AUTHOR RECAP AND 2021 GOALS
Goals for an incoming year rather than New Year’s resolutions are within reach. In each new year, some goals I achieve, some I set aside and some roll-over as renewed goals. I suppose that is how life rolls with anything planned. So long as we put in the action, then relabeling it from goal to renewed goal makes sense, at least to me. Whereas, if we had called it a resolution, that would set us up for a feeling of falling short.
My memoir pieces and personal essays have been in readers hands since my first publication, back in 2016, and then my debut book in 2018. While my writing continues to grow over the years, it seems as though this past year, life and writing about life slowed down. Way down. The Covid-19 pandemic hit us. Although challenging at times, I persevered and look forward to my goals for the year 2021.
RECAP OF 2020
To say it was an upside-down year would be an understatement. Many scheduled events were cancelled. Some were postponed indefinitely. And a few events found their way into virtual hangouts.
Before cancellations were in full swing, January found me at the Cincinnati’s Women’s March, sponsored by United We Stand. This gathering was our action call in our rededication to the international movement of women’s strength, power, and determination. The year 2020 was perceived to be a politically crucial year in our work to elect progressive candidates who would represent women and equal rights. Our action made a difference in that we can look forward to the 2021 inauguration of a U.S. President and Vice President who will fight for these rights. It will be the first time in American history in which we will have a woman in such an elected role.
In February, I participated in an event hosted by Women Writing for (a) Change, V-Day 2020: Raise the Vibration. In spoken monologue, I shared my essay, a biographical account, titled, “A Farmer’s Wife.” Proceeds of the event benefit persons who are victims of gender-based violence.
Just as the print publication of the Streetvibes Newspaper was temporarily replaced by a limited electronic online version, my story was featured in it. This newspaper is a publication by the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. Daily, in my commute through downtown for work, I am faced with persons experiencing homelessness. Drawn from my experience, past and present in how this issue affects our community, I shared my essay, “That Ever Familiar Sign.”
Aside from being an author, work finds me at the downtown public library. Here, I contributed to two featured displays. One was the Unbound Project: A Display of Reentry Stories. The latter, was in contribution to the Poetry Project, with my essay, “It Is, It Was, It Will Be Our Resolve.”
Midyear and during the height of our current pandemic, I was on limited working hours with my employer. Thus, I had more time to write and in May 2020 I self-published an e-book, “People Helping People: Ideas and Resources to Make a Positive Impact in our Communities.”
It’s a community thing. When we look for opportunities, we can find our place to contribute.
When we get involved, things happen. Together, we can create a better world for everyone. I encourage you to also persevere and to make your mark in our community.
2021 WRITING GOALS
Two books are ever on the horizon for me. One is another memoir, yet much shorter than my debut book. It is a story about reconciliation. I have dabbled in the free writing for this story but discovered it may be too soon to fully develop it as its closure is yet unclear. There is always room for growth, for new understanding, and for relationships to begin or be renewed in any reconciliation. I will dabble more in this writing project.
The other of the two books is in full swing. It is a critical biography of my maternal great grandmother (Marie, 1904-1987). It is a story of a girl born in Oklahoma Territory who was expected to assume a lowly place in her family yet rose to be not only a respected matriarch but also an honored, and well achieved woman in a central Oregon community. I am currently sifting through hundreds of newspaper accounts of her life while writing her story. This project will continue through this year.
I will also continue to seek out opportunities to share my personal essays in the display projects at our public library in downtown Cincinnati. And I will keep my eyes and ears open for other venues in which I can share my heart-felt words.
2021 COMMUNITY GOALS
While writing can be and often is a solitude-thing, community is as much a part of my life, bringing it full circle, even if in virtual hangouts for the time being.
A year ago I accepted a two-year elected position as a board member with Tri-State Freethinkers (Northern Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana). This group is focused on activism, education, and community volunteering. In my role, I am responsible for writing, creating, and sending monthly newsletters to our 3000+ members. In my role, I am also a voice and an organizer for our members to give in the way of helping hands and financial support to area shelters, soup kitchens, and other places which helps those in need. I look forward to another year of involvement with this group.
IT IS OUR JOURNEY
As I spring forth in my writing journey, I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions, and your plan of action for resolve in our pandemic. I’m here for you, and your comments are always welcome. Thank you all for being in my reading circle. Together we can continue to make a great life, both individually and as a community.
In closing, please take a moment for a deep breath to reflect on life. Here is a video I made to share in retrospect of what you gave me last year and what I look forward to in this coming year.