My Clarion West Fundraising Efforts
My fundraising efforts for Clarion West were partly successful. Though I didn’t meet my $1,000 target, I did raise over $500 for them – a feat for which I’m pretty damned proud. The whole experience was fantastic. I learned a lot, had fun, did a ton of writing, and helped out a very worthy cause. I definitely plan to do it again next summer.
Published Stories and My SFWA Mentorship
Excitingly, my flash fiction piece, “The Colony Ship’s Companion,” found its way into Radon Journal, and “The Portal in Andrea’s Dryer” graced the pages of Uncharted Magazine. That brings my total number of stories published in pro- or semi-pro magazines up to four (all four of which came in 2023).
My summer mentorship through SFWA under Julia Rios‘ guidance wrapped up in early September. The experience was phenomenal. Truly transformative. Julia helped me SO much as I worked to flesh out the middle-grade steampunk novel I’ve been noodling about with since 2017.
The Cycle of Balancing Teaching and Creative Writing Continues
There are definitely some seasonal cycles at work in my life. For example, fall is a four month season of teaching, coaching, and family commitments. As such, September requires I pause in my creative writing endeavors. The months between August and December require head-down determination and a focus exclusively on lesson planning, grading, and (this year) volleyball. Interestingly, seeing two of my stories in print during my no-room-for-writing fall season has acted as a creative beacon for me. It reminded me that the exact same thing happened last year. I had to put my personal interests down for several months. Yet despite that fallow period, I ended up with four new short stories written and published. As a result, I’m feeling slightly less burnt out than I usually do at this time each year. Perhaps a few months away from writing every autumn is a good thing.
Upcoming Writing Events and Engagements
As November wraps up and December approaches, my excitement to get back to my creative endeavors is growing. The Codex Writers’ “Weekend Warrior” flash fiction challenge will be starting up in about a month. It was through that challenge last year that I generated all four of my published stories for 2023.
I’m also looking forward to taking part in Boskone – a highlight in the science fiction and fantasy convention scene. That convention is such a shot in the arm for me as a writer. It always recharges my creative energy. I’ve attended as a fan, and as a volunteer, but this year I’m hoping to step into the role of a program participant. With some actual publications under my belt, I think I can do it without feeling like a complete and utter fraud.
What Have You Been Up To?
Now that you’re caught up with what I’ve been up to, I’d love to hear how all of you have been faring. What’s your Fall 2023 Writing Update? Have you found time for writing amidst life’s demands? If so, what have you been working on? Share your accomplishments and triumphs in the comments section so we can celebrate our collective journeys together.
Until next time, keep writing, keep dreaming.