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I thought I’d be pleased if I got a chapter of Lucy Worsley’s book, The Art of the English Murder, read today…which I did this morning…but Fate had more in store for me than I expected.

Through January I made mention of a mystery application I was working on and submitted. Then in February I spent a good deal of time and energy preparing for an interview that resulted from that application. Well, I can now share what the mystery was all about. I had applied for a part-time Master’s Degree program in Creative Writing at Oxford University in England. Yes, I already have an MA in Creative Writing, but I’m ready for the next step in my academic career and it has been a life-long dream of mine to study at Oxford. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. Except that it’s Oxford…thus, extremely competitive, expensive, and far away. Still, with my husband’s support, I decided to try for it.

I felt sure that since I got a new job, which makes leaving seven weeks out of each year extremely inconvenient, and now have a rod of metal in my arm, which will make airport security even more challenging, I was sure to get accepted to the program. Alas, the Universe does not have the same sense of humor as I do…or perhaps it has a more wicked one, because after waiting almost six weeks to hear whether or not I’d be offered a spot in the program, I got the news today…while on heavy-duty pain meds and with only one working arm. It’s actually a very nice letter, courtesy of Royal Mail, but still a rejection letter, none the less

Oxford letter

So in addition to reading a chapter of Lucy Worsley’s book today, I also got to spend some time with one of a writer’s best friends…Rejection. It is my honest opinion that if you are a writer you’d better be friends with Rejection, because you’re going to spend a lot of time together. Perhaps if I didn’t already feel physically beaten up I’d feel more emotionally beaten up by this proverbial kick while I’m down, but I don’t. I turned in the best application I could, I got an interview (which is an accomplishment in and of itself…as I know from trying once before), and I remained true to myself, including my writing style and interests.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, but I’d also be lying if I said I was heart-broken and unsure what I’m supposed to do next. I know exactly what I’m I’m supposed to do…get better, start my new job, finish my book, and focus on the people who are dear to me. Because a writer’s other best friend is Resilience…which is what allowed me to type all this with one hand, a fuzzy head, and a genuine smirk.

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