Tonight was the last night of Fiction Tutorial, and I'm left feeling a little sad that it's over. I'm going to miss the weekly one-on-one conferences with my professor, the classes chock-full of information and great exercises, and discussions with all the talented writers in our class. We did go out with a bang tonight, however. We had a table full of goodies to eat, and Professor Pietrzyk even brought some Beacon tea! The best part of the evening was the time Professor Pietrzyk took to answer all our questions about getting published. Then after telling us all the depressing, nitty-gritty of the publishing world, she gave a great pep talk. She reminded us that all the obstacles in our way were irrelevant if getting published was our desire. It doesn't matter how long it takes, you just have to keep writing - every day - and submitting, submitting, submitting. I've been putting off submitting my work to journals until I was "ready" for too long. After tonight, I feel pumped up and ready to get down to the hard work of submitting...and getting rejected. The only sure way to fail is never to try...cliche or not.
The best part of the day was my conference with Leslie Pietrzyk this morning. She really liked my revision of my story. That makes me so incredibly happy that I was able to absorb everything we talked about and come up with a new draft that synthesized what she suggested, plus the changes I wanted to make. I did get a good laugh, though, when she pointed out that near the end of my story I had a character doing three different things simultanteously...with her hands. When I jokingly suggested that my character actually had three arms, she said that I should have mentioned that earlier in the story. We both got a chuckle out of that. Isn't it funny the little things that you miss in your own work?
We finished our final decisions today for what will be included in the 2009 issue of the Concept Literary Journal. I am so excited because this year we had fewer poetry submissions and more fiction, so the issue will have more fiction and less poetry than the previous issues. Since most of the Concept staff are primarily fiction writers, I like to think that this issue will reflect us and our focus as writers. I am also really excited about the artwork we have selected and, in particular, the artwork that will be the cover art. I can't give the details since acceptance letters haven't been sent yet, but it is really powerful, and I think it ties well with a journal that will primarily feature women writers.
It seems like my blogs have been ending with a paragraph or two that have nothing to do with the paragraphs that precede, and this entry will be no different. When I went through the mail tonight, I found a small card addressed to me. I couldn't imagine who it was from, so I was really curious when I opened it. Inside I found a handwritten note from some lady I had never met - a lady from our new church introducing herself and telling me about all the different classes and Bible studies for women that the church has to offer. This is just another chapter in the book entitled How Holland Park Church Is The Friendliest Church Ever. At every turn, we have been welcomed and befriended, from the first day we visited to every Sunday night at Life Group. After months of prayers about our church situation, we are so grateful that God has led us to Holland Park. Not only do we love everyone we've met, but the classes and preaching have been wonderful, full of deep spiritual teaching and discussion. And to think we found the church via a Google search. Isn't the internet wonderful?
So, it's been a good week so far, a good month really, but the party is about to me over. Next Wednesday Spring Term starts, and it's time to buckle down for the final sprint. Challenging classes (I ended up with 2 honors classes in one semester), Concept deadlines, and a very full schedule will put an end to the leisurely pace I've enjoyed since the end of Fall Term. I'm sure I'll be back in the swing of things in no time, but right now the thought of all that work makes me want to crawl under the covers and hide. I'll spend the next week psyching myself up for the challenge...well, that and submitting my work to every journal I can find.