Back and Forth, Back and Forward

And so, as I mark this back and forth, back and forward, 2017 recap and movement into 2018, I invite you to stalk me on Instagram if you want to know the details of my personal life. I have no doubt that the awkward amount of cat videos, and photos of cocktails and coffee will answer all your questions. Special bonus—there are gross pictures of my double-its-normal-size eye today that prompted a fun ER trip yesterday. (That I might actually write about.)

Welp. 2017 kicked my butt right down to the last minute.

Over the last year in particular, I’ve debated about what I should share via this little platform I call a blog and what things I should leave to journals and therapists. It’s a tricky balance that nonfiction writers often explore, and it’s one that I’ve not wrestled much with thus far in my career.

2017 changed that for me.

Basically, life did not go as planned or as planned or as planned as planned. My work from this past year–my most personal, yet unpublished work–explored my honest disappointment over the fact that life is simply not the fairy tale I thought I’d signed up for. And that’s fine,  because my journals and friends (thank God!) can take it, but it’s honestly not what I want to write about anymore.

You’ve already read that story in various forms from me: Notes From My Phone*, The In-Between,” “Same Sky, Different City,” and “Catching My Breath.”

I’m proud of these pieces and encourage you to read them if you haven’t before, but I’m done writing about the lessons I’ve learned when life doesn’t go my way. As someone reminded me recently, life not going my way can also just be called life. Disappointment isn’t as novel as I once thought it was.

I’m ready to create art differently than I have thus far.

And so, as I mark this back and forth, back and forward, 2017 recap and movement into 2018, I invite you to stalk me on Instagram if you want to know the details of my personal life. I have no doubt that the awkward amount of cat videos, and photos of cocktails and coffee will answer all your questions. Special bonus—there are gross pictures of my double-its-normal-size eye today that prompted a fun ER trip yesterday. (That I might actually write about.)

There. We’re all caught up.

Now, as I run into a new season as fast as my permanently-sprained ankle will allow me, I do want to highlight a few happenings from the second half of 2017 you may have missed:

15 Best Places to Write in Baltimore

Over the summer, I had a lot of fun writing a piece for BmoreArt naming the best places to write in Baltimore City. You can check out the list here.

Many Baltimore writers helped me out by sharing their favorite local places with me and helping me develop a list of criteria that was important for quality writing time. A big thank you to everyone who helped with that project, and special shoutout to a few friends who were especially instrumental:

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Dave K is the author of THE BONG-RIPPING BRIDES OF COUNT DROGADO, recently released from Mason Jar Press. He is also a village and civil parish in Warwickshire, England.

Kelsey Marden is a Baltimore-based writer, photographer, and designer. You can learn more about her at kelseymarden.com.

Terri Steel is a memoirist, traveler and yogini. She is the author of The Lucky One. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram, or connect with her on Facebook.

Michael B. Tager is a Baltimore-based writer and editor. He is wary when in bear country. His website is: michaelbtager.com.

Mychael Zulauf is a poet, musician, book artist, publisher, and podcaster currently living in Baltimore. Check out his music at soundcloud.com/weleavehome, his press at akinogapress.com, and his podcast at soundcloud.com/sopoetry.

Centenary College Reading

The fall was extremely busy with readings and events  in Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh, PA; Lafayette, LA; Shreveport, LA; Philadelphia, PA, and back home in Baltimore, MD.

Below are photos and a video from the Centenary event in October. A huge thank you to Sarah Duet, Jennifer Strange, Candace Metoyer, Meadows Museum, and everyone at Centenary who made this happen.

If you haven’t yet, check out Sarah Duet’s beautiful recap of the event here (and check out her music and art while you’re at it).

Writers & Words

About three years ago, I created a reading series called Writers & Words with my good friends Michael B. Tager and Ian Anderson. I had no idea that this reading series would become a staple in the Baltimore writing community.

In 2015, I left Writers & Words to work on my writing and to teach graphic design. I enjoyed my time away from W&W, but I’m very excited to announce that I officially returned to the team in August. In the two years since I’ve been gone, the reading series has blossomed into a rich community of writers in and around the Baltimore area.

In December, we held our 2nd writing retreat affectionately called The Woods. The weekend was cohosted with Ink Press. The weekend was a complete success:

You can expect exciting developments and additional partnerships from W&W in the coming year. Stay tuned and check us out every second Tuesday at Charmington’s, especially if you haven’t been to one before.

Notes From My Phone* Updates

23000225_10155067028386769_7416402189137746297_oThank you to everyone who participated in the #NotesFromMyPhone giveaway in December! Keep tagging, and I’ll keep trying to figure out how to actually use Twitter effectively.

If you missed the announcement, you can now get Notes on Amazon Kindle. Later this spring I will also be releasing an audio book version of the text if that’s your jam. As always, if you haven’t had a chance to rate Notes on Amazon or Goodreads, please do.

Rating books helps authors like me more than you know!

New Projects & Upcoming Readings

So far, 2018 has been me taking on experiences that expand both my people and project circles. This comes with its challenges because, well, I’m awkward, but it holds so much promise for you as readers. You’re welcome.

Later this year, I’ll share details on a new poetry project, a series about what happens when I try to make new friends amid unfamiliar sub-cultures, and spring readings, including one in NYC in May!

Thank you all for your continued support. I’m looking forward to sharing new stories in new ways with you this year and beyond.

Michelle

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