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Writerly resolutions: November status

Continuing the research this month. My trThe book stacks are getting shorter, even with some new arrivalsip to the USHMM was productive and the stacks of books are dwindling, although research has generated some new books to read so the stacks have gotten a little shorter. I had hoped to get them down to nothing by the end of the year, but it looks like research will spill over into January. Meanwhile, I’m still finding useful details in the research which has yielded about a dozen pages of notes so far.

Got a new story workshopped earlier this month, it still needs some work, but there’s a little hope for it to get into submissions sometime in the new year.

Only two rejections this month, form rejections for poems (including one very old submission which I was wondering if I should give up on), which is not surprising given my low submission activity this year.

Writerly resolutions: October status

And still more research work. Next week I will spend a couple days The (slightly) shrinking piles of to read books for the novelat the USHMM research center for more primary source research. I’ve been adding occasional new reading to the stacks of books which will be evident to those closely inspecting the pictures accompanying these posts. I had hoped to be done with research reading by year’s end, but I suspect it’s going to spill over into January. I still keep stumbling across useful reading, most notably Half-American by Matthew F. Delmont which is the book on non-combat African-American soldiers in World War II I’ve wanted for at least a year or two and that was just published a couple weeks ago.

Not much progress on the story work, although I’ve ended up writing some new poetry. A couple form rejections this month along with a near-miss rejection.

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Writerly resolutions: September status

Research continues apace. I discoveredThe latest stacks of research books. A few books gone, a few added, but the stacks are shorter now. a PhD thesis courtesy of the exhaustive index at the USHMM website that is almost exactly what I would have wanted to read at the start of this process. I am definitely going to do a research trip to DC in November to visit the research center of the USHMM. Meanwhile, I’m writing this at the Regenstein library of the University of Chicago where I’m watching survivor testimonies in hopes of finding some good background material.

I’m close to a complete second draft on the new story, although the rewrite work on the revision story is being a bit tough. I had a turn at workshop this month and pulled a piece out of the novel that I thought might work on its own and it got a better reception than I expected. I pulled that to the top of the stack for the rewrite since there was a themed submission call opening today which it would be a good match for.

And I would be remiss to ignore the fact that I had poems published in September in Invisible City and I-70 Review this month with readings for both (the latter in-person in Kansas City).

Upcoming readings

For the first time since my MFA, I’m part of a couple of public readings of my work.

Invisible City Reading 9 17

On Saturday, 17 September at 1p PST, I’ll be part of a Zoom reading to celebrate the release of the latest issue of Invisible City in which I have a senryū entitled, “宝石の十字架” (don’t worry, only the title is in Japanese). Since it’s short, I’ve been offered the opportunity to read another poem, so I’ll likely read one of the print-only poems from my Chicago Sonnets series. To avoid Zoom bombers, they’ve asked people to RSVP at this link.

Then, on Friday, 23 September at 7p CST, to celebrate the publication of my poem, “A song of Isaac” in I-70 Review, I will be reading in person at The Writer’s Place, 31W31 Nonprofit Village, 31 W 31 St, Kansas City, Missouri. This will not be streamed, but on the off-chance that anyone reading this is anywhere near Kansas City that evening, I’d love to see you there. I-70 Review is a print publication. Copies can be ordered from their website for $15 plus $5 shipping and handling and will also be available for sale at the event in Kansas City.

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Writerly resolutions: August status

No fancy graph this montTwo stacks of books representing my research reading for the novelh as it’s all-research time for the novel. I’ve managed to get eight of the books from my leftover research stack finished as well as going through ten survivor testimonies from the Yad Vashem website that had transcripts (there’s no way I would be able to follow spoken Hebrew with my limited language skills). I’m currently digging through resources from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to find what’s available online and what would require a trip to D.C. to decide whether a research trip would be worthwhile.

Minor progress on the new story rewrite and the revision story rewrite although I think I’ve made it through the toughest part of the latter.

Writerly resolutions: July status

Draft two is DONE! I managed to trim A global look at six years’ work on the novel. The draft two progress looks much smoother since I had a decent idea of what was happening most of the time.about 5,000 words in the process, despite adding a new chapter in the middle, so that’s a good sign. I will need to print this puppy up to be able to read and edit for the revision stage and I’m planning on doing some significant research reading before diving in to make sure I’ve got historical and cultural details right. I just placed a library hold request on seventeen books, have seven more that the library has in ebook format that I’ll read along the way, plus ordered a bunch more that neither the Oak Park nor Chicago libraries have to fill out the rest of my research needs. A trio of books sitting on my to-read pile are also migrating to my being-read pile. Then there are the survivor testimonies I’ve found on the Yad Vashem website that I need to translate and find the useful details. I’m not sure that I’ll be getting into actual editing until maybe November or so, depending on how long these books and other materials take to read.

The new story made it to an unsatisfactory conclusion and re-reading what I’ve cobbled together over the last nine months has turned up a better sense of the middle that might get me to a valid ending.

Progress on story revision still slow.

Beautiful Sentences: Isabel Allende

En algos momentos tengo la sensación de que esto ya lo he vivido y que he escrito estas mismas palabras, pero comprendo que no soy yo, sino otra mujer, que anotó en sus cuadernos para que yo me sirviera de ellos.

Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus

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Writerly resolutions: June status

Back on track this month June progress, a few flattish spots but mostly a good diagonal linewith the novel. I missed writing a few days and had a few days of very low word counts, but for the last week and a half, I’ve made a point of advancing at least two pages a day through the printed first draft manuscript in the revision process which has helped me move along at a decent pace. I’ve set a goal of finishing this draft by the end of July so that when I go on vacation in August, I can leave my laptop behind.

Not a whole lot of work done on either the new story or the one that I’m revising, but I’m doing a mini-retreat this afternoon and I hope to get a bunch of work done on both at that point.

Writerly resolutions: May status

No good reason Progress in May. A few fits and starts not all so greatfor this month’s poor progress on the novel other than life intervening. In theory, I can finish this rewrite still by the end of June, but I suspect it will be July when it happens. Once that’s done, I end up diving into some heavy-duty research to make sure that I can fill in details and fix errors in the text

Story revision continues slowly.

The procrastination story is up for workshopping tomorrow which means I’ll be back on to the new story which I had optimistically thought was going to be done back in October.