On Mental Vacations & Writing Feels

I’m definitely not one of those lucky folks who gets to take vacations. I mean the long vacations to some beautiful place where work can be left behind and relaxation is the only thing on the to-do list. Every once in a while (read: maybe once a year), I go to Chicago. That’s the extent of my vacations, mostly because I don’t have the funds to go anywhere further away.┬áTo compensate, I take mental vacations. They’re usually pretty short, but the idea of it is that I can go wherever I want to, even if it’s only for an hour (or sometimes less).

I’ve been taking these little “vacations” quite often lately. I always go to Boston, but lately, I’ve been visiting Cambridge. It’s been six months since I’ve graduated from the MFA program at Lesley University, and I don’t know that I’ve missed anything more than I miss that program.

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Lesley University: Accepted

Photo courtesy of dreamstime.com.

As most of my readers know, last fall I applied to three MFA programs. I was never really sure when I’d be hearing from any of them, so I’ve just been anxiously waiting since the beginning of the new year. Waiting can be a bear sometimes, am I right? I thought I wouldn’t hear back from any of the programs until at least March or April.

I was wrong.

Last night when I got home, I checked my email and there was an email from the director of the program at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I’ve been accepted in their Writing for Young People track.

Lesley University has the 6th best low-residency MFA program in the United States according to Poets & Writers. That’s part of the reason why I applied there. There were three main reasons:

  1. The high ranking of the program. I wanted a program that was known for the faculty and for the kinds of writers it turns out. I wanted to work hard to get in. And I did.
  2. The fact that the program is low-residency, meaning I don’t have to move if I don’t want/can’t afford to. I have to be on campus for ten days twice a year, with the first residency being this coming June. However, if I decide to move to Cambridge, there’s a possibility of getting a teaching assistantship, which is something I really need.
  3. Chris Lynch, and award-winning YA author (and one of my favorites), is a faculty in the Writing for Young People track. In this program, after your first residency, you’re matched up with a faculty member (mentor) in your specific track and that is who you work with for the duration of your time in the program. There’s no guarantee that I’ll get to work with Mr. Lynch, but I hope I get to. I feel that he could be a great fit for me, especially since the main characters in my writing are always male. I think he could really help me find voices and stick with them, thereby making my writing stronger.

Out of the three programs that I applied to, this is one that I really wanted to be accepted to. I’m beyond happy that I’ve earned the chance to be a part of the program. I don’t know much about it yet, as my information packets are still on the way, but I can’t wait to learn more.

I’m going to wait until I hear from the other two programs before making a final decision on where I should go. Right now, though, I have at least one guaranteed option and I love that. Words really can’t properly express how excited I am that I’ve been accepted. I worked really hard to get this far and it’s such a wonderful feeling to know that it all paid off.

I have two programs to wait on, but that’s okay. This was what I wanted. I’m very happy.

Happy Writing,