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Book Update | Submitted My Emerging Voices Fellowship Application

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I did it! I submitted my PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship application last Monday. It was an exciting feeling putting everything together and sending it off. The post office employee actually asked me if I was sending a book and I sort of was. It was only the first 20 pages of my memoir, but I had to put together 5 copies of the entire application which included the 20 pages, short answer questions, professional CV, 2014 tax summary, (2) letters of recommendation, and a $10 application fee. It was a thick piece of mail that’s for sure.

My husband has been my sounding board for all my nervous energy. He listens to me talk about how difficult it is writing this personal story and tells me not to get discouraged if I don’t get the Fellowship (he’s completely right and completely amazing). This is the first time I’ve ever submitted my work to be judged. Whoever looks at my submission will be the first to read a large portion of my memoir. It’s actually quite scary when I think about it. A person I don’t know will be judging what I’ve written. Their opinions will determine if I get to participate in this Fellowship.

If I don’t get it this year, there’s always next year or the year after. Now that I know about this great program I’m going to keep applying until I get it.

Now I just have to wait until October when they inform the finalists. I really hope I get this Fellowship because I think it will help me develop a clearer picture of my memoir and help me finish a first draft.

Book Update | Excerpt From My Memoir

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Today I’m going to share with you a few small paragraphs from my memoir. Keep in mind this is very rough and you are the first to see this and no editors have tweaked it. Who knows if this will end up in the book if and when it gets published (I hope it eventually gets published).

I feel certain that the story and journey I had with my mom needs to be told because it might bring comfort to those who may have gone through the same things or something similar.

Excerpt From My Memoir (Title TBD)

I had a mother once and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. The smallest things remind me of her. The angel teddy bear I keep in my car.  A woman at the grocery store with curly brown hair.  A television show. For a long time, these little reminders were big stabs in my heart and it would feel like something was pressing down on my lungs. That’s when I couldn’t hold the floodgates and was certain she could feel my sobs from wherever she may have gone.  She may have been able to feel the pain I felt. The sorrow I felt. The loneliness I felt.  As the years rolled by, these little reminders became less and less heart wrenching.  In time they would only make my eyes tear up and I’d wipe it away before they had a chance to roll down my cheek. Sometimes I would even smile when something reminded me of her, but it’s been a long and trying road to get to that point.  

Now they are mere acknowledgements that I had a mother.  I had a mother who kept an angel teddy bear in her car.  I had a mother with curly brown hair and soft blue eyes. I had a mother who’d sit and watch TV with us. I want everyone to know I had a mother who wasn’t perfect, but she was still my mother.

Book Update | Wish Me Luck!

i-am-a-writer

In a mere 26 days, I will be submitting the first 20 pages of my memoir for a chance to be chosen for the 2016 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship.

The Fellowship includes the following:

  • Professional Mentorship
  • Enrollment in classes at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program (one 12-week course & a one-day workshop)
  • Attending Author Evenings
  • Enrollment in one genre-specific Masters Class
  • Completion of a 25-hour volunteer project
  • Voice Instruction Class to read work in recording studio & receive instruction on reading publicly
  • Participation in (3) public readings
  • Stipend

This is (by far) one of the scariest, most thrilling things I will do to get my book finished and get it published. I’m sure all you published (and even non-published) authors understand me when I say the part that scares me the most is having other people judge my work, but with a memoir they will also be judging my life and my experiences.

Even though I’m scared and nervous and anxious, I’m also very excited to see if I get this Fellowship. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing and gain valuable experience, all while working on my memoir.

So over the next 26 days I may be MIA from my blog, but know that I’ll be back in full force after I’ve had the chance to make my 20 pages good enough to submit.

If you want more information on this Fellowship please follow this link: Emerging Voices Fellowship

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