermont College, the online teaching, plus her own writing (not to forget her life) would be hard, even for the most energetic person.

Thank you, Uma, for all that you have taught me over the last few years. You remain, forever, my mentor of the blue ink.


Kiki Hamilton said...

Well-put Katia. Uma has been a huge influence for many of us and though we understand her decision, it's very sad to think we've wrapped up our last class under her wonderful guidance.

Annette Gulati said...

Feeling the same as you, Katia and Kiki. Even had a similar blog post yesterday (right down to the title). One of the best things about being in Uma's classes has been meeting wonderful, dedicated writers like both of you!

Katia said...

Well, at least, we now know each other, as Annette mentions. Uma also managed to create a lovely community around he, which is yet another sign that she's a wonderful teacher.
Annette, I saw your post, but did not pay attention to the fact that the title was the same. Great minds think alike :)