2018 Put To Words

Today was the start of the second half of my Christmas/New Year break. I took advantage of it doing what I love to do most during down time, namely writing. I managed 1500 words over a few hours at it, not too bad for a day's work. I know to some 1500 words seems measly, but I'll take a 5 page day anytime.

This time of year I always like to look back on my writing accomplishments. I never really know what to expect from year to year, as I still look at this as a part-time gig, fitting it in around the edges where I can. That said, any and each published piece is a small victory in my eyes, and in that respect 2018 was a pretty good year, maybe the best yet.
Journals, magazines, books and
newspapers with my work.

From a book standpoint, any year where I have two books released is a good one. In January The Portland House was released by Electio Publishing. I tell people it is the second memoir I never dreamed I'd write, let alone get published.

Then, in October, my third poetry collection/chapbook, On a Road was released by Unsolicited Press, my third different publisher. (What?)

If you'd ever told me I'd have two books and three poetry collections within 10 years of starting to write, I'd have said you're nuts. Seriously. Frankly, the whole journey seems like a really long, really good dream. It also feels so out of control that I'm just hanging on for dear life. And when people ask me how I do it, all I can say is that I just throw my all at it - my heart and soul - and then I just let what happens, happen. Most of it is good, but like anything that is good, there are some downers too. It's all part of it.

It was a good year for getting my work into magazines and journals. I had nine poems, two nonfiction stories and one flash fiction piece accepted for publication in a number of different journals. I am grateful for each and every acceptance, and take none for granted. These acceptances fuel me. It's hard to explain, but I can't imagine not doing it, submitting that is.

I try buying at least one copy of every publication I'm in, so I can keep a visual log of what I've done. It's shaping up to be a body of work, I guess. And while it's important to look back every once in a while, I can only think about the works I have in progress.

Which takes me back to where I started this blog. I'm currently 56,000 words into Cretin Boy, a book about my high school experience. I had big aspirations for finishing it in time for my 40th class reunion in the summer of 2019, but I can safely say that is not happening. Nonetheless, the book has become my latest obsession - the cute new girl on the block, if you will.

Throw into that my appointment as poet laureate for the Village of Wales, a few book signings, this ongoing blog and a couple of co-authored events and, well, it doesn't get much better for someone of my sub-atomic micro fame. As best I can, I'm livin' it.

So I press on, hoping that 2019 is at least half as successful as 2018 was. Even if it isn't, I am having fun just sorta winging it. And that's all that matters.

Blogging off...


Jo Balistreri said…
What I like most about you is your joy—in what you do, in what others do. What a sterling quality. Congratulations on everything you have acomplished which is another thing I like about you, Jim. You are positive, have fun and still manage to keep some kindof discipline to sit down and write. You’re persistant.

Thanks for being such a good Poet Laureate of Wales. And thanks for gathering all the books for the library. I think you forgot to mention that.

Best wishes for 2019. You are an inspiration.


Dave Burch said…
Keep on writing, Jim. The spoken word is for a moment revered, but the written word is forever remembered. My thirty five articles over the last twenty years published in professional magazines continue to be a joy for me. The four books that I started five years ago continue to grow slowly towards completion, target date of March 1, 2020. Each book has about twenty illustrations in watercolor and pencil, so that aspect adds to the fun.
Ravi Desai said…
"...i just throw my all at it." Loved this line..
Ravi Desai said…
"...i just throw my all at it." Loved this line..

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