Allow me to introduce myself

010For my first post on this blog I thought it would be beneficial if I introduced myself. My name is T. B. Markinson. Some of you may know me from my blog, 50 Year Project. And I’m guessing a lot more of you don’t know me at all. But I hope to get to know many of you soon.

When I first began my 50 Year blog I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it would be a good way to keep track of my challenge. What I discovered was the kindness of so many bloggers out there. Many people from all over the world have been so supportive.

Now that I am getting ready to launch my first novel, A Woman Lost, I wanted to start a blog to chronicle my adventures in writing and self-publishing. The 50 Year Project will continue as well, but it will stay on that blog. However, I don’t want this new blog to be all about me. One of my goals is to review books, including self-published works. I’ve discovered so many wonderful writers and I want to highlight many of them. Also, I want to help other authors promote their books. If you are interested in doing an interview, a guest post, or cover reveal please send me an email: tbmarkinson at gmail dot com  (please see my policy pages). I’m not expecting a huge response right away since this blog is just a baby. So I do have many books lined up to read on my Kindle. My next post will share which books and authors I’m starting with.

Like the blogging community I’ve found the self-publishing community to be just as welcoming and helpful. I’m a firm believer in teamwork. If we all work together we can reach new heights.

Thanks for stopping by. I’m excited about this new project and meeting many authors, publishers, and readers along the way.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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68 Responses to Allow me to introduce myself

  1. Beth Ann says:

    I was hoping that you would start a blog to promote your book!! My friend, Hilary, did the same thing! I am going to send her your way so you guys can share experiences!!!! Now I get to follow you on two blogs!!! I am so excited!!! Congrats and good luck, TBM! I love the pic of Miles, btw. Where’s Atticus???

    • TBM says:

      I think Atticus loves that we leave him alone in the flat. I picture him going through the cupboards looking for cat treats. Maybe having a whiskey. Yes, I would love to connect with Hilary. She comments on your blog, right? So I can track her down that way. And please let her know. I would love to host her and her journey.

      • hilary says:

        Hi! Beth Ann just emailed me about your new blog…. I am so glad to meet you! I think you and I will have a lot in common, and I love to chat /email you about it 🙂 As Beth Ann mentioned I just started a second blog to go with my first book (launched about a month ago -with Beth Ann being my first guest poster!) I still am playing the agent waiting game with my book, but am not hopeful, so I am moving forward with self-publishing at the same time – I just made the final revisions yesterday – and will most likely pull the plug and release in the next couple of months. I would love to work with you so that we can both help promote each other. I agree with you, I think that the self-publishing community is just as welcoming as the blogging community.

      • TBM says:

        Hi Hilary! Yes, let’s chat and work together. I’ll send you an email soon and get the ball rolling. And I wish you the best of luck with your journey. How very exciting!

  2. vinnieh says:

    Can’t wait to read more of your posts on this blog.

  3. Aha, we’re product diversification…!
    Re. guest posts… not sure if you’d be interested, but I could write a piece on being a… well, I guess you’d call it a ‘technical’ writer.
    Essentially, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but my writing skills are mediocre, at best. Neither am I any good at bugging the hell out of people, which seems to be an essential requirement for a journalist, and so I never considered writing a ‘realistic’ career choice.

    I went into several other directions, work-wise, but paradoxically, I ended up where I never thought I would: I’ve been making a living for several years now by writing nerdy stuff about food and food-industry related issues. Here is a short-ish post I wrote on how I spend my ‘exciting’ …ahem… work days
    As a guest post, I was thinking more along the lines of how I arrived at this point.
    Anyway, let me know if you’re interested, no worries if this doesn’t fit in with your blog concept, I won’t be offended 😉

    • TBM says:

      Of course I would love a guest post from you! This blog is about writers of all types. I’m fascinated how people decide to write and what to write. Many moons ago I used to write restaurant reviews for a small town newspaper. It was my first big break in the writing world. I didn’t get paid, but they gave me 20 bucks at each restaurant I went to. At the time I was pretty broke so getting a free meal in exchange for an article was so worth it.

      By the way, I don’t think your writing skills are mediocre. You have me laughing on many occasions. send me an email when you have the post ready. And I won’t give you a deadline I promise, but I will write it down on my list of guest blogs I’m waiting for. Can’t wait to read it.

      • Aw, so kind, thanks 🙂
        I’ve also done quite a bit of free stuff, like writing for the local paper (The Archer, East Finchley, lol) – it’s a rite of passage. I’d have absolutely loved writing restaurant reviews for a free meal, in fact, I probably still would!
        I’ll get that post to you in August, as I’m off on my annual family visit shortly, so I’ll be writing be millions of posts on beer, cakes and maypoles. Brace yourself 😉

      • TBM says:

        I would still do reviews for a free meal. Is anyone listening to us 🙂 Have fun on your family visit! And I look forward to hearing about all the beer, cakes, and maypoles. I’m not so familiar with maypoles. Looking forward to seeing your post. Take your time. I’ll be here 🙂

      • For a free meal I might dance round one NAKED! …or maybe not…

      • TBM says:

        Should I check youtube videos today?

      • I”m not there yet… but anything might happen as of Friday 😉

      • TBM says:

        Well keep me posted!

  4. Wow, have you ever been busy!! Congrats on your new blog (it looks fabulous already) and your future as a famous, published author :). Your first blog is incredibly popular and successful, and I’m sure this one will be just the same. I look forward to following this amazing journey of yours as well!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks! I thought it would be best to have a place to discuss this journey and not confuse it with my 50 year project. Both blogs are about dreams, but on different levels. I’m really excited about this one!

  5. This is great! Looking forward to reading about your adventures in self publishing.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks, Jackie. I’m curious what types of bumps and bruises I’ll experience on the way. It’s all a learning process.

  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Congratulations on your book, it wil be interesting to learn about your journey onyour new blog!

  7. pattisj says:

    Good for you!

  8. bocafrau says:

    So excited for you. Cannot wait to read more! Lots of luck!!! 🙂

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    Good luck over here and with the book!

  10. T.F.Walsh says:

    So glad you’ve kicked off your blog… now we can also follow your writing journey:)

    • TBM says:

      Thanks, Tania. And I hope to highlight your journey here as well. Whenever you want to take over for a day, just let me know 🙂 My blog is all yours. August 5th will be here before you know it!

  11. niasunset says:

    Your post always seemed to me so exciting and enjoyable… You are a very rich blogger in this world, I mean writting and photography world… And as I told you before how nice to know you more now with your smiling face… You know my English language love but not being as I wanted, at least I can say it takes time… even to read too. But I keep following all posts about your book and other books… I learn so many things too… Thank you dear TBM, once again congratulation and Good Luck, this is just a beginning, I am sure it will be going on for next books too. Love, nia

    • TBM says:

      thanks, Nia for your kind words and support. And thank you for reblogging this. It means a lot that so many of you are cheering me on. Blogging has helped me pursue my writing dream and I want to tell you and everyone, thank you.

  12. paulaacton says:

    Hello and good luck with the new enterprise I look forward to sharing your journey here

    • TBM says:

      Thanks, Paula. Let me know if you want to guest post or anything. How’s the short story collection coming along?

      • paulaacton says:

        Getting there I had a crisis of confidence after realising a couple of stories really didn’t work how I wanted them to but back hard at it now and refocused I guess we all have blips now and again

      • TBM says:

        Oh trust me, I understand. There were many times I thought about quitting when working on my novel. Luckily I had several great beta readers and a super supportive editor that helped me along the way. I wish you the best of luck. And if you need another beta reader, just let me know!

  13. frizztext says:

    congrats for your novel – found you via NIA…

  14. Caroline says:

    I was wondering when you would start another blog. Good luck with the new site.
    Don’t overdo it! I know what it’s like to have more than one blog, it can be challengig at times. But great too. )

    • TBM says:

      Thanks, Caroline. I have wondered how I’ll handle the pressure of two blogs, but I’m hoping the fun will outweigh the stress–most of the time. How do you decide how often to post on each one.

  15. jensine says:

    welcome and just keep typing away … it’s fun

    • TBM says:

      Thanks, I try to write at least 1000 words a day. Thanks for stopping by.

      • jensine says:

        well just remember most people prefer short blogs as it takes time to read etc … and it’s better to write 30 good ones hen 1000 weak ones 🙂 … BUT just keep those fingers walking

      • TBM says:

        I’m one who prefers the shorter blogs. I meant I write 1000 words each day on the novel I’m working on now. Sorry for the confusion 🙂

      • jensine says:

        good on you, been trying to do that but somehow haven’t been disciplined enough

      • TBM says:

        It isn’t easy since sometimes the words stay hidden in my mind. But I try to get something out since editing the first draft helps ease the words and story out more.

  16. restlessjo says:

    Interested to find myself here, TBM. Thought I hadn’t seen 50 year project about much, but I haven’t spent a lot of time in my Reader since I got back from the Algarve. Now I know what you’ve been up to and I know it will make interesting reading for the future. Congrats on the novel. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Jo. You are always welcome. The Algarve is high on my list of places I want to visit and I hope you had a marvelous time. Thanks for your kind words.

  17. Good luck with your novel and your new blog.

  18. I so look forward to watching your path towards being a published author! It will be an extra treat to read other self-published books as well. Best of luck to you, T.B.

  19. Meanderer says:

    All the very best to you with your new venture! How exciting!

  20. samokan says:

    I wish you all the best and yey more books to read.

  21. Grace says:

    Congratulations on publishing your book! That’s super exciting. 🙂

  22. TBM, I’m delighted for you! I am confident that your new blog will be extremely successful. I eagerly look forward to read more of your posts here.

  23. Congratulations on your first novel. I am so happy for you. Your story and your work inspires us all. Wishing you all the best my friend. Thanks.

    • TBM says:

      Thank you for your kind words and support. It’s amazing to accomplish one of my goals and I hope others pursue their dreams as well to know the feeling. Hope all is well with you and your family.

  24. savioni says:

    You are a bit like me. We’ve entered a world, where for some reason or other, we’ve not gone the route of seeking out a formal publisher. My reasons are quite simple. I didn’t want to wait. I could not imagine sending my book out only to get rejected over and over again. As a poet generally, I’ve heard no agent will take you. I’ve published at the outset little books via a copy center and I actually got them in Cody’s books when it was on Telegraph in Berkeley. All of the copies sold out, but then they didn’t want anymore. I gave a few copies to Pendragon on College Ave., and there too, I believe they all sold out. A few of them sold at Diesel as well, also on College. What I noticed rather quickly was that I still had to keep track of where they went and where they were. The cost of the books was actually about the price of the books at the store, so you can imagine that it just became a give-away. I have a table top book at Diesel, which cost me $120 to produce, but it is for sale at $50. It is prominently displayed and has been for a few weeks. Still, it along with four other books, remain unsold. It is weird to have to self-promote along with taking a loss. And I actually don’t think that I would buy my latest book, if I hadn’t written it. Some friends say it is very good and others say they can’t understand it. I keep writing with the hope that I am doing important work, at least it is as good as I can write, for now. I remember as a child finding value in T. S. Eliot’s monologues of poems like “The Wasteland” that I played on a phonograph in public library, which brought catharsis. I’ve always wanted to be like him. I think he must have had a hard life like mine in the sense that he had a normal, boring job to support himself. Still, his credentials are much more elevated and elegant than mine.

    Anyway, I just wanted to touch base with you and say that I know what you are going through. Your reviews sound wonderful and they couldn’t be better. I will be following your progress for selfish reasons of course. It is exciting to know there is someone else out there who is braving the real world while also trying to slip in a few projects so that our lives are not a total submission to the capitalist system, i.e. supporting someone else’s dream.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks for stopping by. Have you published your works as ebooks? Is that possible for you to do? It sounds like the books you’ve put out there, for the most part have been purchased. I know what you mean by not making much or anything in the beginning–it is an uphill battle. I’m surprised to learn that agents won’t sign poets. What is the publishing world coming to?

      I wish you luck with your publishing and I’ll do my best to keep all of you informed about how I fare in this world of self-publishing. And I’ll do my best to share what worked and what didn’t.

      Take care!

      • savioni says:

        Here is a link to my first ebook publication: Of the other books, I have not as yet made that transition. Those are big projects, but doable, and I will do them, but I am watching what happens to the new one. I doubt agents make much money signing poets. You have to be established before they take you on, and I think the only ones who have consistent sales are dead. Still, I have bought a number of poetry books and that’s probably because I know good poetry when I read/hear it. Here are the books of poetry that I have and recommend:

        1. My Life and My Life in the Nineties by Lyn Hejinian, right now she’s my favorite. She repeats lines in her poems while moving forward. It is almost like seeing phrases in different contexts and as you read the poems it plays with your memory of poems you’ve read. At first you don’t realize this is going on, but later it occurs to you and it is cathartic. I think Hass is my second favorite, then maybe Zukofsky. Gluck was good too.
        2. “A” by Louis Zukofsky
        3. A reader for English 131 – American Poetry put together by Professor O’Brian of The University of California at Berkely
        4. George Oppen’s Collected Poems
        5. Bellocq’s Ophelia by Natasha Trethewey
        6. Mark Strand’s Almost Visible
        7. Robert Hass’s The Apple Trees at Olema
        8. Jorge Luis Borges’s The Sonnets, which I can’t seem to get into.
        9. Poems: 1962-2012 by Louise Gluck and her Proofs & Theories, which are Essays on Poetry, and as well-written as poems.

        I have a friend who is getting involved in a comprehensive editing profession, where she not only edits books, but she also markets them. One of the writers she is helping with a website was on the cover of Time magazine recently where the subject was couples not wanting children:,16641,20130812,00.html

        Anyway, nice connecting with you.

      • TBM says:

        Thanks so much for the suggestions! And I wish you luck on your ebook. I’ll check it out online. And I know what you mean. Getting works ready for publication is a lot of work. Keep at it 🙂

  25. cupitonians says:

    Congratulations! I am so thrilled for you. Congratulations. Of course I follow the 50 year project like my life depended on it. But you know that from all the “like” spams you receive from me. Can’t wait to go on this journey with you and perhaps read your book soon. Good luck xx

    • TBM says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words and the support. It means a lot. It really does. Glad to have you along for the journey. Having friends throughout the process helps.

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