Hey everybody. I’m participating in an author party on Facebook for the 2018 Young Explorers Adventure Guide anthology, which will include my story “Polaris in the Dark.” The anthology is scheduled to be released in December, but in the meantime we have a week long event where the authors in the anthology talk about their writing and answer questions. I’m on from 3:00-6:00 PM next Wednesday, June 27. So come hang out and chat with me. The link to the Facebook event page is here.
I’ve been sitting on this for about a month now, because there wasn’t a contract and I didn’t want to jinx it. But it’s really happening, so I am super excited to tell you all that my short story “Polaris in the Dark” will be published in the 2018 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide anthology! It’s an anthology of science fiction stories about diverse characters aimed at middle grade readers. My story is about a blind girl indentured on the train that runs around the rings of Saturn… until she escapes. This isn’t the first story I’ve written about a blind character, but it is my first ever science fiction story, which is really cool. I had a lot of fun inventing gadgets that I actually want in the real world. Also it’s my first professional sale, so yay! If you’re interested, you can vote for the cover of the anthology here. I’ll keep you all posted as the anthology develops.
It is here! And it is not an April Fools joke! My short story “Dissonance” has been published in Abyss and Apex. Go read it here. I hope you enjoy, and if you do enjoy, please share it.
And after you’ve read the story, if you’re curious about where the idea came from, what revisions I made, and other fun facts, check out this page. Bonus: you’ll get to see my own illustration of the story.
2015 is coming to a close. It has been an absolutely crazy year. When I look back at where I was a year ago (and Facebook has been kind enough to remind me that a year ago today I was touring the Vatican with my family), I cannot believe how far I’ve come.
I was in Italy until June, finishing my Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Assisi. Parts of those six months were really difficult. I was lonely and more afraid than I have ever been ever, not to mention that I had no idea what I was going to do next. But despite all this, I persevered, and I still had some wonderful experiences (I can say this now because perspective is a great thing). After Christmas, I visited Rome, Florence, and Pisa with my family. I returned to Rome in February for the Fulbright midyear meeting. In March, my mother and I visited Bari and Matera. In May, I visited Narni—the village that inspired The Chronicles of Narnia—with some Kenyon friends who were studying in England for the year. In June, before I came home, I went to see the Museo Omero in Ancona and the Flower Festival in Spello. We visited Spoletto and Venice, the wineries at Montefalco in Umbria, and Lake Trasimeno on the border between Umbria and Tuscany. And when I wasn’t traveling, I was teaching everything from English, literature and creative writing to history, sociology, and chemistry (I claim very little proficiency in those last two). I improved my Italian (though I haven’t practiced much since), and I made some wonderful friends.
At the same time, the difficulties I was facing in Italy, including a lot of discrimination, helped me decide that I want to attend law school. I’ve said this a few times already, but though I feel that I might have come to this decision without my experiences in Italy, those experiences gave me the passion and the empathy that I hope to bring to disability law in school and beyond. So when I came home, I spent the summer studying hard for the LSAT. I took the LSAT in October and claimed victory. Then I filled out all my law school applications. Now I’m back to playing the waiting game. And everyone knows I’m really bad at that. On the other hand, I have already been accepted to three law schools, so it’s much less stressful. I know I am going to law school. Now it’s just a question of where.
Since I took the LSAT, I have also been volunteering at the New Hampshire Disability Rights Center, which has been a blast. I have learned a lot about disability rights in just two months, but most of all, I am sure now that this is what I want to do.
Finally, I had some writing successes as well. My story “Naming Angelo” was the second runner-up for the Dell Award, and “Dissonance” was accepted for publication by Abyss and Apex in October. And it’s coming out Friday, guys! Be excited!
So I did a lot of stuff this year. Last January, when I set out my goals for the year, I had no idea what was coming. Now… I have no idea what those goals were and if I actually achieved them. So let’s take a look:
- By the time I return from Italy at the end of June, one of my novels will be edited and ready to start submitting:
From January to March, I worked pretty much nonstop to revise my small child wizard novel and get it down to a reasonable length. And I did it! I was having a really hard time then, and my father suggested that I reorient my goals: take this time and use it to write or read or draw. Set goals for yourself that you can accomplish and use this time for that. So I wrote, and I’m positive that having this project was the only thing that kept me going through February. I even started to get to the submitting part. More news on that soon, I hope.
As for the honors novel, which I also thought I might revise, that didn’t happen at all. But I have a plan for that, and my goal was only to edit one of the three novels on my computer.
2. Keep this website updated on a semi-regular basis:
Okay, I slacked a bit from July to October, but it’s a far cry better than I was doing before, when I was posting only like once every four months. So I count it a win. Also, I’ve gotten more than 2000 hits this year, so thank you all for sticking with me and my ramblings this year.
3. Use Twitter:
So, about that…
Unless you count that I tweet every time I write a new blog post (and I don’t, because WordPress does it for me), I have pretty much utterly failed at this. I just can’t seem to get the hang of Twitter. Can someone teach me?
4. Continue writing and submitting short stories:
Done and done. And it’s paying off.
5. Make decisions about what I want to do with my life:
Mission accomplished, at least for the near future. But let me tell you, these were some tough decisions—not to pursue a doctorate in comparative literature or an MFA in creative writing—and in some ways they were disappointing decisions. If I think about it, I’m honestly not that surprised that teaching wasn’t my favorite thing in the world. But I always expected that I would almost exclusively go the writing route, which isn’t to say I’m going to stop writing, obviously. It’s just not the only thing I’m going to do. And after I’ve been telling my family my whole life that no way would I ever become a lawyer, well, you can guess how that felt. But now I’m confident that I’m on the right path, and if I change my mind down the road, I know myself enough to accept that.
But I’m not going to change my mind.
So that’s 2015. It’s been an incredible year. Looking back on where I was a year ago, I’m overwhelmed with feelings I can’t quite pick apart. Nostalgia, probably. Happiness at all I’ve done, definitely. Shock and wonder at how far I’ve come—both figuratively and literally—there’s a lot of distance between January 2015 Jameyanne and December 2015 Jameyanne. But all the changes have been good, and I’m excited for what comes next.
I am thrilled to announce that my short story “Dissonance” will be published in Abyss and Apex Magazine in January 2016! This is one of my favorite stories I have written, so I am super excited that it is finally going to be published so you all can read it. I will post a link when it is released,so keep an eye out.
Back in January, I wrote a post about my New Year’s resolutions, and now, at the beginning of September, I thought it might be a good idea to check in on how I’ve done, celebrate some successes, and renew the ones that could use some renewing.
1. Post on Facebook Every Day:
To be entirely honest, I haven’t posted on Facebook every single day this year, but I do almost every day, and I have gotten myself into the habit of actually using Facebook like a normal person, which was the goal underlying the “post every day” bit. So I declare this resolution a success.
2. Reach 200 rejection letters or get published, whichever comes first:
I’m not going to say exactly how many rejections I have because I don’t want to share and no one really wants to know that, but in all likelihood, I will reach 200 by the end of the calendar year.
On the other hand, I have made 200 a moot point. After 137 rejections, my story “The Year of Salted Skies” was named the third runner-up for the 2014 Dell Award, and after 150 rejections, my story “The Collector” was accepted for publication at Cast of Wonders! And it was published .
3. Blog semi-regularly:
I could make all sorts of excuses for why I haven’t blogged—finishing my thesis and taking my honors exams, applying to graduate schools, waiting to hear from said graduate schools and from the Fulbright, graduating, preparing for a year in Italy, expanding the World War II Italy novella into a full length novel, all that important stuff. But I am not going to bemoan or attempt to excuse my lack of blogging activity. Instead, I am going to renew this resolution. 2014 is not over yet, and the new school year is about to begin. This year I will be teaching instead of learning, and this is strange and a little scary to me. Also Italy, which is awesome and must be blogged about. So I will make a new school year’s resolution to blog more. Please pester me if I don’t.
But, lack of blogging aside, I have to say, this has been the year! I graduated from college! I got a Fulbright scholarship to teach in Assisi, Italy! And I got published! And if I did all that—and kept my Facebook resolution—then I will get better at blogging.
And once I get better at blogging, maybe I’ll figure out this thing called Twitter.