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2017 already!? (On second thought, thank goodness)

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Blog Posts, Work and Career | 0 comments

It is with considerable chagrin that I realize I haven’t published a new blog post since March of 2016 (though it is with some pleasure that I work the word “chagrin” into a sentence).

2016 was not the most productive of years, and that’s the kindest thing that can be said for it. My feelings toward it are not kindly and it was not at all kind. I lost my father unexpectedly, under difficult circumstances, at the end of September, and in November I lost another good friend, Sally Jo Michalko. Among her many, many hats, Sally was president of Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace and Education for Peace, where I knew her from my participation on the board of directors. The end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 have been a time of transition and adjustment, and slowly, healing. Even before then, I found myself surrounded by rising chaos from a variety of sources.

That said, there were some steps forward that I missed the chance to blog about.

One is my membership, on behalf of Plowshares, in the Green Alliance, an organization to promote environmental sustainability in Waukesha County. Environmental impact has been a “thing” of mine since I started blogging in 2013, so I’m glad to become more involved in it locally. Our current project is to plan the first annual Sustainability Fair (yes, “first annual,” knock on wood from a sustainable managed forest) at Lapham Peak this August. The Fair will be a community gathering that includes  exhibits, presentations, and activities throughout the park for kids and adults, providing information about environmental issues and initiatives in a way that’s approachable and fun. No automatic alt text available.

 

I’m also currently co-president of Plowshare, with our former vice president Michelle. Filling Sally’s shoes takes more than two people! My work with Plowshare is part of my decision to move closer to the Waukesha area, which I’ll be doing this June.

Speaking of new homes, you may notice the new look of my website. I hope this provides a better balance between both my fiction writing and editing business, while avoiding certain pitfalls of the Blogger format–namely that when you haven’t updated the blog since March of last year, it looks a bit obsolete. Most of the information on this site is perennial, though I’ve been updating my Manuscript Editing Services and going over publications. Unfortunately, a number of magazines and even small publishers which released my work have since gone out of print. If you have questions about the availability of any story, don’t hesitate to contact me. This month (in between moving) I’ll be updating my Writing section to reflect what’s still out there, and to determine which stories I should get to work reprinting.

One thing I started this January that has paid dividends is set a submissions goal: I need to submit at least one story every month. Last year, I fell far behind on writing, though I did some drafting and organizing of my body of work. Actually finding markets and sending stories to them has this really impressive effect–it turns out that when you send stories regularly in answer to calls for submissions, you sometimes get acceptance letters back! So there’ll be several new pieces up on the Writing page, too.

The editing business continued to expand last year. I’m excited to near my goal of 150 five-star reviews on Fiverr, and I’m honored when I look back and see the new clients I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Special thanks also goes out to the authors and editors whose patience, understanding, and elbow grease helped me to meet deadlines in the last quarter of the year.

I’m also hoping to update the Starter Guide for Professional Writers this year–the field of publishing changes quickly, and the added perspective of a few more years writing and editing have modified my opinions in a few places, though not absolutely changed them. As I write about writing, I’ll also be posting to this blog more often. Are there any topics you’d like me to cover?

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