And oh what a year it was. You can read about it here. He was an Amtrak writer in residence (because HE was the guy who thought up the idea), he finished a novel and started another.
Most recently he penned a story about Cambodia for Afar, which is pretty much my favorite travel magazine (next semester, he'll be a Writer in Residence in the MFA program at Bennington College where I'm enrolled).
It's a tad bit embarrassing for him to be my inspiration because when I jot down what I've accomplished this year in the World of Writing, it really pales.
But that isn't the point, is it?
I've checked off some pretty cool milestones on my own personal list of goals.
For example, I had a short piece on Afar's Web site about how to approach traveling to Italy (inspired by my own trip back to Italy in May). It's essentially my first paid bit of travel writing. You can read that here.
I also had my first poem published! You can read that here.
A nonfiction story I wrote called "I Come Bearing Gifts" was awarded Honorable Mention by Writer's Digest as part of its annual writing contest this year. A different version of this piece was later published on Catapult's site. B
I also had my first book review published for a short story collection that I personally think would make for a wicked holiday read. You can read the review here.
And already looking ahead to next year, an essay I wrote about work-life balance (after becoming a mother) will appear in an anthology published by the HerStories Project.
A lot of things didn't go my way. For example, I didn't win a grant I'd applied for (again). But the judges did provide feedback -- a first.
My year in review is largely about milestones in the field of Creative Writing. But I've also started freelancing for HLN, a division of CNN. You can also occasionally find my writing in Atlanta magazine, including this story.
It's no Alexander Chee year. But it's something I'm proud of.