This past Monday was my first day of school! I had been looking forward to it ever since I received my acceptance letter back in the spring, and during these last couple of weeks I was starting to get butterflies, even though the courses I’m taking are all online. On Monday afternoon, though, when I logged in to the virtual classroom and discovered our first “lectures” and assignments, I felt downright giddy. I love school!
Can I afford to take on a second Masters degree at this point in my life? Probably not, but that’s not a good enough reason to not go for it. The way I see it, this Master of FINE Arts degree is exactly the sort of kick in the butt I need at this point in my life, and honestly I don’t see how I can afford not to go for it. It’s Creative Writing. It’s what I should have gone for right from the start, and while I don’t regret the experience and knowledge I gained while obtaining my last two degrees, I do recognize the irony of my thinking, way back in 1996, that it would be smarter to save time and money by getting a Literary Studies degree from UTD, which accepted my Associates degree intact, rather than a Creative Writing degree from SMU, which required that I take an extra semester of coursework.
Anyhoo, the past is the past. It’s all about the Now, and my now rocks. For my first assignment, I’m supposed to write a detailed analysis of the short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce, including the author’s techniques, his play with time and space, and his approach to conveying information vital to the story in few words. I had read this story before, but I’d never analyzed it in depth. Now I’m seeing all kinds of stuff I never realized was in there. I’m taking it all apart, down to the verb tenses, passive/active voice, and paragraph size. And, in order to fully understand the physical movements going on in the story, I had to sketch out the scene. I’ve got three pages of notes just itching to be sculpted into a composition. I’m ready to rumble!
The next assignment is to rewrite the story as a flash fiction piece with a maximum length of 500 words. That’s gonna hurt, I think, but hey. No pain, no gain, right? Please remind me of this in a couple of months when I’m sweatin’ to get some major assignment turned in before midnight. I can’t wait!