tamela_j: (Default)
Wow. Sorry I've been MIA. It's been a busy couple of months. I keep telling myself to take a break and come here and update, and then more stuff comes up and now it all seems overwhelming just to try and remember. Lets see if bullet-points will help me keep it brief and manageable.

Read More )


Jul. 16th, 2012 12:12 am
tamela_j: (Want to be a Writer)
I am so lucky that I don’t depend on my ability to blog to sustain my livelihood or anything. I’d be screwed.

Well, maybe not, as seeing as how most of the reasons I don’t get to it more often is because I’m doing other things that take care of the pesky bills and the whole roof over the head and food in the belly thing. Could you imagine if blogging or, better yet, writing did all those things. *drifts off*

I’m sorry, where was I? Oh yeah.

Novel Updates )

Oh wait, one last thing not having anything to do with the novel. I just want to apologize once again for any of you following me on Twitter. I got hacked and it was of course the one weekend I was away from the internet and there was nothing I could do. It’s all fixed now if you’d rightfully fled during that time and would like to add me back @tamela_j I promise to be just as ridiculous and off topic as ever! :)) Also, if you’re looking for a less spammy Tamela, then by all means, Facebook like me, or whatever that’s called!
tamela_j: (Want to be a Writer)
Man! It’s been over three weeks since I got the email and I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time with this post, with the sharing of this extraordinarily good news. It’s something I’ve imagined since I figured out that books were written by people, by mere humans, and that I wanted desperately to be one of them. But, here’s the thing. I never imagined this specific part. The sharing of this news.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I imagined just one thing. I imagined one of my mother’s phone calls/ emails/ conversations and I imagined her asking that question-- the one she’s been asking all these years, every since I left the University of Montana a few credits short of my journalism degree because I couldn’t stop making shit up-- “So, got your book published yet?”

Yes, I’ve imagined that many, many times. I imagined all the ways I’d say:


I imagine if it was through email that there would be a lot of keysmash:

lsafjksda;lfjasd;lfj sdaasfkj asd;fasfjasd;ljfsda;fjsjfaslkj

If in conversation? Well, there would be a lot of high-pitched squealing and I imagine a far bit of Snoopy Dance:

She will say that she wants to hear all the details, so I will tell her about karma and luck and meeting the right people at the right time and how I never thought it actually worked like that, but how in my case, it totally did. I will tell her about the year it took me to write it and the writer's group I meet along the way and how they helped me shape the book and give it a life I never imagined.

She will not believe me, of course, but it is the truth that after spending years polishing it and more years sending it out to agent after agent, that it would be a woman I meet in that writer’s group, who saw this story in its infancy and through many, many drafts that would find me after all these years and ask me to submit it to the publishing house in which she is now an editor. She will not believe the serendipity of it, I barely believe it myself.

I will tell her all about my publisher Vagabondage Press, and will go into long and detailed explanations about the e-market and the where and whens of it. I will tell her about the marketing and publicity and how it terrifies me and that I hope I do everything right and avoid all of the mistakes. She doesn't know all the ways that publishing has changed and I will try and explain that as well. About how its not just about the story, the book anymore (though I wish it were, MAN do I wish it were) so I'll talk of platforms and social media and how an author is always on.

I will tell her about how, in all the excitement and just unimaginable joy I'm overcome with, that there is a lot of anxiety I'll be dealing with as well. How I only have this one chance to do it right. I will only be a “First Time Author” this one time. How much pressure I feel to make it count. And maybe here she'll tell me something, maybe she'll tell me what no one ever tells you; that there is a lot of terror that comes with having your dreams fulfilled.

That's how I imagine the conversation going. I imagine she will try to listen, try to comprehend, but I also know what her last question will be: "So, when are you going to be able to pay for me to travel around the world?"

Sadly the answer to that would be: "Never."

But, that is an imaginary Q & A for another time.

For now the TL;DR of this one breaks down to this:

Q So, got your book published yet?
A. YES! "From These Ashes" will be published late fall/early winter of 2012 through Vagabondage Press.

I'm sure I'll be talking about it a fair bit here. I hope that's okay with everyone. ♥ Until then, how about a bit more of the dance of glee!

tamela_j: (creativity is my drug of choice)
♥ Story for [livejournal.com profile] originalbigbang is coming along pretty well. It's about 8,500 words so far and will definitely hit the 10k mark and beyond. I'm feeling even more confident since they have moved the deadline back a month. ♥ Not really ready to talk about the story itself yet. It still feels like a theme in need of story sometimes--which is rather odd for me. More on this later.

♠ Found a really interesting online site to get published. It's called Everyday Other Things and they are looking for contributors to do collaborations of art and story/poetry. From their website:

If you're interested in creating something for the site, send us an e-mail. In return, we'll send you an image to work with, and a three week deadline. You send us what you come up with, we'll post it on our website.

If you are a photographer/graphic designer or visual artist, send us an image and we will pass it along to one of our contributors.

I thought that sounded like fun and sent away for a picture. I don't know if this is allowed, but here is the picture I received. Pretty cool, huh? I have ~ideas~. ♥

♣ So, not sure how many of you know this, but the folks at NaNoWriMo have started a new thing this summer called "CampNano" which is basically the same premise as regular NaNo but taking place in the summer and also without a lot of the pesky structure and rules. For example. You can do it in July OR August. You can stretch the same project over both months. You could try and write 50k a month or stretch that over the two as well. Basically just WRITE dammit!

I heard about it on June 30th, I think, and so July was out for me. But, I think I'd like to sort of participate in August. I should have most of my OFBB story done. And I'm not going to commit to a huge undertaking like a novel--don't be ridiculous! That's what November is for! No, instead, I think I want to write fun stuff. Short little ditties.

That's where you come in. I want PROMPTS! Ideas! Inspiration! Anything you want to throw at me! I have found (like with the picture and the [community profile] junetide) that I really like to write for other people, for other peoples' wants and specifications (whether or not the recip reads it or not). So by all means--PROMPT AWAY!

Ahhh, but of course, one caveat. There is no guarantee that your prompt will be chosen. Also, one more caveat: there is no guarantee that you will like what I do with your prompt.


Thank you!

tamela_j: (creativity is my drug of choice)
Firstly, there is a poll over at [livejournal.com profile] crackwhore_muse about a possible prompt marathon and opinions are much appreciated. Don't know what [livejournal.com profile] crackwhore_muse is? Just ask and I'll tell you all about it. It's pretty awesome if we can get more people involved.

Okay. That's out of the way, I thought I'd share a bunch of links for places accepting submissions, hosting writerly things and also a few awesome blogs.

Calling for Submissions )

Fun Writerly Opportunities )

Blogs for Writers )

Shenanigans )
tamela_j: (Jack smokin')
Dear Author Lucky Enough to Receive Me as a Recip:

:)) You are in fact lucky, as I am incredibly hard to displease.

Hold out your hand, sprinkle a dash of earth, of sea, of wind-- now add a bit of physicality, a little bit of intelligence, a few quirky habits, a shit ton of insecurities and faults, give them a voice, a distinctive voice with opinions and beliefs; then finally, breath a goal into them.

Repeat as needed.

Great, now you have all you need to tell me a story.


The rest is gravy.

Need some ideas?

♠ Road Trip story

Something about these lyrics just intrigue me even if it is Matchbox 20--what? Don't judge!.

Just three miles from the rest stop
And she slams on the breaks
She said - while you were sleeping
I was listening to the radio
And wondering what you're dreaming when
It came to mind that I didn't care

Basically, awkwardness and conflict (whether romantically or not) would be golden.

♠ Epistolary story

Where all we know of the characters are in their letters to each other, what they choose to talk about, what they choose to avoid. Could be long distance lovers, penpals, parent and child...perfect strangers that just happened to find each other. Whatever.

Point in reference, my two fave epistolary stories are "Ella Minnow Pea" and the trilogy about "Griffin and Sabine"

Basically, what I want is you to take this experimental style of storytelling and just run with it! Have fun! Surprise yourself and delight me.

♠ Location as Character
~ Something steeped in locale (whatever locale you're comfortable and knowledgeable about) I'd like it to read like two local barflies at your corner pub telling tales, maybe even with flashbacks and whatnot. I want to FEEL the location, SEE the patrons, the rings on the bar from years of glasses' condensation seeping in-- all of it.

Hmmmm, not sure how to better articulate this one. I guess what I want the story to focus on is the surroundings and senses. How does where they are influence what they're experiencing? What do the characters see? Smell? What tastes do they experience, what do things feel like to them? How does all of this influence them and their relations with others?

♠ Humor
~ None of those float your boat? How about something funny. Some sort of mix up, some bit of absurdity and out of the realm of possibility shenanigans? A story told in nothing but dialogue (I love, love, LOVE dialogue!) Again, experiment, let your fun flag fly. I love stories that read like they were really fun to write.

IF YOU ARE AN ARTIST: Sorry, I'm not as good as helping your muse as I am in the storytellers. I guess take what I've given to the writers and tweak it to tell the story visually rather then textually. I'm a sucker for STORY however told. I also really like details and things having many interpretations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT I LIKE, DON'T LIKE OR IF YOU'D LIKE TO CONSULT WITH A EXPERT, PLEASE CONTACT [personal profile] redsnake05 She's as close to an expert on what I like and what icks me then anyone in the world. ♥


Your Excited Recip [personal profile] tamela_j
tamela_j: (Default)
[community profile] help_japan is a auction community raising funds to many worthy charities providing aid in Japan. People offer words (fanfic or original), art, graphics, music, food and a lot of other interesting things. The highest bidder wins.

I have offered: A postcard a month for a year


An original fiction story written specifically for you! ♥

Even if neither of those interest you, please take a look at all the other things being offered.
tamela_j: (Default)
You know what's even better then a good Fandom!Wank?


OMG! This shit is GOLD!

It started when an author at AbsoluteWrite.com discovered a writing competition that she brought to everyone's attention here. The contest is being held by First One Publishing. It is the most ridiculous contest ever, but when I went to refresh myself about it at the site, I saw that all the information had been taken down. Hmmmm...I wonder why... But thankful, the folks at Absolute Write have it all documented pretty much in the above thread.

Absolute Write is a great place for writers of all genres and levels to share information, share stories and also to snark. They had a great time snarking...and then Karen Hunter from First One Publishing came to school them all. And she kept coming and kept coming. What was awesome about that was that she went from super friendly and very thankful to the authors for telling her what needed to be addressed to really, really belligerent.

After reading her comments there, it became clear to me (and most there) what this "contest" was all about. It was to lure the n00b writer who wants to get published and thinks the reasons the publishers haven't taken their work is because there is a "system." Not because their stories are no good, but because they're not "connected." So, it's either pay 149. dollars to submit your work (which they know is AMAZING if only someone would truly read it) or you can spend THOUSANDS (according to First One Publishing) to get it self published. Plus, self publishing doesn't give you what First One does--self publishing won't supply you with publicity and marketing or send you on a tour. According to First One, they will. Sound good? No. Not to me either. But there was a time, a time where I didn't know what I was doing, a time that my writing had progressed as far as it is now (not that it still doesn't need work by any means) that this would almost seem like something to consider.

But wait. There are rules. Or, at least there were. This is where the Twitterverse and the Blogosphere exploded in indignation, warning and yes, more snark.

Janet Reid highlights Clause 13 here
Laura Anne Gilman (Suricattus) breaks it down a bit more here
John Scalzi tears apart Clause 13 and also this gem "In the event that there is an insufficient number of entries received that meet the minimum standards determined by the judges, all prizes will not be awarded."
John Scalzi again after First One took down the contest.
And finally, because a story like this can't have enough snark Evil Wylie's "Evil Contest"

So, I think we can all agree. This contest is a bad idea that hopefully died before it began. But please, if you need help sorting out what is a good contest/agent/publisher vs what is bad, please consult Writers Beware and Preditors and Editors

tamela_j: (Steinbeck)
After November's soul crushing defeats, I got it in my head that I was going to try to quit writing. Quit thinking of myself as a writer. Just for a month. Just to see what it felt like.

I got out my list of "other things" that I've had piling up in a closet: arts and crafts scraps I'd planned to sew together into something usable; crap ton of books that need to be read; my volunteer job of Slush Pile reader for The Battered Suitcase; also I applied for a job as an Editor at Crescent Moon Press (Cross your fingers and think good thoughts for me, k?) So I had THINGS TO DO!

I wouldn't even miss writing. Wouldn't miss staring at a blank page and wonder "what next," wouldn't miss reading blogs about publishing, about the craft, about what's new and trendy, wouldn't miss looking for journals to submit to and wouldn't miss those lovely emails saying, "Close, but not quite for us."

A big bit of this decision was made with the knowledge I had just garnered about myself that nothing I planned went as supposed and that by not writing, by purposely refusing to consider myself a writer that I'd be back at it within a week.

Well, it took a bit more then a week. And while I'm still not really WRITING, writing, I am thinking of it. Thinking of characters, about themes, about things that NEED to said, you know, in fictional form.

Oddly enough, I've also been thinking about putting myself out there again. It all started when a friend told me about this thing. Terrifying huh? And also sort of excited. And that was when I knew. I would ALWAYS think like a writer, I will ALWAYS be a writer. Some parts of being a writer means you don't write. You sit, you ruminate, you reflect.

I'll give myself two more weeks of that before I start to put any of those thoughts, ruminations and reflections down in story form. Until then, I think I'll just sit here and think of character and see if those characters have anything to say to me or better yet, to each other.
tamela_j: (Jack's typewriter)
This has been an interesting weekend.

I went looking for publications to submit my work, and in addition to that, also wound up becoming a "Slush Pile" reader for Vagabondage Press' "The Battered Suitcase" (!!!)

While doing all of this, I found a few places that looked interesting, but ultimately not for me. So, I thought I would share them with any of you interested.

Places looking for what you got )

I found all these places on Duotrope's Digest which is the very best search engine for fiction and poetry I've ever found. It's amazing! If you use it and love it like I do, you should consider contributing funds to keep it running and keep it ad free. It's better than Writer's Market and that thing is 50 bucks a year!

You see literary fiction, this is why we can't have nice things! )

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these publications (well except The Battered Suitcase, sort of) and am not being paid, or in anyway compensated by anyone for this post.

tamela_j: (Default)

My story is completely different than the one I started with...but that's okay. That story will be waiting for me, but until then, I'm sort of madly in love with this one. There's angst and lots of flashbacks and young boys in the cusp of discovery. *sigh*
tamela_j: (who is john galt?)
The following are some notes I collected while attending Winter Words at Fairfield Public Library here in Fairfield Connecticut back in December. I was going to squee about meeting and talking to Da Chen (who I was lucky enough to interview for an article) but I've moved past the fangirl phase (plus I HATED the pic that we took together:( and will not be posting it)

Anyway...here's the gist of what was discussed...


Winter Words '08--On Literary Fiction )




tamela_j: (Default)

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