2021 In Review

2021 was a good year for publications–only a single short story, but I also had my first novel and four poems come out.

In terms of writing, it was a difficult but productive year. I made the hard decision to pull my YA fantasy novel Thorns from querying for rewrites, and am still working on those. I also took some time off from graduate school for health reasons after completing the first year of VCFA’s Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA. Getting the right treatment was life-changing, and in July, I will be returning to VCFA for my thesis year.

While 2021 was a time of drawing back and regrouping, it was also a time of productivity. I wrote and edited Chiara in the Dark, my second novel and first one in verse, which will be out in April 2022. I also wrote two children’s books for a project I discuss yet, but also can’t wait to share with you.

In 2022, I want to finish rewrites on Thorns and make my best effort to put it out in the world. I can’t control if it gets me an agent or not, but I can make it a better book.

Without further ado, my publications in 2021:

Stranger on the Home Front: A Story of Indian Immigrants and World War I, from Jolly Fish Press.
A historical novel for a middle grade audience, recommended by School Library Journal for libraries that stock “the “American Girl” and “Dear America” series.” That comparison gave me great pleasure as I devoured those series as a kid. In contrast to those books, which had no Asian main characters among their historical protagonists, this focuses on the impact of World War I on California’s small Punjabi community. An anti-colonial conspiracy leads to numerous arrests and the largest trial in US history up to that point. Mixed-race Margaret Singh must grapple with her father’s secrets and learn to stand up for herself, while her German-American best friend fights her own battles in a time of nationalism and suspicion. Available for puchase at the link.

The Anchoress, in Shoreline of Infinity.
A short science fiction story for adults, about faith and doubt aboard a space station on a one-way journey. I call this my “nun in space” story. Available for purchase with the full magazine at the link.

Owl Prowl, at Reckoning.
I was asked for a poem about nature, environmentalism, and joy by Leah Bobet, who edited this issue. Instead it turned out to be about the joy of being engaged, and by the time it was published, I was married. Free to read at the link.

Naked I Shall Return To It, at Liminality.
A poem on the ancient myth of Inanna or Ishtar descending to the underworld, and her disarmament at each gate. The last of four mythological poems I’ve published in Liminality over the years, as it has now closed down.

The Gifts They Gave While Beauty Slept, at Sycorax Journal.

This poem, a dark Sleeping Beauty retelling I wrote in college, finally found its home this year. The first time I did a good job with the Petrarchan sonnet form.

The Plutocracy, at The Deadlands.

My take on Achilles in the underworld and the dual nature of Hades or Pluto as god of death and wealth. Sonya Taaffe, the poetry editor, was looking for a poem on precisely that duality, and fortunately, I already had this written.