Synchronicity and the Path to the Pen

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February 14, 2017 by Ray Yanek

Synchronicity is a mysterious, wonderful thing.

If you’ve been here before, you’re probably aware that my daughter plays travel softball.  Last year, she joined a new team and they played in a Fall Showcase tournament in St. Charles, Missouri.  As with all showcase tournaments, college coaches and scouts prowled about and I did some prowling of my own.  Humming Run-DMC songs, I would juke and jive non-nonchalantly around the people with the clipboards, trying see from which school they hailed. 

I noticed time and time again a few coaches Lindenwood University.  I had never heard of the school, so I shrugged and moved on.

A few hour later, I saw a Facebook post that a girl on my daughter’s team was at Lindenwood (which was located in St. Charles) doing a visit.

A few hours after that, while searching for a Starbucks, I took a wrong turn.  I took a wrong turn and just happened to drive by the campus of Lindenwood University.  My wife and I laughed, thinking maybe God was not-so-gently pointing to a possible school for my daughter.

We were wrong.

A few months later, back at home, that restless feeling I sometimes get reared its head. Things felt flat and just felt off again, like something wasn’t totally right.  Other than when I was with my family, the only spark of magic I felt was when I was writing.  In years past, I’ve considered looking into MFA creative writing programs as a way to improve my writing and as a way to give a career in a writing a focus and push start.

 But I always balked.  

Hit by tuition / sticker shock, I feared there was no way I could afford it.   Most of the low-residency programs required a few weeks a year on campus which would require travel (which wasn’t a terrible thing…) but would add even more expense.  Fear held me back too.  Fear and self-doubt.   Maybe I wasn’t good enough. Maybe I would get rejected.  Maybe all of that writing business was self-delusion.  So I would pack that dream away, like I always had, and go back to the day-to-day.

So I thought I knew where all of this would ultimately lead, but I was bored.  I fired up the computer  ran the same search I had run four or five times over the years for low-residency MFA’s programs. I revisited all the schools I had researched before, but then— I paused.  This time, there was a school I could not for the life of me ever remember seeing before—

Lindenwood.

No shit.  Lindenwood.

It’s not a new program.  It has a strong history, but if I had ever seen it before it never stuck with me.  This time though it was kind of hard to pass up.

I clicked and excitement welled in my chest.  The course offerings looked amazing; the reading lists in the  lit classes covered authors I had always wanted to study; the faculty was experienced and well-published, and the price was right.  No residency was required (kind of a bummer) but the program offered a discount to teachers–of which I just happened to be one.

I am utterly thrilled to say that, yesterday,  I received an acceptance letter welcoming me into the MFA in Creative Writing program at Lindenwood University.
Synchronicity, man.  Weird, magical, wonderful stuff.

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One thought on “Synchronicity and the Path to the Pen

  1. Cori Paton says:

    Congratulations Ray!
    Wishing you the best!

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