I confess that 2020 and 2021 have not been good writing years for me. After many years in which I was determined to keep three balls in the air — writer, parent, teacher — when the pandemic hit, I found that I could not do all three. Writing was the obvious ball to drop, because nobody was depending on me to produce literature, the way my children and students were depending on me to help sustain them through the “unprecedented” (to recycle an adjective only slightly less overused than “apocalyptic” ) blah blah blah.
But I want to celebrate the productivity and brilliance of three friends who did it: they somehow managed to juggle those same three activities and are emerging from the pandemic with impressive, writerly things to show for it.
Rachel Eve Moulton is finishing her second novel, under contract with MCD x FSG, to follow up her gorgeous debut, Tinfoil Butterfly. The second book promises to be even more amazing.
And last but not least, the talented Jennifer Jordán Schaller has finished a full length memoir. I have been privileged to watch this project evolve from essays that she wrote as an MFA student. Over the years, I’ve cheered as she published pieces of it in literary journals like Creative Nonfiction, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Cutbank, and on the iconic radio program This American Life. I can’t wait for the book to find representation, and a publisher, and many more readers in the wider world.
Thank you, talented writers, teachers, parents, and friends, for showing me it can be done!