Here’s to 2021, the year that’s going in like a rabid behemoth but which we hope will go out more like a … reasonably sedated rabid behemoth?
So far I’ve eluded the clutches of COVID-19 and hope you have too.
One small sweetener of my 2021 pot was having my story “Daybreak Nation” place Honorable Mention in the creative nonfiction category of the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition. “Daybreak” is still very much a work in progress but the honor has inspired me to double down and finish this first-person, up-close portrait of a disparate San Francisco community coping with lockdown.
I’ve been very fortunate to participate in several online writing groups that meet for one or two hours each week to write “together.” These have allowed me to stay connected with the literary community and be part of the circle of writing support.
In 2020 my long-planned, long-saved-for ramble through Europe and the Balkans, which was supposed to run at least a year and allow the completion of my first novel’s draft, ended with my sheltering solo in Passau, Germany for nearly three months.
Frightening, lonely, and disturbing as hell? Yes.
Unexpectedly inspiring, educational, and transcendent? Also yes.
I managed to repatriate in early June 2020, but not before gaining a profound insight into German life, language, and culture—particularly the unforgettable Bavarian crossroads of Passau.
While there I did publish two pieces with New York’s spiritual literature site The Dewdrop: the poem “Cloud Distancing” and the lockdown nonfiction narrative “Cathedral Town.”
My Silicon Valley satire “Self-Driving Fridge/Toilet Disrupts Disruption Itself” appeared in the Portland-based magazine High Shelf in mid-August 2020, but I submitted it from isolation in Passau while in a particularly sad state of mind. So that win was special to me.
My short story “Soul Survivor” won first place in the humor division of the 2018 Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition (the Sue Granzella Humor Prize), and at long last it found a publishing home in Summer 2020 with BULL: Men’s Fiction. (Hint to my fellow women writers: BULL does take work from us if it’s on the subject of men!)
In summer 2019 my short piece “Diary: Art Challenge” was chosen by Australia’s Womankind magazine. It was my first overseas publishing credit, and an honor to be part of such an excellent publication.
Meanwhile, my career as a highly specialized proofreader and copyeditor will continue as I get my home practice up and running.
Thanks for checking in. Stay tuned.