Good riddance, 2020!

I don’t typically write year-end recap posts, but finally getting through 2020 seems a good excuse to celebrate wins, however large or small. 

I’m smiling on the inside—of my mask
  • I set a personal record for new fiction wordcount published—not raw story count, mind, but new words of story out in the world—helped along by “Desert Locks” since I write so short
  • I also set personal records this year for reprints (which included a mix of anthologies and podcasts), new poetry drafts and publications, and fiction submissions—yeah, not to mention rejections (which one of my writer friends always points out means at least I’m putting in the work)
  • One of those reprints was in a year’s best anthology for small press publications
  • I finally achieved a longtime goal of mine and became an associate member of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and I had another blog post published there
  • Sidequest published 7 of my poems, and the review site Critical Distance featured all 7 of them in their weekly roundups
  • I co-taught my first writing workshop and got to use some of my day-job skills in the service of bringing others’ writing into the world (and best of all, my collaborator and I received positive feedback in the participant evaluations)
  • After years of attending cons, this was to be my first foray into being a panelist—and as fate would have it, my first experience would be virtual Worldcon, with some amazing professionals spread across the world whose work I greatly admire
  • I placed in an international poetry contest and participated in my first ever virtual reading (which was also my first poetry reading since college)
  • I participated in an interview with the wonderful Maggie Slater (seriously, go read her stories!)
  • I received invaluable mentorship, friendship, accountability, and other support from my network
  • But the biggest writing highlight for me this year was that I received fan mail!!!  All the uncertainty, rejections, misunderstandings, and other hazards of the writing life… For me, they’re worth it if it gives my work a chance to resonate with readers.  If I’ve been able to provide anyone a touch of hope or adventure or understanding or respite, that’s the biggest win of all. 

Wishing you all a wonderful new year!