Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 I Did It!

2015. It’s hard to believe the calendar has turned to another page. Sometimes it easy to forget all that I do, but seeing it all in print can be a great way to remember what I am working for. So, inspired by my friend and fellow nature writer Andrea Lani, at Remains of the Day, I thought it would be a good exercise for me to write out my accomplishments for the year, my personal I Did Its.


  • I published 22 articles in Tompkins Weekly.
  • I published three articles in commercial magazines, and have assignments for two more.
  • I sold an article to Highlights for Children.
  • I received quite a few rejections (it might take a while to add them up).
  • I applied and got accepted into Chatham University’s Creative Writing MFA program.
  • I passed one ten-day summer residency, and completed one semester toward the degree—for which I received an A.
  • I continued to enjoy my work as Blog Editor of Literary Mama, for which I have been the primary editor during the past few months. I published twelve writing prompts and personal narratives on the Literary Mama blog, in addition to posting news and compilations, and editing submissions.
  • I posted regularly here on my blog- Haiku, book reviews, and thoughts on balancing writing and home life.
  • I regularly met with my local critique group to share my work, and offer thoughts on their work. I worked with one online critique group for several months early in the year, and formed a new online nature-writing critique group at the end of the year.


  • I got married! To my sweetheart of the past ten years. After all this time of living and loving and making our way through life together, we made it official in a sweet, private, wintry ceremony next to a waterfall.
  • I took my son to the Adirondacks for primitive camping for the first time. We climbed four mountains and had great fun.
  • I traveled to Wisconsin to be in my cousin’s wedding, which was a glorious, brilliant event that I was so honored to be a part of.
  • I visited my Great Aunt of 101 years to complete our genealogy discussions and to collect the last bits of family history memorabilia.
  • I emotionally supported my husband through his repeated heart health problems, and did my best to remain calm and sane during the scary times.

Art, Nature, Health:

  • I continued to remain emotionally stable in my mental health.
  • I continued to be the steward of Little Free Library #4094: monitoring it, stocking it with books, and promoting literacy in our neighborhood. 
  • I took myself on artist dates, both in my literal backyard—where I found ice, snails, greenery, and so much more—as well as in the greater backyard of my town and region, including museums and walking tours.
  • I walked! As much as I could around the meadows and woods near home, and on many hiking trails all over Ithaca.
  • I assisted with my son’s Trout in the Classroom program at his school, and acquired funding and assistance for a scientific illustrator to work with the kids for an art component during the year-long program.
  • I completed knitting a purple-green wool blanket for the family of a departed friend; my white-silver wedding top; cupcake hats for two new babies and a baby blanket for another; wedding gift of hand towels, wash cloths and soap sock for my cousin and her husband. I continued work on my wedding skirt, and a literary satchel.
I haven't made a list of goals for 2015 yet. But if this year is anything like last year, it will be a doozy! Happy New Year!


Chris said...

That is quite a 2014! So good to hear all of the good news. I hope you have a fantastic 2015.

Amanda K. Jaros said...

Thanks Chris!

Andrea said...

Fantastic list! I'm very impressed. You've had a good year. (BTW, I'd love to chat freelancing with you someday). Here's to an equally great 2015!

Amanda K. Jaros said...

Thanks Andrea! I'm happy to talk freelancing anytime.