Alls Quiet on the Western Front

Big sigh. I have been holding this one in for a long time, though those of you in my inner circle (Hi Uncle Bill! Hi Debby!) have known about this for a long time…

I have been accepted into the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of New Mexico.

So, I’m going to Albuquerque.

It all began in July 2005 at the Taos Summer Writers Conference….

I signed up for Gregory Martin’s memoir class with the intent of vacationing in Taos and learning a little more about writing. Instead, I saw little of Taos and indulged in the literary landscape of the conference. Rather than enjoying the wonderful restaurants of Taos, I gorged on the readings, the panel discussions and of course the extra stack of essays from Greg—this was in addition to the three books he assigned ahead of time. His class changed the way I looked at my writing, forcing me to see beyond the basics to craft features such as character, persona, dialog, conflict, point of view and time of writing voice.

That first conference also saw the birth of what is now my book-length project, “Reconstructing My Mother.”

For the last two and a half years I have been working on this project with my local Read and Critique group facilitated by Judy Reeves. Working with other writers has helped me stay on track producing prose.

In 2007 I was accepted into Greg Martin’s Taos Master Class so I gathered up all my writing, stuffed it into a three ring binder and called it a first draft. I knew at the time it was premature but I was eager to work with Greg again and the class was an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on my work and address it as a whole. My classmates were all talented writers, with full length manuscripts covering everything from adopting a special needs child to researching a famous naval architect father. All these other writers had master’s degrees, or law degrees. It was a little intimidating.

During my one-on-one evaluation with Greg, he said to me, “You make all these self-depracating remarks about how you’re not as smart as all these people with master’s degrees…. why don’t you just go get a master’s degree?”

In other words, he challenged me, and I took him up on it. I applied this winter, and was accepted into University of New Mexico last Wednesday. Greg called me himself.

So now I find myself excited, intimidated, scared (terrified really) and overwhelmed, but I’m going.

I’ll need to be in ABQ in August. Classes start August 20.

Wish me luck!

6 thoughts on “Alls Quiet on the Western Front

  1. >>>>he said to me, “You make all these self-depracating remarks about how you’re not as smart as all these people with master’s degrees…. why don’t you just go get a master’s degree?”<<<<I think, like the scarecrow, you are going to find you have had a brain all along! You rock!(The cross-country amtrak train goes right through there if you ever need it. A nice way to make the journey.)


  2. I love being in your inner circle;-) when you get to Taos, will I still be at least in your outer circle? In other words, will you keep blogging, letting us in on your thoughts and experiences? Funny how good folks are often self-conscious or self-doubting, and the brazen fools often get the air, eye, ear, and attention. Rock on. Oops, I meant, write on!


  3. Thanks for all the words of encouragement…@shamalamamama… I hope that I find courage like the lion and a heart like the tin man too ! and I already know there’s no place like home, a click of my heels, a couple hundred bucks and two hours on a plane and I’m home.@tamar… yes, I will still be blogging. It has become part of my creative process as many of these posts get re-worked and sculpted into something a little richer than a blog post


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