Monthly Archives: April 2012

Boxed In

I’ve stopped remembering what day it is, but now focus on how many days I have left to get all the stuff out of the apartment. I think I’m down to nine now and as you can see still have much to do. My daughter has been doing the packing because (1) I’m incapable of NOT over packing a box, (2) she uses much less tape and (3) she actually takes time to wrap stuff whereas I just toss it all in together and hope for the best.

I’ve not been without tasks. In fact I’ve been extremely busy. While she’s been packing I’ve been wrapping up the last few assignments for grad school. I’m down to two (one in each course). I’m have to finish my final annotation packet which includes revisions to the novel chapters I’ve been working on and a new beginning for something I read in workshop. After that I have one final test over four criminology chapters (btw I’m also working on a masters at Indiana State) then I’m free to help pack. The criminology just sort of fell in the mix and probably originated from my love of psychological thrillers and desire to one day write one.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so excited about the move and can’t wait to check out all my favorite places here in Tennessee. Of course there are places it doesn’t have like Fry’s, Einstein Bagels or Whataburger, but I’m sure they have some pretty awesome places that are similar. I look forward to finding some cool writing spots, coffee shops and of course making new friends.

My novel is coming along and I have to thank my mentor for understanding me. I’m one of those writers who likes quirky characters. For my characters life is not without obstacles and things aren’t always pretty. They’re not ridiculously over the top, but if I want something where the days are always sunny and there is always a happy ending I can read a fairy tale. Reality is just not like that and I feel I owe it to my readers to write something relatable. In the novel I’m working on Macey is the character I love most. Surprisingly she is the most unordinary and the first one that came to mind when I thought of the plot. When I wasn’t so busy with school I’d fall asleep writing and my characters would come alive to help out with the story in my dreams. Lately I’ve missed their input. My dark piece centers on a character with depression, but I’m still trying to figure out where I want to take it. I haven’t put a name or face to the character, but I can feel her pain as if it were my own. She may become one of my favorites.

 When I get a moment to breathe I may share some short stories, but first I have to find time to write something other than what I’m presently working on.

Until next time 🙂

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Tennessee Texan

As a native Texan for thirty-something years the idea of relinquishing my driver’s licence and Texas plates is horrifying, but the idea of living someplace new is exhilarating. This move came about as a result of grad school. I’m pursuing an MFA degree in creative writing at Murray State in Kentucky. Before attending my first residency in Jan 2012 the only other time I’d been out of Texas was when I drove to Maryland for a job interview last year. I’ve been to Louisiana dozens of times, but it is so close to Texas I don’t really consider it traveling. 

The road trip to Kentucky took three days (three days up and three days back) and 5-6 hotels, because I was traveling with two drugged cats and an overly excited Jack Russell Terrier. Looking back on the trip I now realize I’m the one who needed a sedative.

The writing program is online, but the residencies are twice a year. The first trip cost somewhere close to $3,000. Add that to out-of-state tuition and you’ll understand why I’ve decided to relocate.

Why Tennessee and not Kentucky? Murray has an amazing program that gives its bordering states discounted tuition. Kentucky is beautiful and the people there are super friendly, but I didn’t find a lot of housing or job options. Tennessee is just as nice and right next door, so I started job hunting and looking for an apartment. In March the apartment I’d been on a lengthy waitlist for finally came through, so Tennessee here I come and just in time.

My first MFA semester wraps up in May and a week later I move. The goal is to get settled before the next residency starts in July and make some serious progress on the novel I’m working on that will eventually become my thesis.

 I’m looking forward to my new life in Tennessee and especially writing on my new patio, but no matter what I’ll ALWAYS be a Texan.