The best news:
I recently signed a contract with Houghton Mifflin Hardcourt and a segment of my New York Times Magazine essay “Running Into Danger on an Alaskan Trail” will be featured in textbooks and reading materials for school-age students.
This is so exciting because when I was in school, reading was the only thing that interested me. It took me to other worlds, showed me other ways of life, opened doors to endless possibilities and dreams. It gave me something to hope for, and strive towards. Reading basically saved my life.
The idea that I could give back, that something I wrote might influence students in a similar way means more than just about anything else I’ve accomplished during my writing career. Forget money and book sales, the social media grind, the constant shuffling to maintain a presence/profile/following. Opportunities such as this are the blood and guts behind why I write.
Really good news:
–I have a new piece out in Brilliant Flash Fiction.
–I have three poems coming out in Thirteenth Nerve.
–I was chosen as a mentor for The Handy, Uncapped Pen program, where I’ll be matched with a handy capable writer to guide through six weeks of memoir and/or essay writing. This takes place in August and September, and I cannot wait to jump in and begin.
Not so good news:
I recently sent out a bunch of essays and a short story to a slew of magazines, and the rejections have been flying in.
So far I’ve been rejected by: Hawaii Pacific Review, Shenandoah, Hypertext Magazine, Cheat River Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Gravel and Itapal Magazine (ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch and ouch–wait, was that enough ouching?).
But it’s hard to worry about rejections (though of course I worry about rejections, I obsess over every single damned one) when the light has returned. We’re up to 13.5 glorious hours of daylight and gaining over four minutes a day. I can’t begin to tell you what it’s like when the light returns, how the darkness presses in during the winter, presses in until you feel suffocated and small and your brain and eyes and whole body yearn for warmth and long, sunny days. Surviving the winter up here is no small feat, so we all rejoice this time of year, we appreciate and are thankful for every sunny day. And it’s been sunny here lately, and the snow is melting fast, and we’ve been getting out for some awesome runs and dog walks, where we’ve frolicked in the snow and chased our shadows, and Seriously sniffed out a lot of stinky dead stuff and had a stinky good time. (It was 40 degrees today and I saw people out walking in short and flip-flops, no lie.)
I leave for Tucson tomorrow. When I return in late April, the snow will be gone and after a few weeks of everything being brown and dreary, the green will return and summer will be here, and every day I’ll be outside on the trails or up in the mountains or at the beach.
Sometimes I worry that my life is too small. I’m horribly introverted and spend a lot of time alone and inside my head. Other times I think: Cinthia, your life might be might be small, but it’s also very, very good.