Needless to say, it made my day the other day to get the following e-mail from a former student (from my first year teaching as a first-year MFA student at the University of Minnesota):
“It was a kick to see your story today at Brevity’s website. I thought, “Is that the same Kate Hopper who taught me first year creative writing at the U?” And sure enough, I believe you are! Gosh, that was almost 10 years ago when you were a TA for Maria-somebody. Anyway, I wanted to say hello, to tell you that I enjoyed your Brevity essay, and that I think of you often. I’m finishing up my MFA now in California, but you were my first creative writing teacher, the very first person who said, “Hey, these stories are pretty good. You can do this.” Since then, I’ve published several short pieces and am working on my first book.”
I sat at my computer beaming as I read that. I know I can’t take credit for Teri’s wonderful writing or the fact she’s finishing her MFA, but maybe my words of encouragement helped set her on the writing path? Perhaps. It feels like enough to me.
And her message offers me the encouragement I need as I gear up for my two spring classes and start pulling together exercises and a schedule for the first Mother Words writing retreat. I have one spot left in my online Mother Words class, which begins on February 10th. There are also a few spots still available for the retreat (and Faith’s Lodge decided to institute a sliding scale—$300 to $500—to make it more accessible.) So if any of you have a hankering to write more this spring, sign up.