Last Year Wasn’t Such a Bad Year After All – for Writing

2017-06-30 15.11.35-1It was a pretty darn good [writing] year after all, that 2017.

As I welcomed 2018 and made good riddance to the last, I wound up giving pause to remember the fact that my writing life featured some fantastic accomplishments that I shouldn’t dare forget. Moving along each passing moment, going day-by-day in every other aspect that didn’t involve writing, I seemed to neglect keeping them in my line of vision throughout the rest of the year. So, this is my time to do so and to create this memory pocket for which I need to return often when I think I’m not stepping  towards my writing goals or even when I dare think that I’m not.

So, in my writing world of 2018, the following happily occurred:

  • Completed my MFA this year. After seven long years of study, I made it!


2017-06-24 10.08.45
Photo: Tonya Rice


Photo: Tonya Rice

Had the honor of being asked to write a blurb for the republication of a book by a dear friend of mine, Dr. Ethel Morgan Smith. Her book, From Whence Cometh My Help: The African-American Community at Hollins College, brought forth the silenced voices of the black community that had kept that college running with no credit until now. It’s made a tremendous impact on my college community going forward and the city of Roanoke as well. Highly recommended read!



  • At a play based upon Dr. Smith’s book, “African Violets”, my daughter took her first trip to my alma mater and she watched me fangirl when we met Nikki Giovanni! My goodness, we learned her poems in third grade!! Lifelong fan!
Photo: Tonya Rice
  • Completed the first of my trilogy “The Boutique Series” (which was introduced in the short, Burying the Bitter: A Boutique Series Short, a few years ago), that I’ve been working on for a while… Good news: Publication expected in the next month or so! More details soon!
  • On our family trip to New York this summer, we did sooo much, but one highlight was dining at Dorothy Parker’s Round Table at the famed Algonquin Hotel! (Nah, it wasn’t the same table, but still…!) I even brought along the manuscript to my first story of The Boutique Series to work on there!
  • I attended the James River Writing Conference – first time in six years – and saw folks I hadn’t seen in a while and met new writer friends… even finally made in-person connections with some of my Twitter friends! Motivation, camaraderie, and inspiration galore! This time, I went with something to pitch – my thesis/that historical novel – and I did! I’m sooo hoping and praying she gets back to me soon with positive news! 2017-10-14 19.28.18
  • And I participated in NaNoWriMo, too, for the first time. Got halfway through another historical piece that’s been dangling around in my mind for a while. I didn’t make the full, expected 50,000 word count, BUT at just a bit over 15,000 words (15,218 to be exact), it’s a lot more than I had when I started on November 1! It’s the next novel I’m working on!

Well, with this chronicle, I discovered that my writing life wasn’t as dire as I’d come to believe after all. I have to keep this with me!

I’d love to hear your writing accomplishments from last year too. Please share and let me know what your plans are for this year!

I’m posting my reading list tomorrow… please stay tuned. I plan to pop in here a bit more than last year!

Now, on to 2018 and Happy New Year, Everyone!


12 thoughts on “Last Year Wasn’t Such a Bad Year After All – for Writing

  1. Tonya, I am so impressed with all you’ve done. You are an inspiration. Sincere congratulations on earning your Master’s degree. I know from experience that is a huge accomplishment. Certainly hope you see your novel published…it sounds awesome, as does your other pieces of writing. On my end, I joined SCBWI and have four completed manuscripts that I’m querying. Currently, I’m changing my blog a bit. It will now focus on helping parents of kids from 4th to 7th grade that struggle and need reading support. I dearly miss teaching so I see this as a way to use my experience and expertise to help others and still teach. Hope 2018 holds many writing and personal successes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rita, thank you so much for your kind words and continued support! I still enjoy your posts very much. My daughter’s in 9th grade now and I find your advice still applies well. It’s a blessing to still have this as an outlet even though you’re not in the classroom. Congratulations, too, on your manuscripts!!!! Keep me posted, please. That querying is certainly another planet of its own. LOL. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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