Today is International Women’s Day. Since I’ve been at a low point lately, I thought I’d cheer myself up by focusing on my literary and life achievements.

As shown in a nutshell in the photo above, here are my achievements, listed as part of my cheer-up reflection effort.

Literary achievements:

I’ve had 2 novels published (one with a small press publisher on the UK, one self-published); 6 poetry collections (3 traditionally, 3 self-published); 1 novella (now archived as I plan to use this later in a fiction collection); 27 flash fiction and short stories published in literary magazines and 55 poems also in magazines or anthologies.

I’m also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a literary journal I run with my hubby Joseph Robert. We’re always looking for more writers and poets to publish, so feel free to submit.

Competition achievements:

My poetry was long-listed for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2014, which led to me getting a contract for publication of my first poetry collection. One of my flash fiction stories was also selected for the Best of the Web Storm Cycle Anthology published by Kind of a Hurricane Press in 2015.

Life achievements – kicking sugar addiction:

I’m on day 47 of kicking my sugar addiction. To be specific, I haven’t eaten any chocolate, cake, biscuits, pastries or other refined sugar/carbs since January. I am very proud of this achievement, but need to be realistic too: only complete abstinence has made this possible. Hurray for me though, and a huge pat on the back. I’m still doing a very strict keto diet. I might have to navigate stormier seas once I transition back to a general low carb diet, as I’m a very all-or-nothing person; even a slight increase in carb intake may make me completely crack and resume bad habits. I have a contingency plan for if this happens – but will blog about that if this situation – and need – arises.

The Buddha’s Bone legal deposit:

Yesterday I posted three more legal deposit copies of the Buddha’s Bone to the British Library, upon request, to be distributed to the National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and the Library of Trinity College Dublin. I also need to post further copies for the Bodleian Library Oxford and Cambridge University Library, so I have ordered more hardcover copies. My book is already available at the British Library as I had to send a legal deposit copy within a month of it being published back in October, by law. Legal deposit means my book will be available for the reading room in each library too; it’s great to think that my book might be read in each of those libraries. I also got registered for the Public Lending Register, which means my book can be borrowed at libraries nationwide. Authors, did you know all of that (legal deposit and public lending register)? Just letting you know what I learned today. 😉

Last but not least, the family I chose:

The quote by Harper Lee that ‘you can choose your friends but not your family’ doesn’t apply in my case: I chose my lovely hubby (and he chose me) and we chose to have our child. My little crafter knew I was feeling low at the weekend and made me a pair of earrings from my craft box to cheer me up.

I’m proud of my talented preschooler: he chose the matching stones, threaded them onto the wire and attached the earring hooks. The only bit I did was use the wire cutter and pliers to close the loops.

What about you? What are your achievements and are you celebrating those, whether today or at any other point? It’s good for us all to reflect from time to time and remind ourselves of the ancient Greek aphorism: Know Thyself.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her writing centres around protagonists who are on a journey of self-discovery and who explore their identity by overcoming adversity. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing ezine, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from literary pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of construction vehicle books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/17e6ca162ff3/leilanie-stewart-author

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