I've been busy, but I also had some things I was finished with that I couldn't actually talk about. Read further for a June/July roundup.
The first half of 2019 for me was all about working on new things. Specifically, I was honored to serve as one of the General Fiction judges for The 2019 Goldie Awards. The reading season actually started in late October of 2018, and the category had some 20+ entries. As a judge I was sworn to secrecy until the awards were presented at the conference earlier this month.
I learned a lot in the process, both as a reader and as a writer. And, while I did feel constrained by having my reading selected for me for months, I did discover a couple of new writers. Specifically, I plan on seeking out more books by Caren Werlinger, Hilary Zaid, and Blanche McCrary Boyd. While none of these three were winners in that category, their stories stood out to me (as did all of those in the finalist list).
Would I serve as a judge again? Maybe. We'll see what happens, but I did notice that while I was reading a lot and immersed in lesfic, my writing did decline, mainly because I had an obligation outside of my own writing schedule. Right now, I'm glad the judging season is over, and I am happy to be in charge of my own reading list again.
What I'm reading right now: Tara Westover's Educated. So amazing and so horrifying. Other books I've purchased recently include Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad and Wade Davis' The Serpent and the Rainbow. I also bought New Orleans Voodoo: A Cultural History.
As you might guess from those last two purchases I hope to start working on the Garnier Family saga soon.
I started the year working on Long Weekend, which is an ensemble novel I will soon be working on again. At the turn of the year, though, I started thinking about trying my hand at a more conventional, trope-driven romance, so I took the first half of the year to write that one. It's mostly revised at this point, and a submission packet is "in-progress" with my first choice. Waiting patiently is not one of my strengths. In the meantime, Long Weekend and some other projects (a couple of collections of short stories, for instance) will likely be my writing focus for the remainder of 2019.
Physician Family's 2019 Summer issue dropped (virtually) yesterday! Working with Editor Donna Rovito on this issue has been a pleasure, and I hope you'll check out the articles in this issue, which are all focused on Leadership. While the publication's intended audience is family members of physicians, I'm always amazed at how the material goes far beyond that audience. In this issue, you'll find essays on recovery from addiction, how to become a leader in an organization/field that seems too large for us as individuals to influence, and discussion of why physician education curriculum needs better focus on and preparation for leadership roles.
In non-writing news, things have been pretty chaotic here this month, as we've started renovations on the house. Lots of dog barking and answering questions from the contractor's crew and sweeping and mopping up drywall dust!