My do-it-yourself MFA consists of:
– formal and informal writing groups. with friends, and writing fellas, former co-workers, professors, and more. We read. We write. We speak our words, sometimes. It can be in a huge mansion or a intimate living room or a bookstore. It can involve treats. And tea. And coffee.
– my writing class with Minter. Always. It happens by scholarship, it is received with gratitude.
-Reading more books like what. Cut out the drivel, the fatty tv shows, and just read. It’s one of the best MFA’s not-money can buy you. I have read more than three books in the past month. Doesn’t sound like a lot until you understand that I also watched mad shows, took care of three kids, and didn’t clean my house.
– Writing hundreds of words on a semi-regular basis.
Writing plus reading plus community equals an MFA. According to DIY MFA, a rather charming website community and resource guide. Also recommended.
– doing research studies on narrative artists and writers that I am intrigued by and admire. This list includes many contemporary fiction writers, visual artists, and more. Also includes some classics. Much reading on all of them.
Stay classy, brain. Let’s get an education.
Introducing Jim Trainer. Jim will be a guest here soon, posting words from his arsenal of life. Jim is a friend of my entire family, an old roommate, a comrade, a brother, a piece of my heart. We met in West Philly, after a summer of punched walls and 22oz Heinekens with my actual brother, he crafting words and music and moments, my brother perfecting recipes with black beans and relationships with Aquarians, and me learning love in bartending, and poetry, and frayed men.
When Jim told me he was studying to be a yoga teacher, I was at first surprised. But it makes perfect sense to me. Jim brings the heartbeat of being alive to every art he explores. His music and writing struggle with the ways we move in the world, in heartbreak and loss, and in ecstatic bliss and joy. Yoga centers, it grounds itself in breath and pose, while at the same time, allowing yourself to let go of your past selves in body and mind. It brings full awareness to your personal history because each pose tells you where your strength and weakness is. Jim writes his personal history of strength and weakness into everything he does. Yoga is made for our expanding minds. We never have to be perfect, and it is continually a process. Thank you Jim Trainer, for being part of my process, and for taking us all on the journey with you.