Every year arrives as a package full of unknowns. I have felt that way especially since the pandemic--just that planning ahead can be futile. Circumstances change, and with them, my feelings.
A year ago my year-end post reflected the fact that I had done little writing and almost no submitting in 2021. It just didn't make me feel good. The pandemic had left me with few reserves for dealing with downturns, and little desire to expose myself to the cold winds of rejection.
But a funny thing happened after I wrote that post. I decided to dip my toe into submitting again, submitting five pieces a month. That put me off my old pace of sometimes over 100 submissions a year, but I thought it was doable. And thankfully, I started getting acceptances almost at once!
I had flash fictions published in several journals this year:
This list of acceptances is all the more heartening as I only kept my resolution on submitting for four months, managing 27 submissions for the year.
My mother died in May, and after that, I never got back to submitting, or writing much. Once again, I just didn't feel good. Writing comes from the heart, and my heart was sick. Other events (such as COVID) also occurred, further sapping my physical and mental energy. Writing and publication require fortitude, and my fortitude was needed elsewhere.
However, I made a lot of music in the fall and winter, performing with four different groups in November and December. Time and music are both healing, and I hope for a more productive year in 2023.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and essays. Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including Fourth Genre, Bayou, The Laurel Review, and Sou’wester.
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