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  • Writer's pictureLeoOtherland

2023 Recap

Updated: Mar 1

There are times we make plans, and then those plans redesign themselves before our eyes, while we work on them. That’s what happened with this blog post. I meant to have it posted yesterday, before midnight, but as I was working on it, I realized that aspiration wasn’t going to happen because I needed to write something different than I intended.

My idea was to do a review of the many events of last year, month by month. But as I put together an outline of the year… I understood retelling my year was not what I needed to write. 2023 was a year of survival; one I very nearly didn’t get out of. But I had, and have, no desire to review the feelings and circumstances that almost didn’t let me out of 2023.

I knew I needed to review the reasons I did survive 2023.

Books, and the people like me who love them.

The book that instantly comes to mind as one that saved my life this year is The Clackity by Lora Senf. I never meant to pick up The Clackity, but as soon as I saw it on a random Walmart shelf, I knew I was meant to take it with me. Like many good books, The Clackity is about someone going on a journey to save someone they love and learning their love is stronger than their fear in the process. I highly recommend it.

That day in September when I was wandering around and found The Clackity, I took it to a park, and I sat there and I read, and I talked about what I read with D. Ynes Freeman, and for the first time in a long while, I felt like carrying on.

Many, many more talks with Ynes followed, and together we decided we were going to step out of the darkness we found ourselves in and live.

Or live again. Sometimes, moving forward is both of those things at once.

Part of Ynes and my choice to go on a life adventure together is starting our own press, Memento Vivere, which we’ll be talking more about soon in the new year. But another part was and is reminding each other memento vivere, you must live. And in living, live well.

This isn’t always an easy reminder to be given. The last two months, I have been falling down and stumbling around, more than forging ahead, but I’m walking into this new year with the desire to do better. To remember to live, and live well, while I work towards my raison d’etre, my reason for existing.

Much of that reason revolves around books and writing and the preservation of the written word. That said, I do want to share a few of my writing successes this last year. Because writing and words keep me alive, as much as books do.

I wrote and submitted five pieces to various publications in 2023.

I had two rejections, one acceptance that was a big one (we’re talking me signing a contract with a large traditional press sometime this year), and two submissions are still waiting on responses. Fingers crossed on those.

I also somehow wrote 152,617 words, over the course of various projects. I tried to count them all, and gave up somewhere near thirty. Too. Many. Projects.

Or, maybe not??

hides project list under rug

Do not mind that, that is… not a concern.

At all.

Moving on.

Back to business.

This year is a new journey. I’m not sure what it has in store, but I do know I have a truly amazing partner beside me. I look forward to being more active online, and sharing Ynes and my adventures as they unfold.

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