Everyone warned me. “Be careful. Make sure you have a plan laid out, goals that will keep you writing once this organism called an MFA program ends. Some people stop writing altogether. Don’t let that happen to you.” I scoffed at their remarks. And rightly so. I had a plan. I would finish my manuscript and send it out, find a home for the characters who had become friends, get published, and write another one. But things don’t always fall…
Starting over – it’s not easy, but the season of Spring exudes it. Flowers poke their heads above the warming earth and trees begin to bud and leaf. What better season, then, to make a metamorphosis of my own? I will graduate from Spalding University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing program on June 4th. It’s been a long journey that has spanned four countries and two continents. It has been the impetus for new friendships with wonderful, imaginative people,…
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
– Chinese philosopher Laozi
Just like a good story, my journey on this road began with an incident for which I was no where near prepared. In January of 2010 I received a letter. The letter was from my sister (whom I had never met) and was written to inform me that my birth mother had passed away just a month prior.
I never met my birth mother. We had been corresponding since she first made contact with me in 2002, and as I read that letter over and over again, I realized that I would never get that opportunity. I would never be able to tell her in person how grateful I was that she chose to put me up for adoption all those years ago. I took for granted the opportunity I was given. Instead, out of fear of the unknown, I missed out on getting to know the one person who held my history in her hands.
I grieved after receiving that letter. Sadness enveloped me as I thought of my young half-siblings who had been left behind by her untimely passing. But even more than that, I grieved for lost opportunity. Time waits for no one, after all. I began writing seriously that same month.
I have always been a writer. In middle and high school I would pass snippets of storyline along to my best friend who would add to the story and pass them back. I can’t tell you how many little plot twists and turns we went through in those adolescent fantasies of ours, but I am sure they helped hone my story writing ability greatly. I will always be grateful to her for indulging me and keeping the story going.
Once I came back to the craft in 2010, it was as if I’d never been away. There is a sense of peace, calm, that emanates from creation of the written word. Creating lives on the page gives me a sense of fulfillment that I refuse to let pass. Am I afraid that this dream of mine won’t work out? Of course I am to some extent. But fear of the unknown is no reason to stop walking. In this case, it may just be the best reason to buckle down and journey on.