Monday, December 30, 2019

2019 - the literary highlights

First of all apologies to anyone who clicked through to here thinking it would be a well informed analysis of the actual literary highlights of this year, instead you'll find this is all about ME, and what's been going on with me, writing wise this year, it's a way to keep myself honest maybe, and to track my progress perhaps.

So 2019, how did it go versus the previous year.

Well, in no particular order...

at Number 10. (and I'm not talking blond headed Prime Ministers)
a Workshop with Aifric McClinchy - my lovely writer's group in Midleton organise writing workshops from time to time, and this is the only one I managed to make this year. (they're open to the public for a ridiculously small fee by the way). Aifric's workshop was lovely and chilled out, and was great to meet some of the member's of Midleton's other writing group.  There are two groups in the town.

At 9.
Midleton writers launching our anthology "Midleton Miscellany", the book included artwork inspired by some of the writing, done by local secondary school students, as well as including some stories from Midleton Hospital residents and the resulting product was a beautiful book, launched in the distillery to much acclaim.

I've continued attending Fiction at the Friary as religiously as Fambly life allows, and have loved it every time, but most especially getting to meet a hero of blogland in actual real life - the fabulous Niamh Boyce, she was exactly as nice and sound as I expected and really majorly inspiring.

The writing. I've managed to somehow keep up the enthusiasm this year and have ground out 10 stories, more or less, I'm focussing on stories all the time and I think that focus is helping a lot when I've such limited time to spend at it.

The rejections. Thanks to advice from the workshop that started me off last year, I've been cherishing my rejections and counting them to see how much more I've been sending out. I've gone up by a factor of ten this year. I'm a bit scattershot at times in my approach, so that might explain a lot of them, but it's something to celebrate.  I've also began trying to send out 2 for every rejection I get, as I've still got less than half of what was recommended previously - if I keep this level up I should have a lot more rejections to glory in next year.

From the well. I got a story into Cork County Council's From the Well anthology this year, "Are Fish Ever Happy" Delighted with the kind mention of it in the introductions too.

A reliable first reader, I have a very kind and widely read Aunty, who I have just begun to employ this year as my reliable first reader, she is astute, kind, and not unlike myself so I find her feedback often makes a lot of sense to me. I'm hoping she'll put up with me for another good while yet.

Really nice PFOs from high places, great to get the encouragement that what I've been doing almost made the cut at times.

An amazing writing weekend away with old friends, a brilliant recharge and fun times. Much needed and hope to repeat it.

The time I made the cut - with an appearance in Southword 37 of my story "Expecting Art" - was absolutely thrilled with this.

Being invited to read at the Cork International Short Story Festival at the launch of Southword 37. Reading in a beautiful theatre, with said First Reader Aunt in the audience along with proud parents, and writers I really admire. Such a thrill to do and a real highlight too to attend the rest of the festival and listen to other great writers.

So overall a pretty good year, here's hoping 2020 is inspiring and productive to all my readers, (Hi Bug & Rachel!X)