When 2009 began, it had been six months since I’d quit my full-time position at a local language center to dedicate myself to writing full-time. Even with the recession, things looked promising. After all, I was getting a lot of assignments, which kept the bills paid… but then many of the papers and magazines I was writing for either started doing most of their stuff in-house or simply ceased publication altogether (RIP Global Rhythm & Foreign News).
However, I must admit that I got lucky. Last April, I was invited to take over a few classes at a local college, which pretty much saved my life and my bank account. So far, it has been a very good experience that has taught me a lot, and reminded me how – with the proper technological resources – teaching could be fun again.
I haven’t, of course, given up on the writing thing (you wouldn’t be getting this weekly newsletter if I had), but having a regular paycheck again has given me more freedom to work on my short story collection and also write from the heart, which turns out is way more satisfying than I thought. Also, with the recession, I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have gotten this job.
On a personal level, things were very positive in 2009. My wife and I continued to travel on a regular basis, and we made a return trip to Brazil last May (to Rio and my mother’s home town of Fortaleza),
Cleveland and Philadelphia in September and more recently to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. I continued to play with the Sal da Terra musical group at the Church of Our Lady of Pompeii in Greenwich Village and have recently begun a new music project that should debut in the coming months.
Of course, there were a few hiccups along the way : I had a misunderstanding with an editor in one of the markets I work in, and after almost a year the situation has not been resolved in spite of all my efforts in that direction; also, my relationship with a family member here in the US has deteriorated to a point that we are no longer on speaking terms. Some plans my wife and I had did not come to fruition due to the uncertainty in the economy, but they were not completely shelved – we just need to wait and see how things evolve in the future. Also, we saw some friends drift away for a reason or another, but at the same time we made some new ones as well…
As the last hours of 2009 pass, I would invite everyone to lift a virtual glass and toast for the new decade to come: May it be a happy one for all of us
HAPPY NEW YEAR