What's coming in 2024?
New versions of Accidental Mentors, your Accidental Mentors posts, and a new serialized memoir about family secrets.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Whether you celebrated Hannukah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, all of these, or none of these, I hope you felt the embrace of community and love. I certainly did.
However, I have to admit, my writing suffered a bit during the holidays. Between family celebrations, time with my beloved, buying a new car, and just having time to be, I didn’t get a post up Sunday, which had been my pattern. I know you understand! But I’m back on track now!
A banner year
These past seven months has been a journey of discovery and exploration for me as I launched my Substack newsletter. Thanks to your support, I published 116 posts since I launched my publication on 5/24/2023. That’s an accomplishment I’m proud of. Because of what you shared with me, I know you enjoyed reading my posts and that has meant the world to me.
The vast majority of those posts were part of my micro-memoir: Accidental Mentors: Inspirational Stories of Women Who Shaped My Life by Just Being Themselves. This is a project I started when I was turning 65 and decided to honor the incredible women in my life. Three and a half years later, they all made it into publication. That makes me happy.
If you’re a new subscriber and you missed these stories, you can read them all here:
What I’ve learned (re-learned) about myself as I writer during this past year is that I do best when I have a project. I’ve never been successful as a whatever-I-feel-like-writing-about-today blogger. I’ve tried it before and failed at it then. I have friends who do that well, and I read other Substack newsletters by writers who are quite comfortable in that mode. It’s not, however, the way I think about writing.
So that brings me to my plan for 2024
In 2024, I plan to finish up work on Accidental Mentors and start posting a new serialized memoir. Here are some details:
Print Accidental Mentors
My goal is to publish print, e-book, and audio/podcast versions of Accidental Mentors. It’s my hope that this will reach new readers and teach me more about the business of self-publishing while I’m at it.
Remember, if you’re a paid subscriber, you’ll receive free print or e-book copies (your choice) of any books I publish during the year in which you’re subscribed, including Accidental Mentors, so stay tuned for that!
Share YOUR Accidental Mentor stories
Thank you to those who have already submitted your Accidental Mentor stories about one of the women in your life who has inspired you, helped you, guided you, or positively impacted who you are today. I’m still hoping to receive more stories from you. If you haven’t submitted yours yet, please get it to me as soon as possible. Here’s more information:
Publish a new serialized memoir
Over ten years ago, when I participated in the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing program, I drafted a memoir about my family’s secrets. I obviously wasn’t ready to publish it yet though because, although I revisited it serval times and revised sections of it, it never went anywhere beyond that.
I’ve decided to push myself by publishing a serialized version of it this year, so you’ll be the first to read it. This memoir has a working title of If You Only Knew: A Memoir about Family Secrets and their Undoing.
I’ll be publishing completed “draft” chapters and other writing adjacent to this material. For example, I plan to write about what it was like for a family to deal with polio in the 1940s, to experience divorce in the 1950s, especially as Catholics, to come out in the 1970s, letters I’ve written (after she passed) to my mother, and other subjects I grapple with in the memoir.
If it goes as planned, and with your help, I want to be ready to go to press with a completed manuscript by the end of this year. How can you help, you might be asking? By offering feedback, sharing your stories, letting me know what confuses you and what moves you. I’ll appreciate it all. So, watch for posts labeled “If You Only Knew” and delve into the world of secrets.
Open an online bookshop to support independent bookstores
I love independent bookstores and yet, I admit I’m not always good at purchasing my books from them. The convenience of the behemoth can be overpowering at times (you know who I’m talking about). I promise to do better this year.
So to help me (and you) with that, I’ve started an affiliate relationship with Bookshop.org. There, I’ll be listing books I reference in my posts and other books I want to share with you.
View my first booklist:
Note: As a Bookshop.org affiliate, I receive a small commission if you purchase any books using this link.
My goals for the year are ambitious. I’m fully aware of that. But I’m planning to be cancer-free in 2024, so that alone should afford me a ton of time and energy as compared to 2023! In addition, I feel like I’ve found a writing rhythm that mostly works, so I should be able to dedicate adequate time to these projects. At least those are my hope in these heady days of January.
Another major hope is that you’ll read my writing and share it with those who might appreciate it. I had a goal of reaching 200 subscribers in my first year, which I accomplished thanks to you. In 2024, my goal is 500 subscribers. With your help, I can accomplish that.
Thank you again for supporting my work. I’m looking forward to sharing more with you in 2024. May it be a year with more peace, more love, and more hope.
Warmth and love,