A year ago today, I did something which seemed necessary but also absurd and pretentious: I created a Facebook page proclaiming myself as a writer. Tara Wine-Queen no longer would just exist; Tara Wine-Queen would write.
I had just submitted my first piece to be considered for publication and needed a Facebook page for the sake of the submissions. I had set a writing goal for 2019 which seemed enormous at the time: I just wanted to get published in multiple publications - twice would suffice, and any legitimate publication would do. I simply needed validation outside of my social and academic circles, for people who did this professionally and who had no reason to be swayed by any relationship with or love for me to say, "Yes, this is good, I approve."
Not two but eight stories of mine were accepted for publication in 2019. I put out first "Prisons" on my own when it proved too long for traditional magazines and then published my first book, Tenderness and Troubling Times, a collection of stories
largely set in West Virginia and touching on so many themes and subjects dear to me.
And tonight, on the one year anniversary of my ridiculous-feeling leap into declaring myself a writer on social media, Tara Wine-Queen Writes has gotten its three-thousandth follower.
My gratitude and my joy overwhelm me. I could never thank you all enough for joining me and for saying, "Yes, this is good, I approve."
I hope that I can make us all proud.
Love and hugs,