Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2010: A writer’s year in review

Last year around this time, I had high hopes for my writing in 2010. I was going to write a page every day. I was going to get my poetry published again, and I was going to finish writing my second children’s book and keep revising the first.

As the song goes, “You don’t always get what you want…but sometimes, you get what you need!”

I did not succeed in writing a full page a day. However, I did write a whole lot more than I had the year before.

I did get two poems published in literary magazines and I was published in our local newspaper a few more times. I even won a local poetry competition!

I started this blog, and had a wonderful time trying out new poems and ideas with a truly supportive blogging community. I made more friends than I ever expected to, and I have had a wonderful time reading other people's experiences with writing and publishing.

I discovered that grief can both inspire writing and bring it to a grinding halt.

I learned a lot about my personal writing style and what works for me, and possibly more importantly, what doesn’t.

I started advising for a yearbook class, something I knew nothing about, and didn't want to have anything to do with, but serendipity being what it is, the class has taught me quite a bit about sales, editing, design, and publishing.

I was rejected A LOT- but through that, I’ve developed a much thicker skin about it and a much more realistic perspective on what to expect from editors.

I have high hopes for my writing in 2011. Every day that I live, I gain more experience and have more and more resources with which to enrich my writing.

So thank you to those of you who read my blog in 2010. I apologize for the hiatuses I had to take due to technical difficulties, and I assure you that for the moment at least…those have been resolved. I should be able to get back into my routine of posting 2-3 times a week.

Oh, and finally, the icing on the cake is that this year, counting my blog earnings and KVSun earnings, I have earned almost $200 from my writing. It's not much, but it's a start.

Today I leave you with the first few paragraphs of an exciting new short story I am writing. I am writing this story to try a new writing process: creating the outline BEFORE I start writing. I know it sounds simple and obvious, but often I just start writing with very little idea where it's going, and I really need to get away from that, so this is a little practice piece.

It's working title is, "Alvinia."

When Alvinia was born, her mother cursed God. She knew the dangers of being different, and when Alvinia was born with delicate features, skin as pale as milk and hair so blond it was practically white, her mother wept and pushed the baby from her.

“We’re too poor of a family to have a beautiful daughter!” she wailed to her weary husband. “Would she had been dark and sturdy. We don’t need a thin, pale one like her.”

Alvinia’s father sighed and went outside to poke at the dirt and stare at the sky.
In all other respects, Alvinia was a normal child, and as she grew, she did what chores she could. She wasn’t strong like her sisters, but she did have quick fingers, and was a help to her mother in the kitchen. She might have made a good wife for a young handyman or a trapper like her father, except for her looks.

She was too beautiful for the sorts of young men who came courting her sisters. They wanted sturdy women to help them with their spot of land, women who could pull a plow if necessary. They liked to look at her, and many a man whistled at her when she walked about the town, but none ever approached her. She was too delicate, too beautiful for her own good, her mother said with bitterness.

Although Alvinia would have liked to be married, she didn’t worry about it too much. She was practical, and mainly stayed close to home, but some nights, when the moon was full, she felt a wild longing in her heart, and wondered why she had been made to be lonely.

It was bad luck that old Master Emery first saw her on a sunny day. If it had been raining, as it often was in those parts, she would have had her hood down and her face would have looked pale or even sickly compared to the dark clothing she normally wore, and he might have passed by without giving her a second glance. But as fate would have it, the day was beautiful. The sun sparkled across the fields, and when he saw her walk gracefully out of her parent’s humble doorway, the rays of the sun caught her hair and illuminated her face. He stood for a moment, watching her, and though he had never before thought of remarriage after his first wife had died so many years ago- he did now.


  1. Dear Sandra,
    Wow, I just stopped by to thank you for your kind words on my blog post about my new earrings and I am drawn -- literally -- drawn into your text and your story about Alvinia.
    Your mother is not the only one who thinks that you are a good writer. I do too. Hang in there girl!
    Best wishes & hugs,
    You are first commenter and get an extra link back to your blog!

  2. Is this new story really about you?

  3. Anna, thanks for the kind words and the extra link!

    Dad- this story is not about me...this may surprise you, but I've never found it all that difficult to deal with my other-worldly beauty. However, there is a character who you haven't met yet that is really me.

  4. Can't wait to meet the real you.

  5. I'm loving your short story. Your talent as a writer definitely shows through :)

  6. Very otherworldly - like your short story a lot. Love the name of your blog!

  7. It must be hard to stay positive in your business but glad to see you sticking in there, wow $200? I'd be happy making $2.

  8. It reminds me of the Muenster's with the blonde girl.

  9. I love this Sandra keep going with it! I want to read more, I love the line "she wondered why she had been made to be lonely."

  10. ....I can't believe you left me hanging... I was sitting at the edge of my seat wanting more after that last line! Can't wait to read more!