December 12th is particularly symbolic for me. It is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is how we know Blessed Virgin Mary.
I've left my motherland behind (physically) and shed (or re-formed) a good deal of my Catholic identity as I got older, but at heart I am still a guadalupano. A devotee of the Mother of All Mexicans, the mother of the Americas, la virgen morena. I wanted to share that belief because it is as part of me as my nationality and culture are.
So I wanted to dedicate this coming writing year to the heavenly mother of Christ.
But...some of you are wondering, why today? We're still 29 days away from the end of the year.
That's true, but like I said, I'm big on dates. And I didn't exactly start the most productive writing year I've had on January 1st, either. I started in early March, once I had mostly recovered from my thesis defense. And here's the total in nine months (click to go through the submissions):
Other writing-related things I'm very proud of:
- learned how to write flash fiction, which now accounts for every acceptance I have
- 1 Best of the Net nomination, for The Ritual
- 1 Pushcart Prize nomination, for the same story
- conducted a flash fiction workshop as part of the Tintero Workshops, thanks to my poetry/spoken-word mentor, Guadalupe Mendez. Through the workshops, I also made the acquaintance of talented writers and playwrights and I hope to continue nurturing those associations in the year to come.
- I became an assistant editor at Bartleby Snopes, and I wouldn't have had that opportunity without the intervention of my friend Hillary Leftwich, who's since become my unofficial flash fiction mentor. Through her I also met April Bradley, associate editor at Bartleby Snopes and someone who's taught me a great deal about editing over the later parts of this year. Both Hillary and April are Pushcart nominees this year, too.
- performed my poetry at different spoken word events, including one time I was asked to do so as part of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations
- got a number of rejections from agents I sent query letters to, including a personalized "that's interesting, but no thank you, good luck!" from one agent, and I think that's super cool because it meant that they actually read my pitched and thought about my idea for at least a few seconds.
- Somehow managed to stumble into writing magic realism and it's so far been what's worked the most for me
So, what are my writing goals for 2016?
- Write a Fanfiction of sorts
- Get 100 rejections
- Get my "magical taco truck" story in a journal
- Give the above story the screenplay treatment
- Do a better job with the vlogs
- Qualify for the Word Around Town Tour (I'm 0-4 now)
- Get a creative nonfiction piece published
- Make significant inroads into the fantasy epic I've been working on
- Make audio recordings of the poems and fiction I have published
- Have enough spec fic published to qualify for a SFWA membership
- Get a story into some of the biggest-name journals
- Work on a collab piece
- Write a song for a musician
- traditionally-publish my manuscript
So I dedicate this coming writing year to la virgencita.