I am excited to report that my book, Tough Love: A Wyoming Childhood, was published this month by Pronghorn Press. The book, a collection of personal essays, began in the very classes of West Conn’s MFA program and eventually became my thesis.
The essays started out as cutesy little stories, really, nothing more than good character sketches of some of the more colorful personalities that influenced my childhood. With the help of a number of fellow students and talented writers and mentors, the pieces morphed into solid essays, works that had meat and staying power. Only with the help of those around me did my work as a whole transform into something that was publishable. Publication did happen — but not without many rejection slips along the way.
I say this to provide current students with motivation and inspiration — the graduate school experience is a growing process. You sort of start out as a baby, I think (at least I did), but through a lot of hard work and phenomenal conversation, you find yourself and your work growing, transforming, getting better.
So keep at it. And let others around you provide feedback. Be open. And watch what comes.
I will be launching my book in Wyoming next week, along with a self-published small business history I recently finished. I know Connecticut is a long way from Wyoming. But to all of those who helped get me this far, my heartfelt thanks. I miss you all.