2019 Wrap-Up: Everyone Else Does These Posts, So Maybe I Should, Too

This Year in Noveling

  • Read Draft 2 of the Chosen Grandma story and planned for Draft 3.
  • Started Draft 3.
  • Won Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time ever, which was more emotional than it maybe should have been.
  • Finished Draft 3 of the Chosen Grandma story at long last and after many struggles. Unfortunately, I’m not ready for readers yet. I figured they’d get it back after Draft 3, but it turns out I need to do another half-draft first.
  • Started planning for a 3 1/2 draft.

This Year in Poetry

  • Met half my goal for NaPoWriMo and completed 2 of 4 poems to my own satisfaction.
  • For the first time in many years, continued writing, revising, and recording ideas for poetry after NaPo ended.
  • Submitted poems to non-university publications for the first time ever.
  • Received my first rejection.
  • Received my first acceptance! Check out Issue 1 (Sept. 2019) of Queer As in Fuck You! and keep an eye out for Issue 5 of Wizards in Space, due out in March 2020.

This Year in Books

  • Read 25 books, which??? seems weirdly high, given that only 4 of them were books for classes and I was busy finishing up my undergraduate degree and starting two graduate programs. Good job, team.
  • Least Favorite Read (not counting books-for-class, because that’s not fair): EMMA by Alexander McCall Smith. It’s a modernization of Jane Austen’s Emma, but not really: McCall Smith bends over backwards to make the events of the original story work in a modern context, so the story doesn’t interact with and isn’t influenced by the modern setting in any meaningful way. It was really disappointing.
  • Best Read: THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon. Oh my God. Read this book. It’s so sweet and heart-wrenching, and the voice is so strong, and the first-person present narration of the two MCs is broken up by short “histories,” narrated in third-person by an omniscient narrator, which I TOTALLY ADORED. I’m mad I took so long to read this book, because there’s no longer anyone for me to scream about it with.
  • Other Great Reads: MASKERADE and EQUAL RITES, both by Terry Pratchett. I had never read any Pratchett previously except Good Omens, which I tend not to count since it was co-authored with Neil Gaiman and I don’t know who wrote what. I can’t believe it took me so long to read some Pratchett, but heck I’ll have to read more now. I also loved THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas and am now reading her second book, ON THE COME UP. And of course I adored PRIDE, the Pride & Prejudice modernization by Ibi Zoboi that I’d been eagerly awaiting since before it came out – a far more successful modernization than McCall Smith’s Emma.

This Year in Academics

  • Graduated with a BA in English, after 10 years in and out of school. I have used my degree a surprising amount already??? Tragically, almost none of it has been for things I’m getting paid for, but still.
  • Started 2 graduate programs (leadership and theology) because I’m a glutton for punishment and aced my first semester despite my best attempts to leave all my assignments until last minute and stress myself the fuck out.

Looking Ahead

  • Complete revision plans for Draft 3 1/2 of the Chosen Grandma story.
  • Revise and get the Chosen Grandma story to readers.
  • Revise again?
  • Start querying???
  • Continue submitting poetry to lit mags.
  • Read some books for fun, but I’m def not setting a numbers goal with everything else that’s going on.
  • Continue smashing grad school, but preferably with better time management and hopefully less stress. *cough*

What did you do in 2019? What are your plans for 2020?

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