It’s been over a year since I wrote my last blog post.
The truth is, words are always swirling around in my head, aching to be written down, but I haven’t taken the chance to sit down and put pen to paper. Not until today, that is.
What’s happened in over a year?
For one, I started painting again. In a very slow attempt to wrap up the publication of my second poetry collection, I painted the book cover using watercolor and ink. I also started dabbling with acrylics again, moving back into my representational abstract phase which I want to continue. A colleague of mine also commissioned an abstract piece—which was a first for me.
Over the summer I was able to visit my boyfriend’s family in Tunisia, which is a part of the world I had never visited before. Kelibia, located in the northeastern part of Tunisia, boasts the Mediterranean’s best beach. It did not disappoint.
My mother came to visit me in Paris in August, at which point I rediscovered the city as a local tourist. And when my best friend came to visit me in October, I did it all over again.
Much to my surprise, Monet’s gardens might be their most beautiful in the fall, with all the burgundy, rust and golden leaves trickling to the ground, covering the earth like a Persian carpet.
We flew off to Portugal, where we visited Porto, Aveiro and Lisbon. It was in Lisbon where I began National Novel Writing Month on November 1, as is tradition. This year was my sixth year participating, and the fourth year I’ve been working on my second novel, which never seems to come to an end. The truth is, I almost didn’t participate in the worldwide event this year. But, that I-do-not-quit-what-I-start gumption rose up within me and I began some serious character development on my protagonist’s parents. That pushed me into developing a beautiful backstory, and writing 20,000 words on top of my full-time job.
Come December, I found myself flying back to what used to be home, but was no longer. California wasn’t the same upon my return. At first I thought it was because she changed, but then I realized it was because I had changed.
I started thinking about moves I wanted to make in my career, and those thoughts turned into big changes. Over the phone, conversing 5,560 miles away, my boyfriend and I had a “yolo” moment and signed up for online MBAs. And as admirable and strategic this educational goal might be, it has completely pushed aside all the aspirations I had to complete my writing and art projects. That being said, I will be using everything I learn about marketing to continue to promote my work online and otherwise.
My second poetry collection The Other Crown, although years delayed, is finally set to come out later this year.
I’ll be spending my two-week vacation editing and prepping it for the self-publishing market. While editing the manuscript, my writing team and I (namely my boyfriend and best friend who are the only ones that drop everything they’re doing to analyze my work) realized one manuscript was actually two in the making. So, I’m pleased to announce that I also have a third poetry collection in the works, full of my political poems and social musings (which, some would say, is my best work). I’ve already been promoting Origin Story on my Instagram, but the release date for both collections are still to be announced.
I have plenty of things to look forward to and to accomplish in 2023. What about you?