Commencement: A New Chapter!

Well, with all the MFA coursework, the blog went to the wayside again. The MFA was a rite of passage in some respects. Somehow, getting a “terminal” degree did not kill me. It gave me deeper insight into craft, and an added benefit is being able to start searching for a permanent position again. It’s still no guarantee, but it does provide more possibilities.

Now that the year is at the halfway mark, let’s see what goals I accomplished. It’s not all of them—but that’s all right. Aiming high is always better. Now to set summer goals and see if I can align my progress with those initial goals again.

My plans were:

  1. Complete the MFA thesis novel (epic/military fantasy) by February 1.
  2. Complete my craft essay by February 12.
  3. Develop a paper into an academic article and send it out to the appropriate journals.
  4. Participate in SFF PitMad in March.
  5. Apply to Odyssey Writing Workshop by April deadline.
  6. Go to Futurescapes in April (I was accepted and paid tuition already).
  7. Graduate with MFA in May (7 credits to go).
  8. If accepted, go to Odyssey Writing Workshop in the summer. I’ve now applied twice. Hopefully this will be the year, but only time will tell.

My reality was:

  1. Eleven chapters from completion. Work and school were more time consuming than hoped. Still, the first 15 chapters were submitted as my thesis, and they’re stronger. Not perfect, but much better than the initial draft. (Yes, there will be revisions in the future.)
  2. Done! Craft essay submitted with thesis.
  3. The paper to academic article process was not possible while finishing thesis and coursework.
  4. SFF PitMad was a pie in the sky dream, designed to give fuel for the fire, and without a complete novel, not worth it.
  5. Done! Applied to Odyssey!
  6. Done! Went to Futurescapes and had a blast! Also learned some crucial things about how to make my opening chapter stronger, leaner, meaner, and my revision was praised. Good stuff.
  7. Done! And magna cum laude, to boot!
  8. Was waitlisted for Odyssey. Will know in less than a week if I go or try next year.


  • Finish last eleven chapters.
  • Begin revisions from developmental standpoint.
  • Revise some short stories and send them out.
  • Turn that paper into an academic journal article draft. I think I can get some handle on that by the end of summer.
  • Sketch out new ideas in between the novel.
  • Odyssey–if I am not going, apply for 2019.

That should do it. Let’s see what can be done.

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