Hi guys! I feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to hit the ground running after our last class! I love the breakout rooms and the different activities we get to participate in. I find it really productive and it helps me to get the wheels turning. I also love hearing from all of you in a more intimate and personal way. At this point we’re all very comfortable with one another, but I think we still all benefit from the one one one or small group time that we share. Hearing in great detail about each of your thesis works, makes me feel more inspired and less alone. We all share many of the same fears and insecurities, regardless of what our particular projects are. We also share in the small triumphs and moments of clarity that we find throughout this process. Again, this all helps to propel me in the direction I need to go in to complete The Seashell.

Next up I’ll try my best to map out exactly what I’m working on going forward. After all the amazing feedback from Dr. Zamora last class, I have a clearer direction and plan of action in place. First, let me say I took a huge sigh of relief and a major exhale when I got the green light on the status of my literature review. Phew! I’m so thankful it looks clear, organized and categorized cohesively. I worked hard on it, but I had my doubts. My brain doesn’t do the research side as well as it does the actual creative writing side. I learned that the hard way in Dr. Nelson’s class! However, I surprised myself. I worked hard, did my best and earned a awesome grade that I’m proud of. Not to mention a completed proposal I also take great pride in.

So from here on out, I feel more at ease. I can drop my shoulders, unclench my jaw, and exhale a little more easily while continuing to push on. My next steps include: Creating new chapters and revising my existing chapters. Writing and allowing my story to evolve naturally and organically (thanks Em’s). No forcing, pushing, or putting any unneeded pressure on myself to create a “perfect” last chapter, which I know doesn’t exist. This is my story to tell, and that within itself is powerful enough to drive my story to exactly where it needs to be. From the beginning, middle and the end. If I don’t believe in my work, then who else will? Below is a small “map” or simple outline of what I’m working on going forward. ciao guys, see ya in class! Xo

*Table of Contents

*Chapters 1-10

*Some Chapter names include: Riptide, Brotherly Love, Tangled Roots, Oh Heavenly Father, Echoes.

*Prologue or No Prologue?


*Estimated page total: 100

*Final Thesis Presentation

See the source image

Thesis Denouement

It seems like just yesterday I sent an email to Dr. Zamora to inquire about the MA program here at Kean University.  Now I am in the last semester of this program and am drawing near the end of my thesis, and it all seems so surreal in a way.  Crazy.  Over break, I took some much needed time to decompress where I could, as my job got much busier and more intense as we entered the heart of the holiday season.  I had the chance to spend the holidays with my family and do some things that I wanted to do (finish watching Supernatural, continue working on my tattoo sleeve.)  My project, however, was never far from my mind.

I did make sure that I carved out some time to sit down and think about where I go from here with my thesis.  For me, the most important thing was to map out my story and get a final sense of the events and the order in which they are going to happen.  Now, some of these things can change depending on how these first few weeks of continued development play out, but the bulk of the story is definitely set, leaving me with the task of simply sitting down and writing it (piece of cake, right?)  

Mapping out my semester, I think the most important thing for me, especially early on in this semester is that I commit to writing for about two hours at a minimum a week to start, just to ensure that I do not drift too far away from it.  Allowing my classmates and Dr. Zamora in to see my progress and listen to their suggestions is going to be a large cog in the machine that is the production of my thesis.  I have reached the stage where feedback is the most important asset that we have in this class to make sure we are heading down the right track.  As far as timelines or deadlines that I have thought about for myself, I do not want to restrict myself or put myself under any more pressure than there is already attached to this project, so I am not going to give hard dates on when I expect to reach certain milestones.  Just want to let it all come to me as it comes.    

That’s all I have for you guys.  See you all tonight!

Mapping Out My Thesis & My Life…

Happy New Year guys! I’m so excited to be back in class and to see all of your smiling faces again! Stinks that it’s still onscreen and not in real life, but hey, I’ll take what I can get at this point. I’m sure 2021 will be kinder to us all! Alas, this is it, the home stretch! I can’t believe we’re on the verge of completing our thesis and graduating with our MA! But of course we still have more work to do before we can officially celebrate. I have no doubts we can do it and do it well! #GoUs! Having the unconditional love and support from this KUWP family has been the greatest gift! You guys, Dr. Zamora included, give me strength, ease my self doubts and push me forward in this sometimes uncertain journey. Believe me it doesn’t go unnoticed. I love you guys and THANK YOU.

Okay, so now back to business! As far as where I’ve been in my thesis voyage so far: I’ve made it past family traumas and hard truths, and past my inner demons and haunting memories. I’ve made it to the other side, full of hope and humbled by my long, yet healing journey through my mental illness. I still have my bad days but the good ones have been out weighing the bad. I pray this healing and peace continues. Always knowing full well, my mental health will ebb and flow throughout my entire life. I’m always hyper aware, and super conscience of this fact but I’m learning to let go and just take it one day at a time. Through writing my thesis so far, it’s helped me build up my armor. I’m ready and more prepared for whatever battles may lie ahead.

As far as where I need to go in my continuing thesis journey I have to push on in creating and naming each of my chapters and deciding what my final chapter will be. What do I want to say and leave my reader feeling and thinking and processing? This question semi haunts me, but I’m trying not to get ahead of myself. I had a lovely conversation with Emily this past weekend and she gave me some great advice. She said to just keep writing and revise later. I plan to do just that with my final chapter. I will continue to write and let it evolve naturally. As I’ve mentioned before in class discussions and during my thesis presentation last semester, I was inspired by the memoir: Heartberries by Terese Mailhot. I’ve been emulating and using her format and style as my blueprint in my own memoir writing process. I will go into more details about this during my upcoming presentation. Stay tuned! Xo