Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ragdale Revisited: The Acceptance

It was about this time (actually January) last year that I was awarded a two week residency at The Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois in the area of creative non-fiction writing. For the next 14 days, I will republish the e-mails I sent to family and friends to keep them abreast of my adventures. Also you can visit the Ragdale site by clicking here.

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Today while I was visiting with my therapist, catching up after several weeks off, we talked about my application to Ragdale. I told him that I hadn’t heard about the application yet but that I was content to wait until they contacted me one way or the other. I was content.

They had a date by which acceptances would be made, when I applied in May I called, found out the date by which decisions would be made, and eagerly waited to hear. The decision date came and went and I heard nothing. I called Ragdale and left a message. A call was returned letting me know that I had not been accepted but that they always encourage their applicants to try again. Sure enough the next day my letter of rejection arrived in the mail.

I applied again in August after changing some of the details and wording of my Artists Statement. Work Plan, and Resume as well as eliminating some and adding other essays, poems, etc to my twenty page writing sample. I really was content to wait until I heard without any need to obsess, anticipate, worry, hope, whatever. Sure enough, they say “Sometimes just talking about it, makes it happen.” At approximately the same time, 11:30 am on Thursday December 10, as I was discussing Ragdale with my therapist, a call and then voicemail arrived announcing and congratulating my acceptance to a residency at Ragdale.

Listening to the voicemail in Aisle 2 at Whole Foods I cried. What a validation. What recognition. What joy. What a wonderful Christmas Present. I believe in my writing and enjoy the craft and art of it, I enjoy re-reading what I have written, and I enjoy sharing my writing with close family and friends. I have written enough over the last four or five years and can say that I think I have “developed a voice” in my writing. You hear that said about other authors and now a committee of artistic, knowledgeable, successful people have sat and read what I have written and deemed it worthy of having a larger audience. They have recognized in “my voice” the potential to share with a larger audience. And I am honored. And I am humbled. And I am grateful for this opportunity.

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