Obsessed with Twos: My Year 2022
During this year 2022, I have been obsessed with the number two. What I noticed was, if one thing happens I know it's going to happen again. Like twice. It kept me alert. All five senses. Where would the next two be? That has happened too often to mention every occurrence but here are a few.
I became the grandmother of twins in September. Two babies. Sydney and Leighton Paul. And my mother Mary Jane turned 99 years old.
I also put two book manuscripts in the query process. That's where the author -- me -- asks agents if they will find my manuscript a publisher. Basically, a request for them to join my team.
I am querying my two completed books. Balls: Memoir of a High School Football Mom, is the story of my scream therapy at my son’s football games, some cause it was fun, other because the cost of college was waiting like the Kraken. So this is also the story of hustling for a full-time job to help pay for his college education.
My book, Polly: Half-Grown, Half-Orphan Girl, is a historical novel of a girl coming-of-age. From getting her first period, to an adventure quest to show her teacher whose story deserves to be taught in schools. She looks defiant, doesn't she?
I revised both of these while studying with novelist Janet Fitch and meeting my writer's group, Sistalocks. Below is my group, 2 x 2 + 1.
My first book, Mother of Orphans: The True and Curious Story of Irish Alice, a Colored Man's Widow, the story of my grandmother's mixed-race family, continues to drive the beat of my heart. I was on two shows with it. One at the Dauphin Public Library, Pittsburgh, via Zoom. I was invited to appear by organizer Lennie Sloan, who I met two years ago on the Green, Black and White series at New York University's Ireland Glucksman House.
The other was at the State of Michigan Library with the Lansing Historical Society. I sold two books there. Not the best showing, but it kept the two-theme going. So would have 22 copies sold.
You can boost my numbers by visiting another part of my web site and ordering Mother of Orphans. www.dedriahumphries.com.
Call me a fan girl but, I attended four wonderful book events. At Michigan State University, Jemele Hill, former ESPN Sports Center anchor, The Six, and, like me, a Detroiter. Our birthdays are two days apart. I took two photos with her and got a signed copy of I wrote a book review of her book, Uphill, a memoir on Twitter that captured eyes. My handle is @dedria_hb.
And in Lansing, an author event for my friend Thomas Lynch, essayist, poet, fiction writer. He is as witty and insightful and relevant as ever. I spent two days at the Chicago Humanities Festival. Went over to there to see the short story writer George Saunders, and civil rights activist Margaret Burnham, Black woman. She was the more personable of the two. And I was able to speak directly to her.
What's luck got to do with it? In 2022, nothing. The art grants came in twos. One in the spring from the East Lansing Arts Council for my new visual art, Blue People
The grant supported two shows at the East Lansing Public Library, and Blue Owl Coffee, Co., in East Lansing, and two shows in the wider community, Cottage Art Show in Lansing, and The Hannan Center in Detroit.
You can see my art on my web site, www.dedriahuphries.com
My grant from the Greater Lansing Arts Council grant kicked-in in the fall. Actually it was a National Endowment for the Arts money, given to our local art council for local people. Because it is impossibly difficult to compete at the national level with Ivy League and east coast judges and applicant. I know. In other years, I applied three times. My grant supports research for my third historical novel based on my maternal grandmother beginning her adult life in 1920’s Detroit. One thing I am doing is visiting the Detroit Historical Museum to see Boom Town: Detroit in the 1920s. Let me know on FB if you want to visit with me.
In November, I completed year two of writing a monthly column for the City Pulse, Lansing's alternative newspaper. My column uses my 18 years of Lansing Community College teaching experience to give my readers a portal into American current events.
I have posted links to my columns on my web site, www.dedriahumphries.com
A lot of my 2022 news is from two seasons: summer and fall. In 2023, I will extend the seasons to 3 – a great number since I am the third of thirteen children.
You have a fantastic holiday. I appreciate your reading my first author newsletter and always for your support.