Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Artistic Goals- A letter application for a writing retreat

September 26, 2008

My name is Lydia and I’m thirty-one years of age. I’ve been married to my wonderful and supportive husband for almost three years. In February of last year we had our daughter. Motherhood has been the best ride of my life. Hard and seems impossible at times until she smiles or laughs, than I thank God for the gift of a child. We live in the Gulf Coast area of Mississippi. Being born and raised on the West Coast, moving here has been a huge change. I am really enjoying the South however, and eventually would like the chance to travel.

To explain my writing endeavors, I would like to share an experience with you. When I was a young girl I often thought of becoming a writer. When speaking to my parents about this they encouraged me to go for it. They told me to work hard and no matter what I wanted, if I worked hard enough, I would accomplish it. I have fantastic parents and hope to be like them with Amelia.

I began writing poetry first. To be honest, I don’t even remember how old I was. Poetry is an art that I’ve always valued and enjoyed writing. I remember sharing my poetry with my parents and the look on their faces as they read it. It brought them great joy. I don’t know if they were smiling because it was so horrible or if it was because they knew how hard I had worked at it. I would venture to say it was the latter. The thing is, the reason they were smiling and enjoying my poetry didn’t matter to me as much as the thought that my poetry had made them feel something. That was the beginning of my addiction to writing.

I continued my writing of poetry and attempted at times to write essays and prose. Failed attempts did not affect me because I kept hearing my parents’ words…”if you work hard enough at it you will accomplish it.”

When I was about nine years old my grandfather passed away. He had been living with my parents and I. My mother and I were home at the time of his death. For a nine year old it was a strange and scary moment. I had nightmares and was afraid to be in the house where he had died. I had difficulties in school as well as trouble dealing with all the emotions I had. As things do, with time, it got better. We moved to another house and soon I was back to ‘normal’.

It wasn’t until eight years later that I wrote about that day. It was for an assignment in my literature class. My teacher was Ms. Symms; she was one of those fantastic life changing teachers. She wrote amazing notes in the margins, asking me to “enrich my imagery” and to add more “noise and voice” to my writing. I received an A on the assignment, but that wasn’t the best part. I’ll never forget the way I felt when she handed me my paper and told me that my story had moved her to tears.

(A side note: I was able to reconnect with Ms. Symms years later and let her know just how important she was and is in my life. We hugged and cried together. It was an amazing experience all around.)

I had taken a moment in time that was deeply powerful and painful, but necessary to write about and I had moved someone else with my words. That was the most exhilarating feeling and from that moment on I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to share myself through words, hopefully moving others to feel things they’ve may never have felt before.

I have since completed many more poems, articles, one one-act play and a screenplay. My goal right now is trying to have a more regimen writing schedule since Amelia was born. I’ve got a third possibly a half of my first novel completed and it is burning inside me to finish it.

It is for that reason that I would adore and treasure the time spent at Wellspring House. To focus my thoughts, do further research, and get my novel on its way to completion.

Thank you immensely for taking the time to consider my application.


  1. I am amazed and somewhat saddened that I never knew ONE bit of this. Lydia!! I will honestly admit to always thinking of your desire to write as something fanciful, conjured up by some romantic movie you saw or some such thing. In all of our years of knowing each other and being best friends to one another, this was something I haven't been aware of. Amazing when you think of it isn't it? No matter how well we know someone, there is always more to learn! It makes me wonder why we share the things we do, and why we don't share the others. Now I'm wondering if I'm just too much of an open book! Maybe I should work on being more of a woman of mystery...
    Love you - keep it up!

  2. Congratulations for keeping it up! You're fortunate to be comfortable in so many different genres. How interesting that you were at Wellspring -- it's a hop, skip, & a jump from my town!