I began the New Year with the goal to get paid for my writing by the time the year was over. I joined my first critique group, made up of fellow students from Melissa Hart’s humorous essay writing class. I posted my first extended commentary on Fatherhood Etc. (on Apraxia of Speech) and someone tweeted my post on punctuality.
I wrote my first draft of a devotional essay titled “Noah,” about a six-month old cardiac baby Julia and I met when we were expecting Anna. The story was taken from a chapter of A Smile for Anna and told how the beautiful little boy and his faith-filled parents gave us the strength we needed to face our own child’s upcoming cleft surgery. I received great feedback from my critique group, and submitted a revised version to Chicken Soup for the Soul. On Fatherhood Etc., I wrote about Anna changing preschool classes, made five observations from the mall play area, and proposed a quixotic solution to the same-sex marriage debate.
A sparse month of blogging, thanks to a cold that turned into a sinus infection. Instead, I focused on a submission for Catholic Digest covering my long and circuitous path to the Catholic Church, and began a major edit on the manuscript.
My review of PDF Studio Pro 6.6 was featured in the May Issue of ATPM. Meanwhile, I wrote about The Pernicious Pink Princess Plot on Fatherhood Etc., wrote my first guest post for The Pangea Blog, and took a retreat to Mount Angel Abbey where I prayed a lot and continued editing my manuscript.
I wrote my first article as a guest contributor for MyEugene, wished my wife, Julia, a happy anniversary on Fatherhood Etc, and got the biggest news of the year so far: my essay—retitled “Truth at the Benefit Sale” was accepted for inclusion in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times. I AM A PUBLISHED WRITER!.
ATPM ran my review of Story Mill 4.0.1, Errant Parent ran my humorous essay I Miss the Terrible Twos, and MyEugene ran my stories on The Urban and Community Growers Market and Nearby Nature’s “Dragons of the Air” Dragonfly Hunt. On Fatherhood Etc., I featured Julia’s moving guest post about Freedom , and posts of my own on political correctness run amok, the point of blogging, and our new pet squirrel. I also heard back from Catholic Digest: they accepted my essay “Here I Am” for publication in an upcoming issue.
ATPM ran my review of Grandview 1.0, MyEugene ran my story on Alpaca Summer Sunday Nights, and I contributed to the Alise . . . Write! Guest Post Extravaganza. On Fatherhood Etc., I joined the celebration of #AmWriting’s second birthday, told how princesses can do anything, and realized why I write and why I take my coffee black.
My Eugene ran my stories on The River Road Community Organization’s Second Annual Free Pancake Breakfast and my visit to The Neighborhood Market. On Fatherhood Etc., I wrote about attending mass on September 11th, my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten, and the second anniversary of my mom’s passing. I launched this site, returned to a scene from the manuscript, and met and interviewed local truffle hunter Tobiah Orin Moshier for my first paid assignment.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times was released, featuring my story “Truth at the Benefit Sale. I appeared live on KEZI 9 News This Morning and in a taped segment on the evening news discussing my first publication. I found the book on the shelf at both Barnes and Noble and Fred Meyer, and signed several copies for friends and colleagues. I wrote about my daughter’s struggle with Apraxa of Speech for the Apraxia-KIDS blog and received great feedback on the article at the Salem Apraxia Walk (we also raised $355 dollars as Team Anna). I read Susan Orlean’s The Bullfighter Checks her Makeup to prepare for my first profile article and reviewed Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression. On Fatherhood Etc I wrote about Anna’s opportunity to learn new languages, her first taste of irony, and her choice of Halloween costume for the second straight year.
ATPM ran my review of Memoir 2.0 and The Pangea Blog ran a new guest post. On Fatherhood Etc. I wrote about growing older and going back to school. I also wrote several drafts of my profile article with help from my critique group and the editor at MyEugene.
MyEugene ran my profile of Tobiah Orin Moshier, which was subsequently featured on Oregon Live and included on the Oregon Truffle Festival’s News Page. The January 2012 issue of Catholic Digest went to press, featuring my Open Door segment “Here I Am.” I celebrated the first anniversary of the WordPress.com version of Fatherhood Etc., reflected on how the world is a better place in some ways and how Christmas reminds us that God is with us.