Epiphany, 2022

 

I love January 6th (despite the mess that happened last year) because it is the epiphany. While I’m not particularly religious, my Catholic upbringing installed deep roots through my unconscious, stirring my soul on certain special dates.  Epiphany translates from Greek as “revelation from above” and my child-mind blended my own life long search for knowledge and guidance from above with the vague idea of Santa Claus and the three wise men coasting through starry skies for twelve nights, like lost astronauts.  Around January 2, my older siblings would depart to return to their young adult lives, leaving my mother and I moping, filing our time with 1970’s television reruns. But on the epiphany, if I was lucky, mom would rise up and make Crostoli (fried dough and sugar) and we’d sip the last of the eggnog. It was a quiet but sweet day, without all the hustle and stress of Christmas. 

This year, I’m ready to shake off the (Omicron) holidays, and 2021 in general, but I also want to pause and reflect. While 2021 didn’t deliver the post-pandemic fantasy world we collectively envisioned, it offered gems in the muck, especially in my writing life.  

Regal House Publishing released the (Her)oics anthology right on time in March, 2021, and I embarked on a wild book tour, zooming all over the country.  Many readers and friends came to each event, cheering us on virtually – so appreciated! The book has been well received, and I am deeply grateful for the personal connections that were born and/or nurtured in the process. Lots of information can be found about the book on the home page and on my events/press page, including links to podcasts, webcasts, news articles etc.

This year I renewed an old love affair with poetry as well. My poems were placed in various anthologies this year – links to them (and my essays) can be found on my publications page. It’s so satisfying to hold multiple books that include my work from this year in my hands. (And I still have a few coming in!)

I also finished a full-length play, still being worked on with the help of a league of crafty playwrights, but hopefully it will find it’s way to a stage in 2022, for the next phase of workshopping and rewriting.  I’m sitting on an almost-there-but-not-quite-ready novel I plan to polish (again!) this winter.  The first chapter of Under the Microscope was published by Write Launch in the spring, and it’s also just won me a spot as a finalist at the Tucson Book Fair Literary Contest (March 2022). This feels like it bodes well for the novel itself, but I’ve learned not to count my chickens, or eggs, or even poems, before they hatch. 

I am not leading any in person retreats at the moment (thank you, Covid) but I will hold at least a few more writing workshops online this spring. Stay tuned!

Thank you, community, for your ongoing support–both personal and professional. As always, I love to hear from readers, writers, and friends. We lost a lot of wonderful people in the arts in 2021, but I remind myself that many brilliant new artists, writers, actors, musicians, lovers and leaders were born this year too. We just don’t know them yet. Give them time. We must have faith in the younger generations.

(They really can’t make quite as much of a mess of things as we have!)

Stay hopeful. Stay in touch. Just stay.

Yours in hope,

Joanell

serraauthor@gmail.com

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