Wednesday, January 9, 2013

what was I thinking?

I've been a serious writer for four years now. Well, more ambitious than serious. And I still shake my head. Though I always loved to read, I never thought I would be a writer.

My writing roots began in my twenties. I had wild and crazy friends and we went on wild and crazy adventures. Our stories were definitely worth writing down, so I took pieces of our lives, changed names, and came up with a story. Unlike today's moronic youth who record every idiotic decision and share it on the internet for perpetuity. My only hope is that when they grow up, they show their children their mistakes as examples of what NOT to do.

Anyway! Back to my fun story! It was about eight complicated girls going out in Hotlanta for a bachelorette party. Buckhead was THE place to party and bar hop in the 90s - it has since been torn down and turned into office parks. =(

As life got more hectic, the story was filed away. But after one of my many moves (every time I got pregnant, we moved. I have three boys.), "One Last Night" resurfaced and I read it. Cracked myself up! It wasn't half bad. Why not finish it and get it published? How hard can it be? (hahahahaha)

When I thought I had finished it and changed the name to "Jacks & Jills & Jezebels," I researched publishing. An agent you say? Query letter? Okay. Looking back, what a joke I was! Character soup, head hopping, and cliches. How embarrassing! Needless to say, I got rejections or no responses. It might still be at the bottom of a slush pile somewhere...(**NOTE: Next Wednesday, I will be guest posting at Cassie Mae's and talking about query letters - will share this horrible first one, you will die! **)

But I also started my blog to put myself out there - and here we are! Best thing I ever did! I've come so far! So listen, newbies, don't give up! Learn and grow and communicate! There is always room for the perseverent!

And thus is my offering in LG Keltner's Beginnings Blogfest! Thanks for hosting, LG!

To go along with my first writing venture is a set of Sensational Wednesday Haiku - and a photograph! (well, a picture I drew of the girls from the story)

Story of a life
Incredible adventures
Sacred memories

Recorded moments
Wistful reminders of youth
And risky business

How did we survive?
No cell phones, trusting strangers
World was safer then

53 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So there might be a little truth to your story, huh?
The queries might've been bad, but at least you started blogging and joined this awesome community.

Laura Marcella said...

What a journey this writing life is! No matter where you're at, as long as you're moving forward and making progress in some way, you're a success.

The pic of all you girls is so great!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

He he, can't wait to read your query. I know I've had some pretty bad ones, too.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

As long as we learn from our past - both the good and the not so good parts - then we're progressing, moving forward. I've learned - and still learn! - a lot of writing and life lessons that way... :)

Ermie said...

I'm not much of writer, but blogging is definitely a fun way to learn about all sorts of stuff. Love the picture! :-)

Jolie du Pre said...

Yep - I remember no cell phones, no ATMS, no computers - that's how old I am. LOL! I had lots of fun in my youth, but now, at 50, I'm having even more fun as a full-time writer! Happy 2013! I enjoyed reading your post.

mshatch said...

Love the pic and all those smiles :)

Shell Flower said...

What a fun way to start writing. Though those stories might be head-hopping cliches, I bet they contain some really rich memories. And, LOL, I have some pretty cringe-worthy queries under my belt, too. Can't wait to see yours!

Dana said...

Great story, Tara! I pull from my memory a lot, too.

Have a happy Wednesday!

David P. King said...

See? Something awesome came out of that experience - we met you! :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

LOVE the title. That alone would grab me. You're a brave lady openly use truth. People ask me all the time...what parts of your story are true life? Um, well, I dated my husband since I was a senior in high school, so...none of it. I should just start winking and say, "I'll never tell."
Would I look more mysterious like that?

Julie Luek said...

My first attempt was atrocious and I can't even blame youth! Fun to read your story.

Carol L McKenna said...

Keep on keeping on ~ lovely haiku and your sketch of friends is delightful ~

(A Creative Harbor) aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^

Ajay Kontham said...

The query you say, I'll try not to die. :D

And Nicely written Haiku. And a sweet picture also. So, an artist who blogs and draws. Nice. :)

M.J. Fifield said...

Back when I was teaching, I shared my query letter with a group of interested students. One of them came back with, "You honestly sent this out?"

I immediately retired that particular letter.

Looking forward to reading yours.

J. A. Bennett said...

Sometimes our biggest mistakes turn into our greatest triumphs! Lovely story, look how far you've come!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

And now you're going to have a book coming out. Congrats on all your success. Really enjoyed the haikus.

Julie Flanders said...

Love the haiku as always. I'm glad there was no Facebook or Twitter around for me to record all the moronic things I did in my 20s!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love your haiku . . .sounds like an interesting and adventurous start to writing!

kmckendry said...

Blogging was the best thing I did to get back into writing too!
Awesome Beginnings story!

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Amazing to think we got by without our phones! enjoyed your story - don't give up, you never know!

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Amazing to think we did get by without cell phones! Don't give up - you never know what can happen!!

Jessie Humphries said...

Gotta love the early stuff we write. I don't know if I will ever be brave enough to share mine!

Timothy Brannan said...

Great story and I hope to see J&J&Js in print soon!

--
Tim Brannan
The Other Side
The Freedom of Nonbelief

Karen Jones Gowen said...

"character soup, head hopping and cliches" LOL.

L.G. Keltner said...

I too can't believe some of the idiotic things people share on the internet.

All writers have their laughable query letters of first stabs at storytelling that are cringeworthy. We learn through experience, and we all have to start somewhere!

Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

Sherry Ellis said...

Love the haiku!

I'm glad you're writing! As they say, practice makes perfect. Look where you are now!

By the way, I've noticed a lot of banners you designed around the blogosphere. They look great!

Al Diaz said...

So cute your drawing. Starts aren't easy but you get to learn a lot.

Rena said...

I love your how I started writing story. And yeah, those first query letters... yikes. I should dig out my first, but I'm sure I'll die of embarrassment.

Green Speck said...

Beautiful set ... the last one is so true !!!

Emily R. King said...

I'm glad you put yourself out there, Tara!

M Pax said...

I'm glad you came out... :D All writers come out of the closet. OK, I'll quit being silly... to much revisioning... I love the sketch with your haikus.

LD Masterson said...

Now we need to read J&J&J.

VikLit said...

It's a journey for us all isn't it. We all learn and move forward :)

Amy Jarecki said...

Hi Tara - So great to meet you! I agree, you've got to get yourself out there! And the first book, it's just practice too!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think we could all dig out a really horrible first query letter.

Heather Gardner said...

Ha! Great story. I love the drawing still!

I'm glad you're experience of late is so positive!

Thanks for sharing!
Heather

Nick Wilford said...

I like how you came to writing almost by accident and look at where you're at now. It was fun to hear about your beginning!

Candilynn Fite said...

Great story, Tara. Here's to getting that ms looked at!! A first query letter, my my, you're brave. O_O I'd have to really do some digging in my files, but I bet my first one is somewhere. It might be fun to go take a peek!

Brinda said...

I don't know if the world was safer back then; you just didn't hear about it on online.

Christine Rains said...

What a fun story! Thank you for sharing. And that's a lot of moving. I moved a lot during university, but I didn't have any babies then.

DL Hammons said...

You have come a long way indeed! Thank you for sharing your story! :)

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm glad I wasn't querying in my earliest days of being a serious writer. Those manuscripts needed some serious work, for many reasons. My earliest books were also full of clichés, like I were going off some stereotypical idea of what a book about young people "should" be like.

Annmarie Pipa said...

so interesting!! I started blogging in the hopes of some day writing..still have hope.

Trisha said...

I wanna see tha query! hehe

love your picture. :)

Jackie said...

Your post made me smile. My first novel was like yours..."Character soup, head hopping, and cliches. How embarrassing!"
Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to read your query. :)

CJ said...

Enjoyed your haikus. Please stop by to read mine.

About publishing: I suggest rewriting that query letter and trying again. Make sure you do your homework and approach companies that publish books similar to yours. If that doesn't work, you might want to try POD --- print on demand.

It used to be that if you wanted to self-publish, you had to put out thousands of dollars ($5000 maybe) because it cost so much to set up the pages and the printers would require an order for hundreds of copies. But now you can pay a few hundred dollars for the set up because you will deliver your book in a word file ---and do your own proofreading/editing. (It's difficult to catch your own mistakes, so make sure you have several good readers check it for you.)

The POD company will design a simple cover (or you can design one yourself) and post your book on Amazon and other websites. Then, when an order arrives, the POD company prints one copy and mails it within a day or two. You aren't stuck with hundreds of unsold copies and don't need to pay a lot to have your writing printed. The POD company takes a cut for printing the copy and you receive a percentage similar to a royalty at a publishing house, perhaps 15%. And ---if enough copies are sold ---you might attract the attention of a large publishing house. It is rare, but it does happen. Not all POD companies are alike, so you need to research them.

To get the sales going, you can send a press release to your local newspaper, email all your friends, post something on a bulletin board at work, write something for your employers' newsletter, buy copies for your friends/relatives for birthday/holiday gifts, donate one to your library or even your doctor's office. I have not done a POD book yet ---but a couple of friends and I are thinking about publishing a book of short stories and I have several in-progress novels that I plan on completing within this century.

Mina Lobo said...

Popping in from LG's blogfest. Fun story idea! And I dig the "Jacks, Jills, & Jezebels" title! :-)

Melissa said...

Great post!

Thanks for visiting my blog.
(And don't worry. You're not losing your mind. You probably WERE following. My gadget broke last March and I lost all my followers.)

Rhonda said...

LOL - people keep telling me to write a book about our travels. I don't have a clue where to begin so none of what you wrote here sounds silly to me.

Stop by for another star

Tara Tyler said...

Thanks so much for the comments, y'all! I'm still heading around to visit you back! This was huge!

I <3 my bloggy friends!

michelle said...

I love the group sketch!!
Great haiku too..

Kendall said...

Love the mental images you paint. Thanks for sharing.