2022 was supposed to be our return to normal. I had concluded my move across the Atlantic in the summer of 2021, set up my business, things were opening up so my commute to and from Italy, where my husband works, had become much easier. All these things were supposed to translate into more writing, better writing and the completion of two book projects.
Instead, I’ve felt rushed and blocked and stressed and published far less than I expected.
In truth, there’s also a war less than half a continent away, inflation and economic uncertainty, but all of these affect me less than the pandemic did on a daily basis, so I should be getting back on track.
In the middle of this feeling of overwhelm and defeat, I decided to sit down and look at what really happened in the past 18 months:
At the end of 2021, the anthology Tongues, on Longing and Belonging Through Language (to which I contributed the essay Holding my Tongue), was finally published.
In 2022 it went on to win the following prizes:
My Science Fiction story The Final Countdown appeared in The May/2022 issue of Five on the Fifth
How to Tell a Story in Atticus Review (Spring 22)
Clean Slates in the 2021 (published in 2022) issue of Round Table Review
My haiku bird chatter featured in Poetry Pea 3:22
My haiku long term care: featured in Frogpond 45:3 Autumn 2022
My haiku March Moon featured in Haiku Seed Journal
Winter clouds haiku featured in Haiku Seed Journal
My haiku about bruised apples appeared in Autumn Moon Haiku Journal 5:1 in December 2021.
My poem “Aftermath” appeared in North Dakota Quarterly (vol88.3/4, December 2021)
“Things I did while Amazonia Burned” appeared in Grist Journal 14 (2021) (Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts)
I also had a short story as finalist in a Norwegian contest, part of the Ordkalotten, a literary festival in the arctic city of Tromsø
My book projects are evolving. But moving continents has shifted my focus a bit, and I am working on four different projects right now. We’ll see which reaches completion first. And I am finally learning to accept that’s how it will have to be.
I have also started teaching haiku and senryu workshops, and while this is no money-maker (at least so far), it has enriched me in so many other ways.