27 July, 2013
I did it. I walked across that stage and received my Mfa degree in writing for children and young adults. Two years of intense emotions, deep writing, and learning all those craft techniques that I never knew. Now I can not only tell you about psychic distance in a story, I can give you several examples, among other things I learned. I cried going across the stage. I guess it didn't hit me until then what I had accomplished. I am very grateful to God for the opportunity to attend Hamline and be the person He always knew I was. I had amazing faculty advisors in Anne Ursu, Eleanora Tate, Claire Rudolf Murphy, and Marsha Qualey. Each of these wonderful writers/authors, taught me not only about craft, but about the hidden treasure that is me. Yes, I am a treasure. And so are you. There is only one you. Which means if you don't do what you were created to do, the world will shine a little dimmer because of it. Post Mfa. Leads to the "so now what will you do?" question. What will I do? Write. I was writing before, but I didn't have the knowledge, skill, or belief in myself. My writing now is not hindered, hampered, or choked as it was before. How do I know? I just started a new middle grade novel and I'm having fun writing it. Does that mean beautiful prose flows off my fingers as they tap, tap, tap the key board, or scratch, scratch, scratch the pen on paper? No. There are sentences that need work, words that are not my best, but that my dear is for the revision. And as a famous author told me, that voice that bothers you is for the revision, not the first draft. If you are a writer, or you want to be a writer. Let me give you some awesome and amazing advice from the Amazing Krissie, the character in my new middle grade novel. "Write. Don't listen to that bad voice that says what you are about to write is stupid, pointless, boring, and no one will like it. That voice is jealous of you for trying. So stick your tongue out at it, wiggle your butt, and scream at the top of your lungs-"Na, na, na, na ,na, Na. I can't hear you. And write away." Krissie is about to take a very, very, long voyage full of mystery and peril so she will have to get back to you later, but don't forget her words, and WRITE.