I’m sitting at a chintzy desk at the Best Western in Murray, KY. While I was pleased with myself for securing a room rate of $50 a night (thanks AAA) it is true that you get what you pay for. Two of the lamps don’t work. The cable is in and out and the shower leans towards freezing. For two nights it was fine, but if I ever come back to Murray, I’m going with Hampton Inn.
I’m finished with my thesis, except for a few revisions I have to make over the course of the next month or so. These revisions are mostly to my preface, which is fine because that was the part that gave me the most trouble. The revisions are more than manageable in a months time, which is how long I have to make them. I’ve passed. I feel good.
The defense itself was enjoyable and I felt very calm going into it. I felt like I got a lot of good feedback and that I have some things to work on as I go back to writing without the constant mentoring of my committee.
Last night, I gave a reading with the only other defender last night. It was fun and the most nerve wracking part of the day. Afterward, we went to the Faculty Club and a few of us continued on to The Apple. The Apple is the only real bar in Murray, which is a dry county, and tends to have a specific point in the evening when the patrons become a little rowdy. It was a good way to end the evening.
As is the case, when most things are over, it is bittersweet. I’m proud that I’ve finished this third degree and that I have a manuscript that I can move forward with. I look forward to writing and reading more on my own schedule and sending some work out for publication. I will miss the community that I found here in Murray and the excellent mentorship that I benefited from. I hope to keep the connections that I’ve made here.
What’s next? It seems appropriate to ponder this question in light of the new year. Keep writing, keep reading, keep sending work out and polishing up this manuscript that I have. I’m attending AWP in February and I think that will be a good place to meet people and make connections. I also plan to explore the Indianapolis writing community more now that I have time. I think this is a question I’ll come back to a lot in the next year.