Here’s what has my attention right this second.
- On June 24, 2020, my first article will appear in the New York Times. It’s a milestone for a writer. I learned of the Solver Stories section through a Binder, where editor Deb Amlen posted a call for submissions. When I read the section’s description, I realized I had an essay that fit. I’d been tinkering with it for a while, but during a writing weekend alone in Maine, the words at last clicked into place. A week after I submitted the essay, it was accepted.
- I am excited about the 8-Week Grief Writing Workshop I’ll take March 24—May 12 with novelist Diane Zinna. We can learn so much about storytelling from our friends who write fiction. I started out Zooming with her and a group to get through the holidays with the loss of my father-in-law still recent. My goal is to use the time to write or revise a big, beautiful essay for publication.
- I won an award from the first annual Boston in 100 Words contest, beating out 600 stories. Posters of my story have been installed on the MBTA at: Harvard, Porter, Alewife, Davis and North Station, as well as on the Orange Line at Assembly Square, Malden and Oak Grove. I also appeared on WERS twice, and gave a special Mother’s Day shout out to my mom. I’m grateful for such wonderful support, especially for Lead Organizer Jane De Leon Griffin.
- Michelle’s agent, Nicki Richesin of Wendy Sherman Associates, Inc., was looking for new manuscripts. Michelle was generous enough to recommend my work. I had a short call with Nicki in 2019, and she requested a full manuscript. I’m not ready to send it yet, but I’ve been working hard on revisions, and I’m excited and honored by the opportunity to send my first full MS to a stellar literary agent.
- I’m applying for a fall 2020 Poetry Coalition Fellowship. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m slowly building my confidence, and I’m lucky to be part of a very supportive Boston literary network.
- I’m researching the African-American Heritage Trail in Cambridge. It feels like a treasure hunt poking around in various neighborhoods and reading plaques. Can’t wait to write about the lives of illustrious African-Americans, especially since nobody seems to know about this Trail.
- My first HippoCamp 2020 proposal was accepted. Then the conference was cancelled. I’ll deliver a 10-minute flash presentation about how to come up with a book title, hopefully at HippoCamp 2021 on August 13—15, 2021.
- My first Lit Crawl Boston proposal was accepted. Lit Crawl Boston 2020 was cancelled, so we’re hoping to present at the 2021 Lit Crawl which will be held outdoors this summer in Cambridge.
- In October 2019 I was asked to apply to be the new Hippocampus Writing Life Editor by outgoing editor Rae Pagliarulo, and to my great delight I was chosen. It’s such a pleasure to work with writers and learn from them every day.
- Muse 2020 was cancelled, but I was thrilled to learn FIVE agents expressed interest in my work in progress. I’m looking forward to querying them when the time is right.
- I got to read submissions in 2020 for the GrubStreet Memoir Incubator, and it was a thrill. We got a big pool of applicants, and a diverse array of talent. It’s always an honor to be included as a reader.
- I feel so fortunate every day to be part of a supportive and talented writers’ group. They inspire me to do more and get me through the tough days.
- During the pandemic, I nearly had a nervous breakdown, but I met my June 1 deadline to revise all 28 chapters of To Have and To Hoard, my memoir of learning to trust and value myself while struggling with my husband’s trash and treasure. It was hard to complete revisions during homeschooling with my family at home and underfoot, but I promised to deliver, and I’m proud that I did.