¡2017 Writing Highlights!
One of the lovely things about having a FB author page is that I can scroll through and quickly find my writing related wins! I wholeheartedly believe in celebrating all the big and small success we achieve along the way, so I wanted to share my 2017 highlights with my FB community in the hopes that you will join me in raising a virtual glass as we say goodbye to this year and hello to the fortunes ahead in 2018! ¡Salud! ?
I also hope this post inspires you to take some time to reflect on your year and celebrate all the wins — big or small — that came your way. What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2017? Comment below
In many ways, 2017 was a year for quietly scribbling away and producing drafts. At the start of the year, my infant was still quite fond of lap naps, so I found myself writing in notebooks and spending a lot of time sifting through old daily writing, gathering material for future projects while he snoozed.
That being said, I also had my book *Words or Water* to celebrate, so a lot of my creative energy went into organizing a book party that featured the fabulous Tisha Reichle, Amanda Hollander, Jessica Ankeny, and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo!
Beyond the book party, *Words or Water* was recognized in two “must read” lists and copies of it were stocked in the Museum of Latin American Art here in Long Beach. In March, I briefly met one of my idols Rita Moreno, and I handed her a signed copy of *Words or Water*! Plus, when my friend, the talented novelist Naima Coster, read *Words or Water,* she was so taken by the poem “Adios” that she asked if she could use an excerpt of it as an epigraph for her debut novel *Halsey Street* (available now!) I of course said, Hell Yes!!
I also wrapped up a scholarly project (fingers crossed for good news in the new year), applied for a fellowship, co-led a workshop with Jenni Brandon, and submitted and published work. Overall a very productive year, even if at times it felt like one of the years my writing life was more back burner than front and center.
And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Puerto Rico in the wake of hurricane Maria and it’s aftermath. Worrying from afar about my family and our island most definitely took its toll and continues to be on the forefront of my mind and heart. I haven’t written in any directed way about any of this, but through e-mails, fb posts, text messages, and journal entries I have written and ruminated quite a bit. Esto es para largo. These stories are only beginning to unfold. 100+ days out and many continue without power. What, I wonder, will the next 100 days bring for our island and our people?
It didn’t always feel like it, but in the end 2017 was a really productive year and I’m really proud of how much love I gave to my creative and writing life.
I have some big plans for 2018. My partner and I are calling 2018 our “Year of Abundanc,” and I am working on my annual “road map” (as opposed to resolutions) as we speak — stay tuned!
Happy New Year! And thank you as always for your support and for joining me on this FB journey of celebrating Creativity & Cultura! ??
Here’s a list of my 2017 highlights with links to relevant posts. Enjoy! ?
January: Began the #52essays2017 challenge; ended the year with about 42 “essays” (I used the term “essay” very loosely).
March: Fulfilled a lifelong dream of meeting Rita Moreno. Gave her a signed copy of *Words or Water*
April: Signed copies of *Words or Water* became available at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)
April 30: I co-led the workshop “Parenthood Chronicles: Creative Ways to Document your Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting Stories”
May: *Words or Water* was included in Queen Mob’s Tea House’s list: “Latinx Books for the Next 100 Days & Beyond”
June 3: *Words or Water* Book Party!!
-Work accepted for inclusion in a forthcoming AROHO anthology
-Revised & resubmitted a scholarly article about Gloria Anzaldúa to MELUS
September 8: *Words or Water* turned 1!
-Applied for Obama Foundation Fellowship (Thanks for the heads up Amanda Hollander!)
-Carved our time for submitting
November: I gained more hours of dedicated writing time each week thanks to my partner changing jobs, significantly freeing up both of our schedules.
-An excerpt of my poem “Adios” appears in Naima Coster’s debut novel *Halsey Street*
-*Words or Water* was included in Latino Stories’ list: “Top Ten New Latino and Latina Authors”
-My poem “Poe Park” was republished in the fall issue of Aster(ix) Journal (it originally appeared in PALABRA in 2008)
¡Happy New Year!
Li Yun Alvarado
Puerto Rican Poet, Scholar & Parent
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Words or Water