Graduation Vacation


My family: Miranda, Dean and Morgan.


So I finally did it. This June I graduated with my M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. It’s been a dream of mine for over twenty years. Why did it take me so long? Well, while I was raising my children and teaching full-time I never had the money or the time. Tuition isn’t cheap and teaching small children is mentally and physically exhausting.

Going back to school, especially at SNHU, was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I worked with the most talented writers, my wonderful mentors Jacquelyn Mitchard, Katherine Towler, and Ann Wertz Garvin. There were many more I would have loved to work with if only the program lasted another two years: Wiley Cash, Mitch Wieland, and Craig Childs, just to name a few. I recommend this low residency program to all who are serious about their writing. I had so much fun while honing my skills.

New Hampshire is such a lovely state with some of the nicest people. After graduation, my family and I took a vacation while there. We went to beautiful Portsmouth. Everywhere we looked history was preserved in this pristine seaside town. One of my friends, Sophia Easterly, also a SNHU grad, played our tour guide. I’ll attach some photographs to give you a little taste. We went to Strawberry Banke and back to Star Island for a farewell visit. My husband and daughters wouldn’t mind living in the “Live Free or Die” state if it wasn’t for the harsh winters. We’re from West Texas where it rarely gets below freezing. After we returned from our trip we visited Norman, Oklahoma, where my daughters live. It was lush and green there, too, though hotter than New Hampshire. Once back home we arrived to dry heat of over one hundred degrees. Now we’re looking forward to retirement and moving away from here. I could handle Oklahoma and living closer to my girls.

Now that I’ve graduated and completed my novel, what next? It’s time to find an agent. I have two editors who’ve said they’re interested in my YA novel Daughter of the Bride. With one a smaller publisher, I wouldn’t necessarily need an agent, but my published writer friends have warned it is essential to have an agent to protect my interests. So while I’m waiting for news on possible (nothing is guaranteed) publication, it’s time to seek out that special agent.

In the meantime, I’ll work on a sequel and dream of greener pastures.

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Portsmouth sunset.

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Downtown Portsmouth.

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Sophia and Steve showing us the gardens at Strawberry Banke.

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Filed under Photos, Random Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Graduation Vacation

  1. Just wanted to share my hiliarious adventure with a fellow traveler. Hope you enjoy mine as much as I have enjoyed yours.

  2. Marla Cooper

    Wow!!! I am SO PROUD of you!! I’m just gonna LOVE it when your novel gets published, picked up by Steven Spielberg and lands on the big screen. Then I can say, “I knew her when…” So, was your bachelor’s degree in education or was it literature? You’ve inspired me, but my whole educational background is medical…where would I start? I also love that your whole beautiful family went to New Hampshire to see you graduate. We need to get together before you move off, because I still haven’t heard the end of your novel! Plus, I’ve got books to return to you. Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 14:39:48 +0000 To:

    • Thanks Marla. My B.A. is in Literature, but there are people with medical degrees going for their MFA in Creative Writing. You can, too. After 4th of July, let’s get together.

  3. Those are gorgeous pics. All the best with your book!

  4. I was excited to see someone with a positive experience from the Creative Writing program at SNHU. I’ve been looking at the school for awhile and trying to decide if I could go there. At this point, I couldn’t take off work for the residencies, so I might do the MA in Creative Writing and English instead.
    Congratulations on your degree and good luck with your book!

    • Thank you. I’m still in the process of editing, but hope to be finished by the January. It’s too bad you can’t talk your employer to letting you off for the residencies. You would love it. But an MA in Creative Writing and English will work just as well. Best of luck to you, too!

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