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We’re celebrating onboard today…celebrating the end of this journey…but not with my usual champagne. After a drive into San Francisco, a Sisters in Crime event out in the September sun (not about wilderness survival this time, but publishing survival), and then a long drive home in traffic, I would pass out if I had a glass of champagne. Instead, I’m celebrating with Thai food, Nescafe, and Hawaiian cookies. Seems exotic enough for a writerly ship.

It also seems fitting in our last days onboard to have a party and celebrate some of our major accomplishments on this long journey. Here are my top five…

  1. Getting a new job… When I started this blog I didn’t believe it was possible that I would ever leave the hospital, much less get a dream job at the ivy-covered junior college. I attribute that to my husband’s support and the energy put into this blog.
  2. Having my first piece of fiction published… It’s never been easy for me to submit. The business side of writing requires a different type of focus and discipline, but it’s essential. Again, if it hadn’t been for this blog, I might have avoided that essential writerly task and never tasted my first success in fiction.
  3. Competing in the NYC Midnight Competition… And doing far better than I imagined I would. I did it as a way to practice finishing something and not revising a piece to death. Placing first in Round 1 and getting an honorable mention in Round 2 has been my first inkling from strangers that I might just be a decent writer with some talent and a future.
  4. Applying to Oxford… Again. And this time getting an interview. After being rejected the first time I didn’t imagine I would try again, or at least, not so soon. I’m glad I did. I felt some redemption in at least being considered and interviewed. It healed the wound a bit.
  5. Completing this blog… And not missing a day…through vacations, a major career change, down days, a broken arm, anything and everything. This may be one of the top five things I’m most proud of accomplishing thus far in my life.

Now, heading to the stern to get seconds and top off my glass…