Synchronicity and the Path to the Pen


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—


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.


One thought on “Synchronicity and the Path to the Pen

  1. Cori Paton says:

    Congratulations Ray!
    Wishing you the best!

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