All posts tagged: CNF

In Search of Lost Mojo (An introduction)

Image: Adeline Oka You applied to MFA programs last winter peddling your best traits: a voracious curiosity and an insatiable lust for soul-stirring prose. A year later, after a 17-day cross-country road trip originating in South Florida, after getting settled during one of those famed blissful Pacific Northwestern summers—the apex of which was witnessing a cosmically rare solar eclipse from smack dab in the path of totality—after briefly evacuating to New York City when those dreamy days combusted into a toxic haze fueled by catastrophic wildfires, you find yourself in rural Oregon the night before fall quarter starts, shivering in your Miami clothes, frozen before a white screen. Fraud, you scream in your head. It’s not that you knowingly deceived the ad-coms; what you’re realizing is, like the photo from eight years ago you still keep on your Tinder profile, that portrait of your writer self is outdated. That version was based on who you thought you were at 24, when you first seriously considered getting an MFA upon realizing, during your first graduate program, that you didn’t just want to read …

It’s gonna be…oh wait, May’s over!

Photo Credit: Photos Public Domain Well, clearly time got the better of me this year. And now I am met with the task of summing up months of the MFA experience in a single blog post. Here goes! Compared to the fall, the spring semester was pretty calm from a personal standpoint – no houses were flooded, no childhood pets died on me, mid-term assignments did not coincide with working at a costume shop at Halloween time (though there was another move involved – we moved the store right before finals, so that was wonderful timing.) I managed to explore Orlando some more (well, really just the thrift stores between Sanford and Orlando and also spent a lot of time tracking down the Beyond Burger and my favorite Philly beer, Victory Kirsch Gose, at stores in Altamonte Springs.) Oh, and I saw my two favorite musicians/humans in the world, Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde (the Pretenders), play together at the Amway Center. One of my courses had us taking friend trips in the area and …

Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart

(The “you” in my title refers to MFA program applications…) (Brief moment of silence for George Michael, with whom I share a birthday and therefore a Christmas half-birthday…I had “Careless Whisper” on repeat all day at work and am now planning to researching the history of the saxophone in pop music for a new work. But I digress) Hi Everyone! Sorry for the delay in posting; I’m very excited for this year to be over, is all I can say…I doubt next year will be any less hectic, but hopefully it will be more focused. Took a while to recover from the midterms/Halloween/moving houses debacle, but we managed to get the new place all set up, just in time to host my program’s Holiday Party! The event served as much-needed motivation to get everything cleaned up and to go grocery shopping…made a vegan chili that turned out well and didn’t kill anyone with its spiciness so yay. The party culminated in a White Elephant book exchange, in which we all contributed a copy of books we …

Wrapping Up.

Image: GMDS by meg This year, I learned that I am a writer. It is the most important of the lessons I’ve learned. See, I didn’t write for the past two weeks. I ducked out of Missouri the day after my last paper was due and I have been driving around my beloved Florida since then, visiting family and friends (not all and not enough) and hoping that the AC in Rudy, my dear hatchback, wouldn’t succumb to the relentlessness of the Fort Myers sun. I. didn’t. write. I felt that I had no words left—that I had been wrung out. My wonderings have woven themselves into various essays over the past year, my similes have been exhausted, and my perspective was beginning to falter. I wanted to let my mind breathe these two weeks and recharge by the ocean. Well. Words came back, but they come back in droves, with no direction. In my head, I heard them shriek when I knew that they should whisper; others mumbled when they should have projected clearly. …

And Thus Concludes…

…the classroom portion of our MFA entertainment package. Last Thursday I attended the last session of my last class for my MFA. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I’m done with my classes. Forever. My mind cannot fully comprehend how quickly two years can fly past. That does not, however, mean I’m ready to graduate because I still have to finish my thesis. I had hoped to have that done by now, as well, but this semester turned out differently than I had planned. Don’t they always?

Leaving the Smears

Image: Workshop Window by Graeme Tozer At my program here in Mizzou, we have two large offices where we all have been assigned desks and nice chairs on wheels. We have card-swipe access to the building after hours and we have large keys for these offices downstairs. The place is normally a montage of clipped fingernails around travel coffee mugs, blazers thrown off and flats slipped on between classes, conferences with students, the occasional collapse of a stack of books and trip over a power cord. In the break room you will always find someone in front of the fridge, vying for space for another $8 Wal-mart zippered lunchbag among the wall of $8 Wal-mart zippered lunchbags. But on the weekends, the offices are empty, quiet, still. Somehow, I lucked into having a desk in front of a window that looks out behind the university’s flagship building and the flowers that spill over large ceramic urns. It is from here that I wrote this post. I’m not sure where I’m headed and perhaps that is …