A Literary Adventure
A few months ago, one of my writing friends, Heidi Fettig Parton, invited me to join her for a week-long writing seminar in Dingle, Ireland offered through Bay Path University’s Creative Nonfiction Writing MFA program. I love to travel and am always on the lookout for opportunities to write so I didn’t have to think for long before deciding to apply. That said, I was nervous about applying as I don’t have my MFA and am not working on one and worried I would be out of my league with other grad school students. Will my writing be good enough? I wondered. Would the other writers with their advanced education be all hoity-toity and I’ll feel intimidated? Heidi assured me that everyone in the program is down to earth and wonderful and that I would fit right in. So I decided to apply to see if attending was an option.
I sent in a writing sample (a travel piece titled Unbothered Rest) to one of the program leaders, Suzanne Strempek Shea, and soon thereafter received a most exciting email from Suzanne saying “Please come to Ireland.” I decided to say YES!
I invited my husband, Owen, to join me on the adventure and started planning. Thanks to my awesome boss, Jessica, and my wonderful co-workers, at Content Bookstore, I was able to get more time off from work. My week off for a writing seminar turned into a grand 20 day Literary Adventure!
Planning and Packing
The writing seminar was scheduled for July 30 through August 7th. I figured I could add on some travel days before and possibly after the seminar. First, I added on a few days before the seminar to see some literary sights in Dublin. Then I decided to see if I could sneak in a short trip to Wales to visit my distance cousin. And how about another add-on after the writing seminar? It’s been my dream to attend The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (a huge musical event featuring lots of bagpipes and drums) in Scotland for over 26 years. Could I sneak in the Tattoo and some Scottish literary sights into this trip as well? YES!
There’s a lot to plan for such a big adventure. I will admit, I started figuring out what to pack in my suitcase in mid-April. Um, yeah, that’s a bit early to figure out what to pack but I had oh so many questions! What shoes should I bring? Do I need waterproof shoes? Can I fit everything in a carry-on? What do I pack for a jacket? Do I need a waterproof jacket or just water resistant?(spoiler alert – waterproof is the answer!) I like traveling with a carry-on bag instead of checking a bag. It’s a challenge to fit everything into one bag plus a small personal item. I’m happy to say managed to make it work! I took notes and pictures of what I packed and will share some of what worked and what didn’t work with you in blog posts to come.
I got back from my grand adventure yesterday afternoon.
Today, I am rather jet lagged but have managed to do some laundry. Owen and my son, Ryan (who took care of the house and our dog, Rocket, while we were away – thank you, Ryan!) went out to get groceries. Tomorrow I head back to work. I’ll start writing up some blog posts about what all happened on our trip. Oh, and I also plan to update my essays page of my website with links to three of my essays that were published in the last couple of months. I meant to do that a month or so ago. But, well, I was thinking about what to pack for my Literary Adventure!