Musings from Mama Bird
Even Mama Birds need to branch out a bit. The rewards of doing so helped make this week a particularly rewarding one in which my writing has been validated by those outside of my nest.
On Monday, the second English faculty member signed off on my prospectus for the creative capstone project/master’s degree thesis I begin working on this fall semester. Her comments included such things as, “Thank you for the detailed, clearly written, carefully considered prospectus. I particularly love that you are focused (already) on a central concern of memoir-making: “Whose memoir is this anyway? Is it mine..? Is it my mother’s…?” And, “What a great project!” The genesis of my project (In My Mother’s Room: A Memoir) began a few years ago. A small portion has already been work-shopped by other graduate students in a prose writing class, and I have endured more negative critiques than positive, both in that class and the Intro to Graduate Studies class I also took. For many years, I have been writing, re-writing, blogging, and thinking (and thinking and thinking) about how I could turn this into a viable thesis project. That my 17-page prospectus clearly demonstrates I have met my goal is thrilling. Now I await the graduate program director’s final verdict.
Then Tuesday morning, I opened my Gmail account expecting to find the usual (spam, political ads, bill-payment reminders) when I spotted emails from the editor of the Cincinnati Writer’s Project telling me that two of the three poems I submitted for this year’s anthology have been accepted for publication. Included were judges’ comments:” I kept reading this poem out loud with blues music playing in the background.Hell, yeah!” “The reader gets a picture of the mother, the era and the family dynamic.” “It’s imaginative, full of tension and emotion, and is thought-provoking. It has a very haunting quality.” “This piece has the ‘wow’ factor.”.
This week serves as a reminder as to why we writers put it all out there in the first place, risking rejection and negative feedback. It has been many years since I’ve been published in anything other than my blogs, but I am focused again, re-energized and ready to tackle new (and old) writing projects with renewed vigor. I might never be famous or self-supporting as a writer, but that hasn’t been my goal for many years. I will, however, continue to share vignettes of my life to anyone who cares enough to read what I write.
It also proves that no matter your age or background, you can still find a few roses among the many thorns faced by writers of all genres.
And of course, it encourages me to know that my kids aren’t the only ones leaving this nest.
I apologize if this blog entry comes off as boastful, but that is not my intention. I’ve always believed you’ve got to toot your own horn. After all, if you don’t, who will?
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