Some January/February Highlights

Image from Flickr by Jorge Jaramillo

It’s the last day of February in what was just a brand-new year—how did that happen? The past several weeks have been incredibly busy at the nursing facility where I work as we’re implementing an electronic health and medical records system. But I’ve managed to squeeze in plenty of writing, including a few blog posts that you’ll never read because I simply ran out of time to post them and now they’re outdated!

Anyway, I’m happy to say I have a new CP (critique partner), and we’ve been exchanging chapters for a few months. She’s made it all the way through my middle grade WIP and offered tons of great feedback, which I’ve been working through intensely. When you’re knee-deep in edits on a project, you often end up hating that project, and that pretty much sums up my feelings at this point. But with my CP’s encouragement and reassurance, I also feel like it’s close to being a good book and stands a chance. No matter what happens, I’m proud of writing it.

One of my goals for 2017 was to keep better track of my writing and submissions. I was genuinely shocked at how little I wrote toward new fiction last year, and how little I submitted. It’s very easy to deceive yourself about how much you’re writing when you’re constantly thinking about writing and surrounded by writers talking about writing. Now that I have a system in place, I can see the actual numbers. So far this year I’ve sent out 14 submissions, received 4 rejections and, most importantly, 1 acceptance! That piece, about siblings outgrowing each other, was published mid-month in a wonderful parenting magazine called Motherwell: You can read it here.

I’m no longer counting the hours and words I put into edits (that was last year’s mistake); in addition to those efforts it’s important to me to draft new material. Much of January was spent working on a new creative nonfiction piece called “Transient,” which was excruciating to write. It’s about something that happened in my childhood that’s memorable, not because it left a scar, but because it didn’t. While considering whether to commit this memory to paper, I did some research into those involved, and discovered something that both devastated me and inspired me to tell the story. The essay’s out on submission now, and I hope to share it with you someday soon.

Finally, I was recently invited by Superstition Review to create a podcast for their Authors Talk series, discussing the inspiration and creative process behind my short story “The Woman in Room 248.” I am so excited for this because it’s something I’ve never done before, and I have a few ideas for how to make it interesting/fun. My podcast is slated for March 28, so stay tuned!


  1. Awesome!!!

  2. Carrie Ann Lahain says:

    OMG…Congrats on the podcast. I can’t wait to hear it! And thanks for the productivity and submission tracking tips. I have been so lax with my work for the past year. It’s frustrating. But when you lose momentum, it’s so hard to get it going again. Life has a way of always throwing SOMETHING in front of you that seems more important than writing.

    • Hey Carrie! Momentum is everything, and having you as a critique partner–knowing you expect new pages every week–keeps me going. I’m so grateful for you.