The prelude to happiness…


It hasn’t been a week yet. I still can’t process it. And I don’t have the patience to build suspense… I got into Long Island University!!! I will be studying Creative Writing!!! In New York!!! Apologies for the exclamation mark overdose. Scratch that. I’m not even sorry. AHHH!!!

Is this what the prelude to happiness sounds like? I’m just imagining myself living the writer’s life in the Big Apple after magical Paris and fair Verona. Writing 24/7. Telling stories upon stories, watching them pour out of me like the most recent short story I’ve been working on. It’s funny, really, this sudden realization that practice makes perfect. This sudden desire to write voraciously and not exclusively on my novel. On something new and refreshing.

Is it the motivation that springs from the upcoming MFA? It most certainly plays a big role but there is something else, too. The excitement to tell new stories. The sun breaking through the clouds. Despite the multiple POV nature of my novel (still on its third draft, by the way) and the possibility to explore so many characters, I realize I needed to step away before I could step back in, enriched and refreshed. One step back, two steps forward.

Starting small worked. Three-line tales. 99-word flash fics. 2000-word short stories. The latter is being created for the Spring Writing Contest run by The Write Practice and I am so eager to share it with you, but it’ll have to wait until it is published (win or lose, you get published.)

I will share the premise with you because I’ve never written anything like this before and because a little pride and self-love are too and far between in a writer’s life.

The spirited main character of a book becomes self-aware and finds out she is scheduled to die at the end of the novel. She doesn’t know how many pages her writer intends to write but as she counts down to the inevitable – or is it? – she plots her survival.

So now I have a few months to prepare (mentally and physically – uprooting my whole life again and moving across the pond is bound to be my most exciting experience yet) and I’m asking for advice.

How do you guys think I should best prepare for an MFA in creative writing? My guess is keep using that brain and do as many prompts as I can handle but I would also like to try my hand at more writing contests (ideally, without going broke because… New York, people!)



9 responses to “The prelude to happiness…

  1. Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! Your delight has put a smile on my face. I’m so pleased to be able to share your triumph – and your premise sounds fascinating.

    (I’ve never wanted to go to NYC, but this blog has changed my mind. You might be interested.


  2. I am so thrilled for you, Ellie, because I know it’s something you really wanted. Does that mean I’ll have to come to NY to deliver my book, instead of Italy?
    Frankly, I would never make any suggestions as to how you should focus your efforts. And the reason I say that is because we’re all different, and what works for me wouldn’t necessarily work for you. Just do what feels right. Bearing in mind how things have changed for you over the last couple of years, I suspect doing what feels right has worked for you so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes absolutely, it means you’ll either have to hurry up and deliver your book in Italy, or take longer and deliver it in New York. Tough choice.
      Love your advice, Graeme! Following my instinct has led me here and I do have some ideas in mind – I shall explore them all!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It may well depend on when I’ve got the time to get away (a lot happening here right now). I’ll come back to you on that.
        Good to see you sounding so positive


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