“… my French grandmother's example of coping and making the simplest things artful(whether it's a pretty lace dress made from an old curtain or a rabbit stew with garden vegetables) has taught me that anything can be beautiful and well-made.”
Jamie Cat Callan, author and teacher
When I startedFairfield University's MFA in creative writing,I was generally prepared for the workload, for possibly being the oldest student in the program, even for the financial responsibility. I wasn't prepared for the emotional journey. Fairfield's proximity to my home in Connecticut, the great friends I made on the first day and my company's reinstitution of tuition reimbursement all made for a great start. I even lightened my freelance workload to prepare for the many reading and writing assignments.
Butler's observations this is pivotal — missing from most manuscripts is the
sense of yearning. It may be more accurate to say that some form of desire,
unexpressed or ill-expressed, may exist in many manuscripts, but falls short of
art because it's depicted through the inartistic forms of abstraction,
analysis, generalization, interpretation and summary.
"A work of art has a value in
itself. For some this principle may seem too obvious to mention, but for many
Christians it is unthinkable. And yet if we miss this point, we miss the very
essence of art. Art is not something we merely analyze or value for its
Perhaps the most pressing question
among writers I've talked with lately is how to go from craft to art. Within
this question is much that's unspoken: I'd like to leave a legacy when I depart
this earth; I'd like something to validate the struggle of being a writer who's
largely invisible; I'd like to discover something that's never been done, some
writing technique or style. Most of these longings reveal the desire for
something outside one's self, something lasting.