Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Did It List

I’m a writer who beats herself up. Most of us do. So I want to thank Erika Dreifus (http://www.erikadreifus.com/newsletter/current/) for her adaptation of Lisa Romeo’s post, Looking Back, Looking Ahead, No Regrets please (http://lisaromeo.blogspot.com/). These past few months, the rejections have come in, plunging me down into that place where writers go when they're despondent. It's rather dark in there. So I'm climbing out to write my "I DId It List" for 2012 as Lisa suggests. 
After a trip to France in 2011, I completed four essays on material I gathered there, researching and interviewing, beginning a series of essays related to Jews in France during the Second World War, one about Germaine Poliakov is published in ASCENT  (http://readthebestwriting.com/?p=1581).
Returning to France this past fall, I interviewed Germaine Poliakov for a second time. Germaine is ninety-four, vibrant and sharp. I drafted an essay about her life in Paris after the Second World War. Then, traveling and conducting three more interviews, I drafted three more essays.
An essay, “The Groves,” won second prize in the Press 53 Open Awards Contest, and is published in the Press 53 Anthology, 2012. That same essay is upcoming in CALYX.
An essay was named a finalist in the Maine Literary Awards, short nonfiction category for 2012.
I was awarded a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (http://www.vcca.com/main/index.php).
I met two wonderful writers, West Moss (http://theyearofmynovel.blogspot.com/2012/06/home-again.html) and David Ebenbach (http://davidebenbach.com). .
I strengthened my friendship with writer, Kristen Cosby (http://www.kristencosby.com).

I have taken Steve Almond’s (http://stevealmondjoy.com) seminar “How to Create an Irresistible Narrator” at Grub Street in Boston.
With the help of one of my sons and daughters in law, I have updated my blog to include links and I have committed to publishing more often.
I continue to work with my wonderful writing group, driving to Brookline ten times each semester to sit at the table with nine wonderful women.
Probably, after I publish this blog, I will think of more that I could have added to this list, but this is enough to keep me looking ahead without regrets, as Lisa Romeo suggests. I'm so happy to have discovered her website. 
Not a bad idea to make a similar list for other aspects of my life.
A happy and healthy New Year to all.  


  1. Happy New Year! I always learn something new after reading your blog entries. They are rich and honest, inquiring and dare I say lovely. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. That is so kind. Thank you and happy New Year to you as well.

  3. I'm glad you rowed yourself out of the Seacof Despair in order to write your list.What a tremendous amount you've achieved, more than most of us can hope to during a lifetime of writing. The rejections are not a reflection on the quality of your work but more a reflection on the publishers inability to read every MS or of their editorial staff to recognise a work which might sell despite not being full of sex and violence.
    Don't reproach yourself for holding to the dignity of style a good book can have without descending to the depths of a base mind. Violence and sex have their place but not in every book placed on the market. You must either persevere or content yourself with Indie publishing where you will do as much promotion as with a publishing house nowadays.
    Congratulations on the awards and I wish you a New Year of Health, Wealth and Happiness.

  4. Thank you,David, for your generous, kind support. Happy New Year.

  5. I am so pleased to have been of some inspiration, Sandell. Kudos on your impressive and meaningful accomplishments in 2012!

  6. Thank you, Lisa. I'm looking forward to your newsletter, blog and writing prompts.

  7. What a wonderful post! I'm so glad to have read it, and happy to have played a small part in its generation. Sandell, you had a remarkable year! Many congratulations. And thank you also for pointing me to your ASCENT essay, which is just stunning.

  8. Erika, many, many thanks. Perhaps, we can meet at AWP in Boston. Are you going?

  9. Alas, I am not going to AWP this year. But I'm expecting to be in the area later in the spring. Stay tuned!


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