The past few weeks have been busy on the writing news front.

Since my last blogs, I’ve found out about several contests and publications. I will have three poems in the new issue of Jimson Weed, the literary publication through UVA at Wise: “After Moonlight Shadow by Gabriele Corno,” “John and Elizabeth Hash,” and “Memoir.”

Black Moon Magazine has selected my flash fiction piece, “Blackbird,” for their Women’s Issue, which will run online at the end of April 2024.

I received 2nd place in the March monthly contest for the Poetry Society of Tennessee with my poem, “Highland Cow.”

If you read the blog about the Tennessee Mountain Writers Conference, you’ve already seen this, but just in case, here it is again. I received an Honorable Mention for my short story “Genevieve” in the Fiction category, and 3rd place in Children’s Literature for my story, “Bingo’s Banjo.”

Yesterday, I was thrilled to bring home two 2nd Honorable Mentions in the Poetry Society of Tennessee’s Festival contests. I’ve entered these contests on and off for over a decade and have never placed in one, so two 2nd Honorable Mentions in a festival full of competitive talent thrilled me. I placed for a haiku sequence entitled, “Majestic Maple,” and also in a category that had to be a French form (I chose a dizain), entitled, “October Leaves.”

I finally got to sit in on one of Darnell Arnoult’s Mining the Mother Lode sessions this week, my first of 2024. I got some good writing out of it, although, by the end, I was in and out of my seat a lot, thanks to the tailbone injury I sustained on the cruise. (I’m currently in PT for that and my ankle; PT is a pain, but hopefully it will help sooner than later.)

This coming weekend, I am going to the Spring Writers Retreat at Hindman Settlement School, facilitated by Robert Gipe. I’m looking forward to seeing him and to working on my short story collection, especially trying to figure out what to use as my manuscript for the Appalachian Writers Workshop this Summer. I’ll be rooming with Connie Kinsey from the 7:00 a.m. Writing Group, so I’m excited about getting to see her in person and getting to know her better, too. I can’t wait to give him his present from the 80s Cruise, too! (More on that in a blog to come later this Summer.)

This weekend, I’m working hard on meeting deadlines, not only for my blogs, but also for some potential publications. I’m also working on revisions and edits of short stories for work to be submitted in the next few weeks for other contests, publications, and workshop deadlines. It’s about the busiest time of year for me. I wish I could clone myself, or that I could operate on a lot less sleep like I could a few years ago. Covid taught me that I’m not really 29 – and that lesson aged me 21 years overnight! I used to be Wonder Woman. Or I thought so and acted like it, anyway. And somehow, I was able to pull off doing a whole lot more than I can now. I’ve been overextending myself since 1989; I’m not quite sure how to successfully slow down that habit. So, instead, I just keep stretching and hoping for the best. Here’s to surviving the next few weeks intact!