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Highlights of 2023 and 2024 Hopes

It's hard for me to believe we are already in 2024. So hard, fact, that I have not created a blog post since 10/9! So to welcome both of us back, I'd like to share (or maybe recap) some highlights from 2023 as well as some goals for the new year.

  1. AWP in 2023 was a beautiful, magical, whirlwind trip. It was my first time reading a published work of mine to a crowd. What a way to break it in!

  2. The fam and I took a trip to Toronto. The kids fell in love with Canada. They now plan to go to school there. I know out of state tuition is high, but what about out of country?

  3. Speaking of kids - my son found his passion in sports. I seriously did not see that coming. He now watches stat reels for both baseball and football in his free time. My daughter found her voice... literally. She was the solo in the school choir concert and nailed it.

  4. Attending the Louisiana Book Festival in October felt like a dream. I had not been in the state capitol since high school. I met some great fellow authors in my panel and even got to meet my one of my favorite authors, Maurice Carlos Ruffin (!!!). Getting to hang out with my brother and his fam at the festival was a special treat. (See below for brass band at the author party)

  5. My wife and I always take a short trip near our anniversary. This year we decided to keep it super close. We skipped down the road to San Antonio. I had not been in the city to explore since the fourth grade. It truly is a beautiful place. And the people are really nice; nice like Austin people used to be. I'm even thinking of making it a setting for a new novel.

Now for the aspirational portion of our program:

  1. If you got here from my email, you may have heard the announcement. If not: I am very excited to announce that my short story collection, Soaked, will be published by Cornerstone Press by the University of Wisconsin at Steven's Point in February 2025. It's based in Louisiana (shocking, I know). The twist is it's set fifty years in the future when climate change has brought the Gulf all the way to Lafayette. There are nine intersecting short stories, each based on a different piece of the culture: partying, faith, language, food, wildlife, weather, music, government, and farming. I'm very excited about this book and this press. So for the next year I will be doing the editing things, the promotional things, and the nitty gritty detail things. Can't wait to share this with y'all! If want news about this new book faster, you can always follow me on Insta, Twitter, or on Facebook.

  2. I have been working on a novella for about a year now. I'll put in a thousand words every now and then. I would like to find its end by this summer. My wife swears it's a novel, though. If so, the end might be further than I think. It's got Antarctica, and parenting, and grief, and plants, and chamantos.

  3. I have two signings scheduled with Dark Roux in the next year (please check the RSVP portion of the site; I'd love to see you). I'd really like to do another reading. So much of the novel is based in the rhythm and sound of my culture. If you know of a reading coming up that could use another voice, let me know!

  4. We are planning another epic road trip. This one will start in San Diego and end in Canada again. Super excited for the PCH and all the parks!

  5. My oldest will start middle school this year. That may be the biggest adventure in this list.


P.S. I didn't forget about the band at the book festival. Here they are to send you off:

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