How This Past Decade Turned Me Into An Author

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you…
– from “Time” by Pink Floyd


This has to have been the fastest year in memory! I can’t believe that we’re just hours away from a whole new decade. I’m looking back at not just the past year of my writing, but the decade. In doing so, I realized that this period marked the time that I put my writing and myself out into the world! This is the decade that I became an author.

This is also the decade that saw me finally walk across the stage to receive my MFA in Creative Writing and watched me publish my first book and welcome the others that followed. I am excited already about the upcoming decade which will offer and see more.

The following is a timeline and resource of my work, as well as a reminder to myself about what I’ve accomplished in my writing life to keep me going and inspired for more. Please follow along with me πŸ™‚ It means a great deal having you on this journey with me. I’m grateful for your support of my work on this blog and my stories.

Looking back…


  • Began my first blog, putting myself out into the world – it wound up being more fun than I thought it would be: Title started as “Tonya Rice – Writer” before becoming The Reading Corner
  • Here’s MY VERY FIRST POST (reprinted): I’m A Writer, I Have A Byline!
    Photo: Tonya Rice (Grace Metalious from the back cover of my copy of Peyton Place)
  • Began writing articles for online publication, examiner dot com, focusing on local places in my hometown, Richmond, Virginia, as the “Richmond Landmarks and Historic Districts Examiner”. My first article about the statue of the famous black dancer who left Richmond for Hollywood, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, is reprinted here.
  • Joined a local writer’s group.


  • Attended my first writer’s conference: James River Writers Conference



  • Resumed my graduate studies after taking a few years off; changing my degree from M. A. in English to M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Fiction)
  • Published my first novelette: Without Your Goodbye



  • This was (so-far) my best writing year and is well-summarized right here, but in nutshell…
    • Graduated from National University with my M.F.A. in Creative Writing
    • Published my first short story collection in paperback: Burying the Bitter and Selected Short Fiction
    • Participated in my first Literary Festival (invited to another this coming March 2020, by the way: details here!)
    • Honored with the opportunity to write a blurb for From Whence Cometh My Help: The African American Community of Hollins College by Ethel Morgan Smith, a stunning, fascinating, and intensely revealing book about the black families (enslaved and later employed) who served the Hollins College (now University) community and their descendants who lived nearby and continued to work there – and their connections to the college were kept secret (so much so that when I was there in the 1980s, I didn’t know about it – none of us students did… I was devastated to learn what I learned so many years later from Dr. Morgan Smith and thanks to her, they are secret no more and have been recognized and celebrated by the college since her book). Highly recommended book.
    • Met Nikki Giovanni and my daughter witnessed me fangirl (wince!) at my alma mater, Hollins University
    • Sat at Dorothy Parker’s Round Table at The Algonquin Hotel in New York City with my family
    • Attended the James River Writers Conference again – this time with something to pitch!! (The editor requested the full manuscript; unfortunately, it wasn’t a fit for her, but I remain thankful for her interest in my story. I did put it down for a while for fresher eyes towards another round of rewriting and editing.)
    • Again… details for this extraordinary year are right here.


Looking at it all on one page, I see it wasn’t bad at all. It featured a series of serious steps to where I have to be before the end of the first year of the incoming decade. However, I also see there’s still so much, much more for me to do to reach my writing goals.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again…
– more from “Time” by Pink Floyd

I will be sixty in this coming decade; lots to reach, so, Mr. Gilmour, this is how I’m racing…


  • New historical fiction to be published
  • Among panel of local authors in upcoming Books in Bloom: Celebrating Richmond Authors (March 14, 2020)
  • Will be attending James River Writers Conference this year
  • More plans, events, publications to come and I’ll note them here as they do.

Oh, also, I passed my Goodeads Reading Challenge for 2019! Yay! (A trip to Potterworld is certainly now in order; see list and you’ll understand πŸ™‚ )

What are your writing and reading goals. too? Please share in the comments!

As always, thanks for being here and Happy New Year!!!

Thanks for reading! For immediate publishing updates, please stop by my website and sign up for my newsletter. My thanks to you is a FREE story – Without Your Goodbye!

2 thoughts on “How This Past Decade Turned Me Into An Author

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s