Tag Archives: writing class

Third Week of Graduate School

Workshop Class

Tuesdays, we discuss the art of crafting long fiction (because we are critiquing the chapters of our novels) so the first part is a lecture and the second half is saved for workshopping classmates’ work. Our instructor discussed the myriad ways an author can choose to start his/her chapters in a novel. While he discussed the possibilities, I wrote down notes for my story, already mixing up my flow for my novel. If anything, every time I walk into class, my brain whirs with information, absorbing and instantly applying those techniques to my work. Can you tell I’m still excited about this experience after my third week? Continue reading


My future writing life

The last time I mentioned the MFA, I had accepted admission to Mills College. Well…almost a month later, USF called me to tell me I was accepted! I mean, how did that even happen to me? Even now, I can’t believe I was accepted to the only two schools I applied to. Imagine if I had applied to other schools across the country? But I wasn’t about moving again, so I was happy with my decision. Continue reading

On The Move

A few weeks ago, I applied to the last full residency program on my list (with three low residency programs left). Getting over a sickness, adjusting to Bay Area life after visiting my parents in the Dominican Republic, starting up a writing group, attending the SF Writer’s Conference volunteer meeting, running a 5K, tutoring for Reading Partners, catching up with friends And being part of a book club were only a few of the things happening while finishing up my application.
Continue reading


I’m currently enrolled in three UC Berkeley Extension classes to obtain my Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Writing. Sitting in my Tuesday evening class, I wondered, Is my enthusiasm for the craft more than my actual talent for writing?
Continue reading

The Artist’s Way

Artist's WayAuthor: Julia Cameron

The first time I did The Artist’s Way, I was in my mid-twenties and in a rut. I had writer’s block and was stuck in all arenas of my life. I was working in film production and was all about it but still skeptical. My brother had a copy of this book and I did the 12 week program with a meetup group years ago in NYC.  Continue reading

Creative Energy

Last night, I hung out with a friend I made when I was in film production. Every time I hang out with her, I am inspired to create. I feel the same way after a writing workshop, meeting, or panel I attend. Creative people omit energy that can’t be described. I know because I feel it and maybe I omit the same thing too.

On Monday night, I met two women that told me I look like a writer. I’ve never heard me described as a “writer” before. I don’t know what a writer looks like but I was filled with pride and glee. I’ve awakened my creative energy and I’m no longer shying away from my passion. Maybe it’s because I see writing/creativity/imagination in everything now more than ever, and am writing everything down that those women saw that in me? Whatever the case may be, I was proud to be seen as a writer.

Writing is such a solitary activity, ya know? So when you connect with a fellow creative person, you feed off of each other’s energy and push each other to keep going.

I look forward to making the time to create with my friend and other fellow writers. There’s nothing like a collective artistic force banding together and making art.


On Tuesday night, I attended my writing workshop at the Frederick Douglass Arts Center (FDCAC), which I learned has been open for forty years. Holy cow – forty years? Really? It really is the city’s best kept secret but I digress.

We had two new additions to our group (originally five including the instructor) bringing our class to seven people. An intimate class with people really interested in the craft of writing.

Our discussion revolved around the two stories we read for class as homework: “Water Child” by Edwidge Danticat and an excerpt from Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. I particularly enjoyed the discussion because it went beyond what worked and didn’t (like in a workshop) but rather focused on the devices, phrases, and words these writers used to illustrate the mood, emotion, significance, and tone in each piece. These are the kinds of things not ever discussed in writing workshops – the ones I’ve attended focused on peer work and there is an assumption that the people recognize what makes fiction work.

As I listened and contributed to the discussion, my stomach was fuzzy inside with pride; these would be the kind of discussions I’ll be having in my MFA program! I am overjoyed with the anticipation of being accepted into a program. Even if I don’t, I would be more than happy to take cycle after cycle after cycle of any class at the FDCAC. The energy in the room was supportive, creative, and most importantly, positive with absolutely no trace of ego.

You know how you learn something new everyday? Today, I learned (and will write somewhere in capped letters for me to remember) that “Every word has weight” in a piece of fiction. I’ve been approaching my writing the wrong way all along. I’ve been too caught up in story, trying to be clever, and the end result while ignoring the reason I want to write; I want to connect my experience with the world. And I have to be honest and truthful with how I convey my message in a way that’s meaningful without trying too hard (because it shows).

What a wonderful session that was. My writing class is definitely the highlight of my week. Looking forward to next week! 🙂

Please tell people about FDCAC! So worth it!