Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Debra Marquart


This creative thesis is a compilation of essays about life; it includes memoir, personal essay, and literary journalism. It explores challenges, crises, and triumphs with honesty and humor. The outcomes of some stories are well-established; others continue to evolve. In nonfiction, the stories must be true. Indeed, the characters and situations described herein are real. Memories are as accurate as possible, given that our memories are not permanent records of events. The characters in these stories have my absolute respect although my depictions of some situations may be less than admirable. Many of these people are family-husband, parents, children, and grandchildren-and my purpose is never to criticize or disparage anyone. My only purpose is to share my stories as I experienced them. My hope is that readers will relate to some of these stories and appreciate the honesty, and perhaps find solace, comic relief, or even inspiration in them.


This thesis is restricted to USM access only.