Alicia Williams!! (loud applause, whistles, cheers) The standing O only happens in my daydreams, or for a character in a future novel.

Moving on…

Hello fellow bloggers and readers! (I’m typing, deleting and re-typing this next line–on with it!) I’m a graduate student in Hamline Univeristy’s program for Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults. I absolutely love it. Just think, I almost didn’t apply… (twinkling music for backstory)

In November 2010, I attended the National Black Storyteller’s Conference in cold Minneapolis. As I passed by the booth, I sped up thinking it was one of those pushy sales people from Sprint or AT&T. A quick glance and I saw it: Hamline University. This was the program that author, Jewell Parker Rhodes, suggested that I apply to. I literally heard the angels singing, “Ahhhh, Hamline…” The magestic cheribums took me by the arms and led me to the table. Mary Rockcastle and Eleanora Tate greeted me with enthusiasm and kindness. Mary informed me that the application deadline was extended to Nov. 30th. It was meant to be. Right?

Wrong. I didn’t believe in myself enough to actually apply to the school. I was one of those fradulent writers. I walked around saying, “I’m a writer,” but never actually putting pen to paper. I thought I’d be clever. I sent Mary a nice email thanking her for our meeting, but I couldn’t get in touch with Jewell for a letter of recommendation. Oh well, I tried to apply.

Outsmarted by Mary Rockcastle. She replied saying to send a work sample to Eleanora. Every excuse I gave, Mary countered. (She must be a chess player!)

After all my excuses were removed, I applied. The week of Christmas I received a phone call from Anika. “Congratulations…” I couldn’t believe it! Me? Acceped into graduate school? To be a writer?

Ladies and gentlemen, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life thus far. I hope to enlighten you with my lessons, make you laugh and invite you to grow with me.