• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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Switched MFA Program to Seton Hill Writing Popular Fiction!

Exciting things are happening in 2018! After my last residency at FDU, and subsequent semester, I decided to switch MFA programs. So, January started off with a residency in Greensburg, PA on the beautiful Seton Hill Campus.

Why did I switch? Too many reasons to list, but let’s just say that I didn’t find “my people” at the school, and I really wanted to study writing popular fiction—fantasy, horror, romance, etc. I am currently writing a middle-grade fantasy so this program is a  better fit.

I had a wonderful time despite the crazy madness that was my trip out to PA. Unfortunately, I traveled during the dog gone blizzard. Four cancelled flights landed me on Amtrak. I was desperate.

Amtrak got stuck on the tracks for hours and I missed my connection to the PA train. Then, they dumped me off at Grand Central Station in NYC where I had to make my way to Penn Station. (This is a long story involving me refusing to get off a train, and nearly being made to get off the train—but…well, ya, that is another story! LOL). They turned me in the crazy lady on the train. Now I was always the crazy lady… but usually I at least try to hide it—not so that day!

After taking a cab in the damn blizzard to Penn Station, I was rebooked on a train to Harrisburg, PA with a connection to a BUS! By the time I arrived in Harrisburg, I had had it!! I hopped off that damn train and drove the 3 hours to Seton Hill from there. The bus they (Amtrak) wanted me to take was a 7.5 hour trip to make a 3 hour drive. No, thank you.

I did not want to drive 9.5 hours to Greensburg, so it wound up taking me nearly 20 hours! Next time, I drive—even if I don’t want to.

Spent five long exhausted, but very exciting days at the WPF residency. Loved it. Met many awesome people—and now to start the hard work of actually writing and getting the assignments done. While…wait for it, I am traveling overseas with my two oldest (18 and 13) for the first time! This is the year for conquering fears that is for sure!

On a graduate school (work) note, my first Reading in the Genre class “RiG” is Monsters. I will be reading horror books, short stories, and watching horror movies while studying what makes the horror genre tick. Assignment one is to make a blog, as the response to readings are to be posted online in blog format.

With Teen Author, Gretchen McNeil – Author of TEN and many other fantastic books for Young Adults!





I am currently in Rome (more pictures and posts soon), and don’t want to mess with making a separate blog. Nor do I want to maintain two spaces, so would you all mind terribly if I make my posts here? It may not be terribly exciting to hear my thoughts on these books and movies, but it could be entertaining—maybe—I hope. If not, just feel free to ignore me.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.