I woke up the other morning with a Joycean epiphany.
The funny part is that I don't remember actually getting the idea to do this. It's as if it was already in my head, like I'd had it a long time ago and suddenly, there it was. It was like remembering a Seinfeld quote: I hadn't forgotten it, I just hadn't used it recently.
As some of you may know, when you get rejected from things (i.e. things don't end up going the way you want) everybody has a suggestion or some advice they think you ought to know. Most of it is hard to hear: "You should consider the circus," or "Have you ever considered becoming a minority woman?"
However, the reason the next idea was already in my head is because I'd heard it a few times. And each time, I pass it by, trailing off like Chief Wiggum when asked if the dogs are going to simply find Milhouse, or devour him. "You just kind of trailed off there," the Van Houtens say.
"Yeah, I kinda did there, didn't....." as he trails off again.
The idea? A Low Residency MFA program. Chris Merrill suggested it at Matt Hart's reading at Prairie Lights back in March, and I sort of ignored it, thinking I'd never be able to get away from work to do anything, let alone pieces of an MFA program.
However, there are several advantages for me: I can keep my job and actually afford to go through a program, especially if I'm not living off a program's funding.
I'm already having to be sort of "self-motivated" with writing as there is, essentially, no reason to do it other than wanting to do it. This could continue that trend while turning it into a degree.
Warren Wilson seems to have a decent program. Not only are they heavy into criticism, but they also have 10 day residencies, which could work out great for me.
Anyone who reads this have an opinion on low res programs? This is something I just started really thinking about, so any ideas are very welcome.