Back Home Reflections

This is my first entry on my new blog–a new start, or at least a more focused one. I hope you enjoy reading entries as much as I enjoy writing them.

As I write this, I am settling back at my desk after a ten-day residency at Spalding University’s Brief-Residency MFA in Creative Writing. For ten days, I stayed at Louisville’s luxurious Brown Hotel and attended lectures, workshops, and readings–all geared toward making me a better writer. There is a sense of connectedness and a high that comes from spending intensely-focused time with other writers. No work, no extraneous responsibilities–just writing, pure and simple. I left with a binder full of notes, a journal full of memories and quotes, a notebook full of writing ideas, and a mind full of anticipation for the upcoming independent study. (One of the best things about my program? I get to spend an entire semester working intensely with a published–i.e. “Real”–writer in my genre. This semester, I’m so blessed to be working on creative nonfiction with the incredibly talented Nancy McCabe, author of Meeting Sophie, After the Flashlight Man, and Crossing the Blue Willow Bridge: A Journey to my Daughter’s Birthplace in China. Seriously, look her up. She’s amazing!)

I always enjoy the time to get away and write, but more than anything, this residency brought home the need to be just as devoted to my craft while in the mires of “real life.” I’m hoping this blog is the start to that. It isn’t just being accountable to deadlines but being accountable to myself, to being the best writer–and the best person–I can be.

I was privileged to attend a slew of inspirational and practical lectures on writing, some of which I will share here. But I also took away the knowledge that writing, while necessarily a solitary craft, is also the bridge to a community. The community does not end when residency does–it extends beyond location.

This blog is my part, my contribution to the greater community.

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