So, I'm less than two weeks away from departing for foreign shores.
I have my passport, my luggage, my required reading, my rain coat, and a heart full of hope. About a month ago I started getting nervous about my trip, started feeling very apprehensive. I think it was just because there's been so much waiting. I found out in March that I would be taking this trip. Initially there was plenty to do: arrange for course credit, apply for financial aid, get my passport, plenty to do. After all that, there was nothing to do, but wait. It was the waiting that was anxiety producing.
Now that I'm close enough to do other preparations, the anxiety has faded.
I have so many things I want to do and see while I'm in England. Three weeks is not going to be enough. Most of my time will be spent at the university, though there's plenty to see around there (Bodleian Library, Christ Church Meadow, the Eagle and Child). On the weekends I'll be able to stray from the boundaries of Oxford. I likely won't spend any time in London, except to catch a train, but with the Olympics coming to town the week after I arrive it will be crowded and covered in too much bunting anyway.
I'll have to go back to the UK at some point. I don't just want to see more of England, I want to see Scotland, Ireland. Of course, my trip might be disillusioning, I may not like the UK as much as I think, but I have a feeling I will. My professor told me I probably won't want to come home.
Maybe I'll become like Henry James or T.S. Eliot and adopt Britain as my home and muse.
Lately though, finding inspiration hasn't been a problem. I've been working constantly and steadily on a new story while jotting down the occasional note about another idea. I also have the manuscript for my mystery novel back from my Professor with some notes. She really enjoyed it and that gives me so much confidence. When I finish my next draft, she said she will proof it for me before I start sending out queries for it. Her encouragement and belief in it being publishable are such a help to me.
I do spend much of my "writer time" alone at my desk or in a coffee shop. It's nice to share and get feedback from others. I look forward to being in a group of other young writers at Oxford. Hopefully I can make some connections to find and give support. The tutors should be a big source of support as well, they are all in writing fields and the small group sessions will hopefully make for a cozy atmosphere.