Tales from the Hill

That is Seton Hill University of course :)  I've been in Greensburg, PA for the last four days and will be here one more before I head home.  I'm teaching a few writing classes for the MFA program of Writing Popular Fiction and also to meet with the students that I mentor.

When I drive up and yes, it's a steep tree-lined drive to get to the university, which is perched on the highest point in Greensburg, with fantastic views all around - any way, when I drive up (coming down is very interesting in winter)....I feel like I'm coming home - my inspirational home that is because I'm always super charged and ready to write after I've spent time here.  Not because the buildings are like Hogwarts and have personalities (not all good, by the way), and have ghosts (really!), but because of the people.  We all come together to learn about writing, to exchange ideas, and to help each other become better writers (yes, even the teachers - we never stop learning).  It's a creative, nurturing environment and I love it!

Seton Hill is also a Catholic University, which my mother finds my affection for the school very amusing.  You see I attended 12 years of Catholic school in Philadelphia - wore the uniform (didn't mind that), attended mass every Friday and Sunday mornings (minded that), and prayed before every class (didn't mind that too much) when I graduated high school, I promised never to go to another Catholic school again.  Er.....um......yeah.  I also swore I'd never have kids and....well....there you go.  You can't trust an 18 year old to keep her word.  Or at least, not THIS 18 year old.  (If you haven't read my short story E-Time - go read it now - here's the link:  http://www.mariavsnyder.com/e-time.php ...go on, what are you waiting for?  I'll wait for you...........

You see how I've thought about how your 18 year old self is a completely different person than your current aged self.  Unless you're a youngin - and  are 18 right now or still in your 20s then you're still a young brat...er....a young lady or gentleman. 

As for Seton Hill - we don't have to wear uniforms, but we all do anyway - they're call T-shirts and sweat shirts that are red and gold with big SHU letters across the chest :)  I found one with Griffin's volleyball on it and bought it!  The Griffin is our mascot, which works with the whole Hogwarts feel.   And we don't have to pray before every class.  So basically, it's like any other university out there except for the crucifixes in each classroom and a beautiful chapel.

And the point of this blog....er....I really didn't have a point - I just wanted to gush about my school :)  And to say that coming here twice a year feeds my writer's soul and I'm continually amazed by the support and encouragement of everyone in the program.  And the talent!  Oh and to say I had so much fun teaching Fight Scenes this residency - we learned knife fighting, self defense (it was a hand's on class), and how to write a great action scenes - it was a blast! 

Now, I'm ready to start book 2 of my Healer series - SCENT OF MAGIC.  Thanks SHU :)

Does anyone have a certain place or event that inspires you?  Or a person?

For those interested in the program here's a link:  http://www.setonhill.edu/academics/fiction/index.cfm


  1. That sounds like one amazing lesson! Practical experience like that is really invaluable. Your students are very lucky!

  2. It really does have like a modern Hogwarts feel :) It must look amazing in winter.


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