Three more days until the first term of grad school ends. The turkey’s defrosting in the fridge; I have a grocery list of Thanksgiving items to buy. The kids have dog-eared the Mindware and Target toy catalogs, Christmas dreams starting to occupy their thoughts. I’m always amazed how quickly time passes.
About a year ago, I was in a creative slump. I hadn’t written seriously in several years, nor had I met local writers since moving to Florida (but I hadn’t made much effort seeking them out). In an attempt to revive my writing habit, I applied to the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop and set aside each Wednesday to write.
Fast forward to June. I attended the Kenyon program, which was an intense week of generating new work, both in class and outside, and having this work critiqued by the instructor. I was exhausted upon returning home, but the experience rekindled my creative fire–I wanted more. Fourteen years after graduating college, I started researching low-residency Creative Writing master programs. I was excited that Antioch University Midwest had such a program; I talked to the enrollment manager, program advisor and one of the deans. I applied and was accepted.
Suddenly, I was sitting in a classroom again during my first three-day residency in mid-September. Energy flowed. Students from all over the country were coming together to begin their master programs in creative writing, social sciences, teaching, and several self-designed programs. After years of seeing myself as “just” a mom and wife, I was exhilarated to finally be doing something for myself, to be engaged in a learning community once more.
And now it’s the end of November. I’ve written several short stories, experimented with poetry and personal essay. Read Didion and Ondaatje, O’Connor and Orwell. I learned how to write an annotated bibliography, interviewed a poet, blogged, and started planning my first individualized course. Locally, I started volunteering at a community writers’ workshop and in my daughter’s classroom on the day they work on writing. I’m exhausted. But still elated.
Kathy you are such an amazing personal. I’m so glad you are taking time for yourself, my knew friend and writer, Kathy keep it up!