Tonight I gave my thesis reading/ defense at Seton Hill University as one of the requirements for obtaining my Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction. My thesis novel, THE GENERAL'S SON, about the 16th Century Medici family seemed well received. I passed.
The music from the wedding of Cosimo de Medici and Eleonora de Toledo played as a Powerpoint slide show flashed on the screen. I displayed one of my 16th Century gowns-- a recreation of Eleonora's gown from the Bronzino portrait of Eleonora with her son Giovanni.
Leslie Davis Guccione, my first reader and thesis mentor -- how does this woman look flawless after a drive from Boston?-- introduced me. My original mentor, Barbara Miller, wore the Cosimo de Medici tee shirt that I gave her for Christmas. I was thrilled when Lee McClain, the director of our WPF program, stayed for my whole thesis presentation. She is a very busy lady and she could have been anywhere else.
Very cool. Of course I did not relax until started talking. Then it was all down hill. You couldn't shut me up. It was wonderful that my critique partners Rich Snyder, Jennifer Hoffmann and Emilie Bishop were there. And the Tuesday girls and Annie Madison.. And Shelley Bates and Karen Williams. Who have I missed?
I raffled off two small wooden boxes-- very Renaissance-ish-- as prizes. Also gave away glittery necklaces to every audience member. Hey, the Medici were all about jewels.
It was a great, but draining experience.
Tomorrow I do a teaching module on Researching for Novelists/ how to create a back story.
Graduation is on Sunday afternoon. I will be receiving my second diploma from Seton Hill. It has been a wonderful experience. I wish I could do it again!