Monday, May 24, 2010

Guest Blogger - Tamara Passey

Tamara is one of many who submitted her blog post for review by MMW. She's in hopes of becoming a full time member of our blog so I thought I would share her story with everyone. We have so many great applicants, the decision is going to be extremely hard to make. You can check out Tamara's blog HERE.

We welcome your comments.

Thanks again for your interest, Tamara. And GOOD LUCK!!!

A Little About Tamara:
I was born and raised in Massachusetts - I know, gesundheit! Dropped the Boston accent after a six year stint in Utah. It was either that or hire a translator to enunciate my r's and explain when I said wicked, I meant it in a good way. I currently live in Arizona with my adoring husband and three children (he said I could say that.) I've written poetry for years and have won a few awards. My sister says I should tell people I'm an award-winning poet, but I don't think I can handle that kind of pressure. I've been working on my first full-length novel, The Keeper, and won third place for General Fiction in the First Chapter contest at the LDStorymaker's Conference, 2010. I think someone should have warned those judges how risky it would be to encourage my ramblings!

A Funny Thing Happened . . .

. . .on the way home from cake class. I forgot to secure the cake. Maybe it was late, maybe I was in a hurry to get home. Maybe I wasn’t thinking about the large chunk of my life I’d already spent mixing, baking and icing this cake. Could I have forgotten the two plus hours I had just spent learning how to make it look like a bakery shelf showpiece? Evidently yes.

It happened at the first stoplight; I was in the car five minutes or less. I stopped and the cake slid easily off its ridiculously precarious perch, flipped over and landed near my feet. Really, what was I thinking?

I got home, surveyed the damage and consoled myself, “this was a practice cake.” I felt deflated anyway–all that learning & practice --and for what?

The resident teenager arrived on the scene and quickly pointed out my cake didn’t look so good, but followed that keen observation with a worried, “Is it still okay to eat?”
Deflated me, “Of course.”
Hollow-leg teenager, “Now?”
Me, “Oh, why not – just take a picture first.”
Confused teenager laughing, “Are you sure you want to document this?”

Yes. Disfigured as it was, I wanted to remember my cake and the new lesson I was reluctantly learning from it.

I thought of my writing efforts and current work in progress (for the record – I don’t try to compare everything in life to writing, my brain appears to do it for me automatically!) and realized the same kind of thing could happen. I could spend hours, days and okay, years working on a project and it could fall flat on its face. I don’t like to contemplate such anxiety-inducing images, but a funny thing happens when I accept the worst possible outcome. I decide it is worth it – the work, effort and risk –are all worth it. For the process, for what I learn, for what I gain. If I have a finished product that looks like a showpiece, I won’t complain, but I’ll remember it’s the creativity that brings joy.

I’ll also remember –if I ever take a field trip with my manuscript – that little bundle of joy will be securely fastened by a seatbelt!


  1. I loved this entry! That's just what happened with my first book, and it may be the fate of my second one too. But I sure learned a lot and I enjoyed the journey.

    May there be many more beautiful cakes (and books) in your future, Tamara.

  2. This is sooo true! It is hard for new writers to think that their first book is just a practice book. Once we conceed this point we are definately on our way to being able to handle the ups and downs of publishing. That's not to say that our first books won't eventually be turned into showpieces someday. Here's to hoping, anyways!

  3. Oh I love this! The best part is the teenager and how he wasn't as critical as you'd expect. Isn't that the way it often is? They're not the ones laughing at grammar or incorrect spelling in our books. More times than not they're far too interested in simply enjoying what's placed in front of them. It's the adults who tend to be the most critical. :) Good luck in your next "creations!"

  4. Practice makes perfect...or at least maybe a publishable piece of work!

  5. Lol! This is so cute! What a great example and something for us all to remember. I too have a couple manuscripts that have fallen on their faces... I think I may have to scrape off the excess frosting and decorate them again. Lol!


  6. Good point about the learning process.

  7. Love this story - but it's about cake. OK, it's so much more than the cake. It's such a good lesson about deciding that we do this thing of writing because we love it (and yah, someday hope to be #1 on the NYT bestseller list), but mostly because we love it.

  8. Great post! You're a great writer and a great cake decorator.

    Isn't it amazing how we can parallel almost everything in life with our writing?

  9. My goal, in my writing and in life, is to find the beauty in imperfection. What's better, a good looking cake that is eaten, gone and forgotten, or a cake with a story that leaves a memory and maybe a lesson forever? I choose the latter.

  10. Thanks Christine, for telling me a little more about Tammy. I met her at the Story Makers conference and thought she was a lot of fun, and a cool person to know. Your blog just confirmed that.

    Carolyn Frank



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