Happy Chrismukkah!

Actually I never heard the term Chrismukkah until today, when I searched for a good hashtag for Tweeting my latest Gray Matters article, Christmas for non-Christians.  It’s interesting that I have used my feelings about family Christmases in so many genres with such different approaches.  I will probably never publish the essay from my MFA thesis, in which I express […]

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I just vant to be alone

While I was working on my MFA I had to share feedback with fellow students and mentors. That is, of course, a huge part of the program. I generally feel ambivalent about it. When I feel people haven’t understood what I meant I struggle to slow myself down and listen carefully to their comments. It ranges from difficult to exhausting. […]

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That’s Master of Fine Arts to you bro!

After three years and much self-doubt, procrastination and shaky focus, on August 2 I finally earned my MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College. My perspective on the program shifted throughout those years, which included two semesters leave when I started working at CAIR, but in the end I cranked out just enough pages to graduate (the requirement is 150; my thesis was 151) and now I have some pretty good material to polish and publish. I don’t know if it will ever become a book. My brain is resting today and tomorrow I go back to my new full-time job of freelancing. The great news is that last week I got my first gig. I’ll be writing a biweekly column on civil rights for MuslimMatters. More about that when it is official.

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Making myself sick

I can’t believe myself.  It has been so difficult for me to get serious about finishing my thesis. Every time I get going I let something stop me. A couple nights ago I finally buckled down and stayed up till 1 am or so working on the section that I will submit TOMORROW for the anthology compiled of all graduating students’ work. The next day I was sick all day.  I actually went home from the office.  I think it was partly the apnea that has plagued me since I gained weight, but it also just felt like I can’t handle pressuring myself anymore.  It’s like being out of shape (which I am).  I didn’t feel well the next day either, and today I actually had a fever.  Maybe they’re not all connected.  I feel like I’m not up to the stress of “cramming” like I was when I was in college, which was actually in 2002.  Yes, I got my bachelor’s degree at the age of 41.  While I completed it I worked two jobs.  I had energy for everything, although one significant difference was that I had classes with syllabi and homework and grades, whereas the MFA is all on my own. I have to get in shape – in every way, including writing. My next deadline is tomorrow, when I must email the excerpt for the anthology.  I am trying to follow the advice I’ve read about […]

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The end is in sight

I finally got (or finally understood, or a combination of both) the schedule of key dates for my fourth, last, final and ultimate semester at Goucher. What it boils down to is that I have a couple months to write like a madwoman and God willing on August 2 I will be a proud Gopher walking in commencement.  Hopefully I’ll […]

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