2021 was not the best time for my writing goals. My former publishing house shut down and I barely wrote anything. Additionally, nearly all of the writing opportunities I had failed miserably.
Since 2021 was a disaster, I decided to try harder in 2022. I started the year off with a research article on how antisemitism affected the infamous Jack the Ripper case. The article took a few months to write because of all the reading and analyzing I had to do, which is why I didn't post it on my blog until August. In March, my poem "The Gift of Tears" was published by Wingless Dreamer. Then in April, Brown Sugar Café and Books opened their doors with my picture book Mr. Ray's Barbershop on their shelves. A week later, my poem "Bent Spoons" was featured at SweetCup Gelato for a fundraising event. In May, my creative nonfiction piece titled "Four Women" was published in the ninth issue of The Hellebore. That same month, I was contacted by Accelerate Education for permission to use my short story "Find Buster" in their fifth-grade reading curriculum. In June, I traveled to Washington D.C. where I met with my agent, Allison Hellegers, at a restaurant in the heart of downtown. It was our first time meeting in person. I am so grateful to be represented by Stimola Literary Studio.
After I got home from Washington D.C., I started writing a short story called "The Spoon and the Picture" which I finished in two days. It had been years since I wrote a short story, so I was not super confident about its result. Nonetheless, I sent the story to literary journals and received an acceptance from Rigorous magazine within a week. Of course, I received rejection emails as well. One of them, however, said "The Spoon and the Picture" was chosen as a finalist out of almost 1,000 story submissions. While the email was a rejection, it felt amazing to know my story made it that far.
A day after "The Spoon and the Picture" was published, I received an acceptance from Bivouac magazine for my poem "My Pastor's Secrets." The issue is available for purchase on Etsy. "My Pastor's Secrets" was also published by They Call Us, which is available for PDF download here. In October, I received an acceptance for my creative nonfiction piece "Everyone is Here All the Time" from HowBlog. Additionally, I wrote another research article about the history of the Apeldoornsche Bosch.
In November, I traveled to Chicago where I visited the American Writers Museum and had a wonderful lunch with the amazing playwright and author, Beth Kander. While I was in Chicago, I took tons of photos since photography is my second passion after writing. I uploaded my best shots online and soon I was contacted by The Secret City magazine. They loved my photos of the Museum of Surgical Science and two of them were published in their winter issue. I hadn't had a photo published since I was in high school! On Thanksgiving Day, I was on a panel for Jericho Writers alongside authors Victoria MacKenzie and Katalina Watt. We discussed tips on how to send out short stories and poetry to literary journals and the best strategies for acquiring a literary agent. A recording of the panel is available on the Jericho Writers website, but a membership is required for viewing.
This month, I started revising a novel I've been sporadically working on. The draft is very messy, but it's somewhat coming together. It's still untitled, which gives an idea of how disorganized it is at the moment. Unfortunately, my agent and I did not find a publishing house for my fourth novel this year either. But in spite of this goal not being met, 2022 proved to be a much better writing year than 2021.
Exactly a year ago today, I visited the Houston Holocaust Museum and I snapped a photo of the quote below. On that day, I was feeling hopeless about my writing, but this quote inspired me to get back to work. Miriam Korber survived the Holocaust and she is now 99 years old. I thank her for these words because they got me out of my writing slump. If I hadn't read this quote last year, I am not sure 2022 would have been as productive.
Happy 2023 and thank you all for your support.