pans in the fire

Today is my spiritual birthday!  I gave my life over to Jesus Christ on this day seventeen years ago.  Best decision of my life.

I have a lot going on in my life right now– things I’m really excited about– but it’s a little stressful at times.  Here’s the download:

1. The Big Sur Writing Workshop is held each March and December, and it focuses entirely on children’s and young adult literature.  I have been wanting to go to one of these for a long time now, and I finally took the plunge.  Signed up, bought my airline ticket, got really excited to go when the following happened.

2.  Remember when I told you I purchased a mentorship with a Minneapolis editor?  He has been awesome.  He appreciates my vision for the novel and enjoys my characters.  He also asked me to make some pretty intense changes, which amount to a total re-structuring of my novel.  I have been working so hard at the revision because I really want the draft to be polished before Big Sur.  That gave me six weeks for the revision.  SIX. WEEKS.  Yikes.

3. I am also thinking a lot about going to grad school, and I’m looking specifically at a program that focuses on the writing of children’s and YA lit.  It looks incredible.  I’ve been crunching numbers and processing the idea of returning to the land of student loan debt and homework.  I have had my reasons over the last 4-5 years for not going to graduate school, but this program seems to eliminate the big ones (like not getting to work on projects that I deem important).  I’ve been going back and forth, trying to decide if I would resent grad school once I was actually in it and having to churn out drafts for homework again, but my friend Hannah asked me, “Would you go if it was free?” and my immediate response was, “YES!”  She said, “So it’s the money that is the real issue.”  Talk about a revealing moment!  I needed that split-second question to show me what I was really thinking!  If I do go, it will probably be in January 2014.  In the meantime, I have to apply and see if I can even get in!  (It’s a selective school.)  And, of course, I have no time to apply until after Big Sur.

4. My roommate Desiree got engaged!  It’s very exciting, and I’m really happy for her and her fiance.  Des and I have lived together for about six years, so her marriage will really change both of our lives.  I’m in the market for a new roommate for the first time in a long while.  (I thought about living alone, but I just don’t think it would be healthy for me.)

5. I am planning an event, and I am the world’s most stressed-out event planner.  I am pulling together an Easter arts experience with music, poetry, and art, all connected to the death and resurrection of Christ.  (I’m an Easter fanatic!)  VERY excited about this, but I’m also pretty nervous about pulling it all off.  If you live in the Twin Cities and want to come, let me know, and I’ll get you more details.

So that’s life in a nutshell for me.  I’d appreciate your prayers– and advice, if you have any!

Just realized that in my spiritual life, today I am 17, the age of most of the kiddos I’m recruiting.  Gosh, it feels good to be 17.  Good and busy.

to do


6 thoughts on “pans in the fire

  1. Jackie…are you looking into Hamline’s MFA program? That’s what I’m doing, and if it were free, I’d go in a heartbeat. But it’s not. Trying to figure out what to do with that.

    • Hi Shar! No, I’m looking into a different low-residency program out east. But I have looked into Hamline’s program too, especially since it’s so close! Which concentration would you pursue if you went?

  2. Definitely the writing for children/young adult program. The program looks amazing! I know money is the real issue for me, too, but once I realized the freedom of that, I was slapped with the reality that it’s STILL a lot of money. It’s hard to move forward from that place.

    • Yes, it is. I had to sit down and literally crunch numbers before I started to feel the freedom to move forward with the program. Now I am just waiting and thinking and praying about whether I would resent school once I was in it. I would hope not, but it DOES detract from the writing I am already doing to make me focus on writing for school. If I start, I want to finish, so I’m just making sure that this is REALLY what I want. (I think it is.)

  3. Wow, you do have a lot going on! Lots of decisions to make. But it sounds like you are doing the work needed to make the decisions: crunching numbers, talking to friends, thinking, praying. Try to focus on one thing at a time, even if it’s just for a few minutes (easier said than done, I know). And Happy Spiritual Birthday!

    • Thank you, Tina! Doing my best to focus my energies into my revision right now– and waiting till after Big Sur to redirect that energy into the Easter event and applying to grad school! I always want to do EVERYTHING though. 🙂

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