Monday, October 15, 2012

Peeking In

It's been such a long time since I posted. I think my focus has on my kids lately, yet at the same time it feels wrong to let things slip career-wise. Still trying to find a good balance.

Having said that, about a week ago I went to an appearance by Laura Moriarty, author of The Chaperone and creative writing professor at KU. The library was packed with people—a good sign. I went because I wanted to speak to her about getting an MFA, but I ended up enjoying her chapter reading, especially as it dealt with the Orphan Trains. I've told you about my grandmother, who was a mere baby when she travelled the trains from New York to Missouri. Not having read The Chaperone yet, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Ms. Moriarty touch on this subject. It, in fact, brought me to tears. While taking questions, I raised my hand and told her about Grandmother Marion. Afterwards, many women came up to me expressing their interest in the story. I think it's a good sign I should be writing that book one day! I've always meant to, wanted to, but it's a delicate subject in our family, and you can imagine my desire to handle it with the utmost care.

Then came the book signing I almost didn't get in line for because I didn't want to bug Ms. Moriarty, but I just had to ask about the MFA. I stood in line and finally got my chance to ask about the whole thing. Apparently one must have a degree, which I don't, to qualify for the MFA program. She said something about sending in a writing sample, and also about taking writing classes on the side. Anyway, the deadline to apply is December. I just don't know what to do, really. Right now I'm so focused on finding ways to make money to take care of the kids, and I just don't see that pursing an MFA would be the right thing to do. Maybe later. I think when it comes down to it, my kids need money for clothes and food and the dentist more than I need to go to college. When Liam starts all day school next year I'll most likely try to get a full time job. At least I have one book to be proud of.

I hope everyone is doing well. Fall is here!

15 comments:

  1. It has and we've missed you so much. Amy, I think you're right in giving your children priority time - they grow up so quickly and their childhoods gone all too fast. The orphan train sounds so much like World War II years here, when children in the cities were ripped from their parents and billeted out to places in the countryside to who knows where. They wore luggage labels as their identity. Some of the places were good - some were definitely not. It was mandatory for anyone with room to take these children, whether they wanted to or not. You're right - there is a book in there. I'm so thrilled about the Soul Seekers success - I knew there was another best seller waiting in the wings. Wishing you, Julia and Liam all the best. Love Molly xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember a movie about a little boy and his wild sister being sent out to the country during the war. Can't recall the name of it, but it did open my eyes to those things happening. Pretty intense! Love you too, Mollyxxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's so hard to decide what to do concerning school! My mom is going through this same thing--wanting to go back but not sure if it's worth it to sacrifice family time and going into debt. I'm sure you'll find a solution that will fit your life. Good luck! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Liesel. I think this issue is pressuring because of the short amount of time left to make a decision. I'm the worst at taking things to the last minute! I wish your mom well!

      Delete
  4. Yes, it is such a tough decision and I wish you all kinds of success whichever route you choose. I know putting your children first is never a mistake, though, and you never know which opportunities are right around the corner. Until then just keep writing and keep dreaming!:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. So glad to see your post pop up. I recently had been thinking that we had not heard from you for awhile.

    What you are experiencing in your life is a situation that women have been facing since the 60's. Your heart knows what to do but that does not mean you can't keep your antenna tuned to the opportunities that might be out there for you. It is always so difficult for women as no matter what we do, we feel guilty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, I hadn't thought of that. But it's true, isn't it? Still . . .

      Delete
  6. Welcome back Amy. We were all worried that you'd disappeared.

    I'm wondering what an MFA would do for you, that lots of reading and writing wouldn't. I, myself, have a 1st Class Hons degree, but it doesn't make me a better painter. There is also the question of cost; you could end up with huge debts. You are obviously already a good writer, so why not simply continue writing?

    I'm probably sounding very PRACTICAL; can't help it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's so lovely to see you again. You have so much talent that I do believe the most important thing is to keep on writing -- Was she offering to read a writing sample? This might be a worthwhile thing to do and if you are able to find a class it might help to hone in your skills and to make some good contacts and as a way to meet other writers. Juggling a family and life's ambitions is always difficult and I'm so impressed with what you've been able to accomplish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      I don't know if she was offering, or if it was for the whole english department in general. Upon further looking, I'll need to take an online assessment test as well, which I don't mind doing (unless it costs tons of money, then yeah, I mind).

      I think what's really bothering me is I see all these stories getting published in lit journals by MFA students, and mine get passed up. I just want to be taken seriously. But then i think of my favorite writer—she doesn't have a degree and, for the most part, is self-published. THe answer is I'm probably going to go her route. But well see . . .

      Delete
  8. Dear Amy, in reading this post, I felt that a thread woven through it was that of sadness. A sort of deep mourning for what isn't possible--right now. And all I can say is that you have a whole life ahead of you. If getting a degree continues to be important than one day that will happen. If it isn't important you will discover that the heartwish you feel right now changes and morphs into something even more satisfying. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sad about it, or I guess frustrated. But overall I'm grateful for what I've accomplished so far. Another door opens, as they say . . .

      Delete
  9. It's good to ask and get information, anyway. And I'm sure there's another course you can take that's equally interesting!

    ReplyDelete