One Foot in Front of the Other

2015-05-10 20.00.11I am thrilled now to be able to say my memoir is done! Well, not done as in published, or even ready to be published, but drafted. Not the final draft, mind you, only the first draft. Still, this is a major accomplishment on a project that’s been eating at me for too many years. I feel relieved. I feel free to write about all those other things that have been swirling around in my mind.

And now I understand the disorientation other writers have described after completing manuscripts. For much of the past year, I went to my desk each morning knowing what I was going to work on. I longed for the day when I’d be able to work on something–anything!–other than the damn memoir. But it’s not that easy, is it? I come to my desk these days and fiddle with pens and paper, and read too many stories on the Internet, and try to decide where to begin. What topic should I write on? What is my angle? What form should the writing take? Where should I begin? With freedom comes too many choices.

So today I’m here, writing this post–a little thing, but better than just spinning and not writing anything at all. Continue reading “One Foot in Front of the Other”

A Conference, a Website, and a Book

20150311_125506Whew, it’s been a long time since I posted here about what’s going on with me. Here it is March and I’m just finally feeling recovered from the holidays. I always think I’m not making enough progress in this endeavor of writing and advocacy–until I put down what I’ve been up to.

The next big thing coming up on my schedule is the American Adoption Congress Conference, where I’ll be moderating a panel discussion with my adoptee sisters from Lost Daughters on March 28. Ten of us will talk about diverse narratives within the collective adoptee voice. Early-bird registration rates have been extended, so there’s still time to make your plans to meet us in Boston. We’ll also have copies of our anthology on hand and our signing pens ready!

At the end of January, I launched a new website I’ve been working on for some time, called Adoptee Reading Resource. My goal with the site is twofold: to catalog every book written by an adoptee that I can identify and to also list adoption books authored by non-adoptees that adoptees recommend. In other words, it’s an adoptee-centric book site, to enable adoptees–and everyone else–to discover adoptee-centric books. (Yes, I can work in the word “adoptee” a few more times if you’d like.) Now that it’s live, I’m excited to see how it grows.

Continue reading “A Conference, a Website, and a Book”

Announcing Adoptee Reading Resource: New Website for Books by Adoptees

One of the requirements for my master’s thesis in creative writing was that I compile a list of books pertinent to the thing I was creating, references that might inform either the content or the form of the stories and poems I was writing. My thesis revolved around the lived experiences of adoptees, so I wanted to find published books by and about adoptees.

Have you ever tried searching for adoptee books? If you have, you know that they’re lumped in with the books explaining how to prepare to adopt a child and the books by adoptive parents about raising an adopted child and the books by professionals advising how to deal with an adopted child. Under “adoption” you’ll also find stories of birth parents and accounts of how adoption as a practice began and reports on how adoption as an industry has evolved.

It’s nearly impossible to filter out the adoptee books from the vast number of adoption books sold by major retailers or housed in library systems. Equally impossible is locating the adoptees writing poetry or literary fiction–these works often don’t even make it into the adoption category. I found lists compiled by others who were also interested in adoptee books. A list over here, another list over there–none of them comprehensive. Continue reading “Announcing Adoptee Reading Resource: New Website for Books by Adoptees”

What’s Going On–September 2014

RoS_Cover_2014How did it get to be September? Moving to a new state sucks so much energy out of you, you lose track of the months. I’m happy to say that my family and I are finally beginning to feel settled in our new home. It’s time to turn my attention back to my creative goals.

In the midst of all the craziness, I managed to edit and publish a poetry anthology on behalf of the Georgia Poetry Society. Don’t ask me how I did it. It’s all a blur. But I’m very proud of how it turned out and thrilled to share the cover here–the first cover I’ve designed myself. I’m very grateful to artist Karen Burnette Garner for submitting to GPS’s first cover contest. Her gorgeous painting is a song.

In other news, I’ve contributed an epistolary piece to an upcoming anthology titled Dear Wonderful You: Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth. This is a unique project that will enable young adult readers to correspond directly with the authors after the book is published. I’m looking forward to interacting with these young adoptees and foster children in a mentoring role. More information about this project will be coming in the next few months.

Now that my kids are back in school, I’m settling into a writing routine once again. The memoir I’ve had floating around for several years has finally bubbled to the top of the to-do list. Anyone who’s ever thought about writing a book probably knows this dance I’ve been doing–advancing toward the manuscript and then pushing away from it, over and over again. This is a dance that can absorb a life if you let it. I’m at last determined to finish the thing, once and for all. My goal is to have a complete draft by the end of the year, and I’ve been progressing well over the past several weeks. Hold me to this, everyone!

I have other goals in mind as well. But that’s talk for another day…

 

 

 

What’s Going On–May 2014

Living LoudI’ve been away from the blog for a while, busy navigating an enormous life change that includes relocating from Atlanta to the Tampa Bay area. Things aren’t yet settled, but life marches on despite my need for rest!

The next Big Thing on my calendar is a trip to Washington, D.C., on June 1, where I’ll read along with several of my Lost Daughters sisters in support of our anthology, Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peacewhich I’m happy to report is now available in print as well as e-book format. The event, billed as Living Loud: Unabashed Identity Exploration, will take place at the K Street location of Busboys and Poets from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Let us know you’ll be there with an RSVP to our Facebook event page.

A poem of mine was recently published in what turns out to be the final issue of Conte: A Journal of Narrative WritingI wrote this one as part of my Master’s thesis, and I’m glad it’s found just the right space in the world.

I’m thrilled to share my pick of Best Literary E-zine for the 2014 Southern Literary Festival. The Treatment: Writing Medicine and Illness submitted by Hendrix College was a pleasure to explore, from the first click to the final word. Please check out the exceptional work of these creative nonfiction students.Many thanks to Gloria Bennett for inviting me to serve as a judge.

My final literary endeavor in Georgia will be completing the manuscript for the 2014 edition of The Reach of Song, Georgia Poetry Society’s annual anthology. Final edits are in the works in preparation for the book’s release in July. Pre-orders are now being accpeted; download an order form here.

Leaving Georgia will be bittersweet, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to exploring new literary territory in Tampa Bay!