As the year draws to a close, it’s tradition to look back on months past for insight and inspiration. There’s no doubt this year was a transformative one for me in many ways, particular when it comes to creativity and writing.
View the photo album on Facebook.
From a literary and artistic perspective, below is my 2019 Year in Review!
A new resident of Michigan, I decided to challenge myself in 2019 to put my work out there. The year began with a new short story, which I finished just in time for a critique on the second day of the new year.
The short story was a sobering one called “The Prisoner,” but I went on to write a lot of magical realism and poetry as well!
In February, I officially launched the Grand River Writers Guild, a long-form critique group for fiction writers. Based in Greater Lansing, Michigan, we now have a flourishing group of novelists and short story writers, as well as a page to share writing advice with all!
Follow our page: Grand River Writers Guild
In March, I received a new request for the full manuscript of my Aurora Novel, which inches closer to publication every year. The literary agency who requested an exclusive read is one of the top firms in the industry, and they are still considering my book.
In April, I joined a fantastic group in town called Fiction 440, where people write flash fiction to a 440 word count using a prompt and perform each story for a live audience. By coincidence, I attended just in time to join them on the main stage of the East Lansing Art Festival in May, and I made my fiction performance debut to a huge festival crowd!
Read the piece: Graffiti Beast
In May, I performed my published short story titled “Look Up” at the REO Town Reading Series, a great series that welcomes writers of many genres to share their work each month during the school year.
Follow the series: REO Town Reading Series
In June, I was invited to share an excerpt of my novel at The Good Tyme Writers Buffet in Hamtramck, Michigan. This potluck was a ton of fun, bringing talented writers together with a featured artist!
Check out the event: The Good Tyme Writers Buffet
In July, I performed poetry as the featured artist at the Inkwell Open Mic and Reading Series in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was one of many stops on an ongoing tour I titled the #CelestialLitTour.
The performance venue was Urban Artifact, a cool spot in a remodeled church where I had a chance to sell copies of my book, “Hope in the Hoarfrost.”
In August, I discovered an amazing community and the event where it all started in Lansing: The Poetry Room! I performed a new poem on stage in front of an audience of more than 50 people, and was so inspired by these talented poets that I keep coming back!
Check out the website: https://the517poetryroom.com/
In September, I submitted a short story featuring Clarence, the Aurora Chaser, to the first-ever Reo Town Reading Series Anthology, and I just learned the story was accepted for publication! I also wrote and performed a new piece for Fiction 440.
Check out my Writing!
In October, I wrote a new short story called “Black and Tan,” which was received to great critical review. I also started brainstorming some poetry ideas, launching #PoetNotes the next month!
Follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/mfkaelin
In November, I joined Co-founders Dixie J. Burbank and Dr. Mike Shaw to launch the 3rd Annual Aurora Summit, which was a huge success!
I presented on Aurora Myth & Legend: Secrets of the Goddess of the Dawn, and I launched our new Instagram! Together, we also started plotting our celebration of the night sky for 2020.
Visit the website: TheAuroraSummit.com
By December, two of my poems were selected for publication in a literary magazine based out of Berlin, Germany. The poems are now live! Read the Celestial edition of The Wild Word: TheWildWord.com
Publication was a fantastic way to finish out a rewarding year full of creativity, challenges, and community. On my adventures, I met talented and inspiring people everywhere, and I can’t wait to see what the New Year will bring!
A Year of Obstacles and Growth
Looking back, 2019 was one marked by challenges in my personal, professional and creative life. It was also a year of growth and creative expansion, and it was interlaced with heartwarming reunions and genuine compassion. As tough as the year was, I’m thrilled to have landed right where I am.
Wishing you lots of courage, inspiration, and above all, self-love in the New Year!