Please let me introduce myself. My name is Tina Hoffman and I currently live in Perrysburg (near Toledo,) Ohio and have been writing for as long as I can remember but particularly since the late 70's when I took a position as Editorial Editor for a local newspaper (lol, my high school and college papers!) I majored in Secondary Education (emphasis on English, Literature and Journalism) but ended up in a corporate job for a marketing research firm. Go figure. Went for more money and less exposure to apathetic teachers, students and parents... so much for my naive, altruistic intentions!
Despite my day job, I have continued writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction by various means as I am passionate about it and would be lost without the ability to write, read and exchange thoughts and ideas about the proliferation of the arts and the ability to express ourselves freely and creatively.
I do not have a blog or personal site where I post my poetry, fiction or non-fiction journal entries, otherwise I would share this link with you - but after witnessing the growth of MySpace thanks to my teenager's interest in this site, I am reluctant to participate there or in similar sites. I would like some day to host/sponsor my own site for writers, perhaps; however, I know from my fellow authors and writers who have taken this upon themselves that despite being a labor of love, it is a great deal of work, not to mention requires a little tech savvy or a fantastic IT and programming team! I simply haven't had the time to devote to something like this but have been a moderator for a forum in the past.
I have been participating in online writing workshops (primarily poetry workshops) since the late 90's, including "The Gazebo," "St. Agatha's" ( a private, invitation only writer's forum which no longer exists - we writers began to feel some of the participants and the hosts were too elitist and drifted away,) Blueline, Web del Sol, Gumball, The Melic Review, Desert Moon Review and Wild Poetry Forum (in which I'm most actively posting.) I was the first woman to win the InterBoard Poetry Contest (IBPC) in its second year of inception (2001) http://www.webdelsol.com/IBPC/ with a one-two punch in one month (also a first for the site) with a first and second place with two of my poems - "Revelations 361" and "Saving Grace." You can find these pieces in their Feb. 2001 archive. The guys all hated that! lol. I was infuriated when they named a network TV series after my poem, lol, but haven't filed my civil suit yet. :-) Both of these poems have since been published elsewhere.
I have also published once in hard-copy under the pseudonym, 'Marie Brown,' a mildly erotic poem called "Wet," in the Toledo City Paper , an arts and literature local paper, in 2001 (Marie Brown is my middle and maiden name) but have only been published with my real name other that single exception. You will also find I've been published in a few E-zines and poet sites in the past and recently (7beats.com; poets4peace.org; The Melic Review, etc.) as well as additional hard copy publications and have occasionally won site-sponsored contests over the last several years, but to be honest, have not been aggressive in submitting works for publication as this has been less important to me than the sheer joy of writing itself - to be read and appreciated by both those who also write, and those who just enjoy reading works that resonate with them.
But poetry doesn't pay the bills so it has been more or less a "hobby" for me and I even took a short sabbatical from writing for a few years early in the new millenium to focus on my day job and supplement my income as a KJ/DJ around a few local bistros and sang and danced to supplement my income. There were not enough hours in the day for Corporate America, late nights three days a week at the clubs AND my creative writing but my girls needed clothes, shoes and, oh yeah - food. lol I did write a few songs during that time though the music business can also be a tough nut to crack! A few brushes with the civil authorities were also discouraging but I came out relatively unscathed and I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, after all. So I gave up my part-time, night job as the CEOs, VPs and Marketing Execs were demanding more of my time and the opportunities were more lucrative. Frustrating. Challenging. And probably why I started writing and journaling again too - call it fate, or whatever but there are certainly some interesting stories from those times. I'll have to change the names to protect the innocent though, or not...hmmmmmm.....
I returned to the net to begin posting in poetry forums again in 2006 and was happy to find many of my old friends there, and many new writers too! I have been actively posting my writings online again in the past year. I am dedicated to and practice/immerse myself in my writing and reading other's works daily. I love the creative process and it is a positive outlet for me, as well as my participation in critiquing others' writings on a few forums. Although tenuous and even slightly intimidating at times, it has been a delight to watch the birth of workshop forums on the Internet over the last decade as this has become an alternate medium for writers to share their works and opened up global avenues to add more diverse perspectives to me, personally. I enjoy honest and fair critique to continue to hone my skills as a writer as well as the ability to nurture others in their quest to develop theirs.
I have been told by numerous editors and fellow writers that I should work on more aggressively on publication of my poems, but also that many of my pieces and poetic themes should be written as prose, flash fiction or in short story format -- and that also I should write my memoirs some day as I have had an "interesting" life (so far!) LOL This is what brought me to Hatrack River - to test the waters in this vein and receive feedback and critique and explore this format for my writings. Hatrack River was the first link I found when I searched for this type of forum on Google. I have not registered or requested participation in any other forum as of yet as I did poke around on your site a bit and it looks like a legitimate and pleasant place to start exploring my skills in this area.
On a more personal note, I am 46 and live alone with my dog Willie and my cat Cinders. I'm now a relatively new empty-nester as my older daughter is a sophomore at NKU and my younger daughter, who is a Senior in HS this year in hair design is currently living with her father due to a house fire I unfortunately experienced in June. I am finally settling back in to a new place - literally just moved out of my temporary housing to a new apartment this month! I divorced in 2000 after a 17 year marriage that ended badly and raised my daughters as a single mom, who are now 17 and 20. Talk about an adventure, those days would certainly make good fodder for a story or two too! ;-)
As I'd mentioned, I worked for the same company for 24 years as an Account Director in the market research, marketing and advertising arena until November, 2006, when I was one of several hundred people across the country who were "down-sized" due to a foreign company acquisition of our own privately-held company. I have been telecommuting recently for some of my Fortune 100/500 clients on projects here and there, but had to be careful because of the legal angle - the non-compete in my severance agreement only just expired, so I am beginning to pursue this more diligently with my former clients and company competitors for gainful employment. Who knows though, my writing might pay off for me eventually and I could be the next JK (who I've never read, lol, but admire her bank account and her marketing team) or somebody worth publishing and reading, or at least make a few supplemental bucks with my skills as a writer...
Well, that was probably more than you wanted to know, but I am a prolific writer after all.... can't help it! :-)
I will post my first "13 line fragment" short story soon, and look forward both to new readers of my prose, stories and fiction as well as to reading/critiquing the works of those posting here.
Thank you Jay, Ben for the warm welcome. I look forward to reading your works as well. Haven't had time to surf through the posts in the fragment forum, but should have some time this evening and/or tomorrow. Hooray, more "light" reading to do!!
Yeah, particularly painful after coming intact to the relationship, being completely faithful for nearly 17 years and doing the whole marriage counseling stint (at least I did) to try to save our "love." Ultimately, he loved Johnny more than me (Walker Black & Red that is) and said he would rather talk to a tree than a therapist, so I let him fondle the trees of WVa rather than me.
Thanks for the welcome. I look forward to exchanging thoughts and ideas on writing with you.
A little brief there. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Author intro's can be so vague. Really telling, you need to show instead (Inarticulate Babbler will fill you in there). Pleasure to meet you, Tina. I know where Perrysburg is. I live up the road in a suburb of Detroit. You better watch out for me. Frank