Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How life is different in an MFA


I got an email a few days ago from a sweet woman wanting to know if I thought it was worth it to pursue an MFA with UCR. Short answer: YES.

Her email got me thinking about how my life is different since being in the program.  Aside from the more significant life-experience kind of changes, I can say that being in the program has impacted me in one major and tenable way.

You ready for it?  Here it is:

I carry a notebook, a good pen, and a book (or books) on me at all times.

Funny, right?  Not that any of that is super interesting, but it means my purse weighs more.  I find that when I don't bring all of those things with me, I regret it.  I'll hear a line that I want to use or I'll be stuck somewhere with time on my hands.  Time is pages, people!

That pink notebook, above?  It has 7 pages of a short story in it, scribbled out as I watched that Mock Trial competition last weekend.  It also has a cover page that says this:

"It was either get my eyebrows done or get a stats tutor.  I chose my grade."

"Back-filled behind Jesus and other stories"

"all mustard and no turkey"

"Babies make me mad."

"Smells like vinegar and pain."

All of those are snippets from conversations I've heard or pedestrian things I've read in the last week and mined for ideas.  I know none of them make any kind of particular sense, but they strike me as ideas that might make a good title or a good line.

Hopefully all this diligent toting of materials serves me well.


  1. Personally, I agree with the fact that BIC makes really awesome pens. And for some reason I always have to write in blue, I just can't stand the look of black...

    Also, I would love to see any of those lines made into book titles. Keep up the writing!!

  2. I carry one of those notebooks too, and the nook helps with always having something to read. I recently started downloading audio books from the library and loading them to my phone, too.

    I never thought about using the notebook to jot down ideas - thanks!