what i wanted to say

I’m struggling to write what I want to today. You see . . .

Some of you have said I’m a good writer. Sometimes I think I am. Some you have suggested I write a book. Sometimes I’ve thought about it. (My rock-climbing accident would make a good story.) Sadly, though, I struggle with descriptive writing. I can write personal pieces all day long, but story-telling? Honestly, I suck.

The fact is I need to read more, and read good authors — people like Dickens, and Tolkien, and Hemingway. I need to read authors who paint big pictures and create even bigger characters. I need to read writers who know what they’re doing.


“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Can that be?

It was encouraging this past week, though, when I was admitted into a creative writing class despite not having taken the prereq. It’s the only graduate writing course being offered next semester, and while my program isn’t writing-specific, I can tailor it to my interests. This class required the prereq or approval from the instructor, so I contacted the teacher recently and sent her some writing samples. She took a few days but finally sent this response:


You are welcome to sign up, but with the warning that the other students in the class are graduate MFA and PhD students and are more advanced. Of course, that means you can learn more that way. I always choose musicians to play with who know more than I do.

You have my permission.

Professor —

Life is about taking chances, and the world of graduate school has been one of the biggest and most intimidating chances I’ve taken so far. I applied four times before finally being accepted and talked recently with another classmate about her own graduate journey. She has an MFA in non-fiction creative writing (something I’d like to do) and participated in multiple writing workshops at UCLA just to create a writing sample for her applications . . . and even then she was only accepted to one of the schools to which she applied.

Oh. My. Word.

(Side note: So then how does most of the garbage in the literature sections of grocery stores and airports today get published? I don’t get it!)


And so, yes . . . Anyway . . . My point is . . .

I’m a decent writer, but I’ve got a long way to go, and sometimes I can’t write what I want to, even when I try. I swear, though, that sometime I’ll get around to writing a description of Hanoi, and how I met my friend K- , and about the package my friend P- sent me, and about the real reason that Facebook is worth it to me . . . I’ve just got to get through a few other things — like the research paper I’m supposed to be working on or the sprint triathlon I was talked into doing tomorrow morning (when there’s a 100 percent chance of rain) — first. Aye aye aye!

Happy weekend, all!






10 thoughts

  1. Beautiful pictures. It looks like you live in a place that is great for cycling. Enjoy the sprint triathlon tomorrow, even if it rains. And keep writing. I applaud you for signing up for that course. I’ll be curious to hear what you think about it.

    • Lol, well… Sadly I live in a crappy place for riding if I want to leave straight from home. There’s some great riding about 40 minutes south, though. That takes you near the Great Smoky Mountains National Forest. And thank you. I’ve got all summer to prepare for the class. Hopefully I’ll be ready!

      • I went on a hike today and to get there I drove through a part of the nearby countryside that I used to bicycle through quite a bit. I thought about how nice it would be to live in a place where I could get on my bike and ride country roads with beautiful scenery and without a lot of traffic.

        To get to those country roads I drove through required a six mile ride at least, maybe nine miles(?), through heavily trafficked roads just to get to the quiet roads. It’s one of the difficulties with cycling — to get to where it’s the best, you gotta throw your bike on your car and drive there. Which kind of takes away some of the pleasure and point of the whole thing.

  2. You are a brilliant writer and I’m so excited for you! People with real writing street cred (like your professor) recognize it, too! I really like what she said about surrounding herself with musicians who know more than she does. I feel like we never stop learning. I am so looking forward to following what you write!

    • Thanks, Amy! You’re super sweet. I liked what she said, too. There’s always room to improve, and I’m looking forward to it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I know you’re a busy mama! Always nice to hear from you. :)

  3. The mere fact that you worry about your own writing is a good sign. :)
    (Only morons don’t doubt)
    Good luck with the course. i’m sure it will help.
    Now you want to write about Hanoï? Do it. With a twist. Write it in your head first. Bits and pieces. Dialogues. You can take notes but I advise against it. Once you have an opening, a line and an ending, you can sit down to write.
    Have a great week-end.

    • Thank you! I will… One week ’til my first year of graduate school is done. Then I’ll have time for creative writing. ;)

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Brian! You have a great weekend, too. :)

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